Bershawn ‘Batman’ Jackson was a last-minute scratch to the men’s 400-meter hurdles Saturday at the 82nd annual Kansas Relays, ending a longtime string of victories for the charismatic 25-year-old.
Still reeling from the effects of a torn hamstring suffered a month ago in Australia, Jackson never felt comfortable while warming up and decided moments before the start of the race to pull out and avoid the risk of further injury.
“I took four days off leading up to this race hoping it would loosen up, but it only got worse,” said Jackson, a Miami native who earned a bronze medal in the 400-meter hurdles in last summer’s Beijing Olympics. “I just want to take the next two or three weeks off and get healthy.”
Jackson has become a Kansas Relays staple in recent years, winning the 400-meter hurdles each of the past four years (2005-2008), setting a Relays record with a time of 48.32 in last year’s meet. He also won the event in 2003 and owns five of the top seven times in the event’s nine-year history.
“I hate pulling out this year,” Jackson said. “I really wanted to go out and get another victory and hopefully another meet record, but I’ve still got next year. And the years after that.”
Lee wins 200
Kansas City native and Olympic qualifier Muna Lee had little trouble in Saturday’s 200-meter dash invitational, coasting to a first-place finish in 23.05.
Lee, who graduated from Kansas City’s Central High and later attended college at LSU, took an early lead and didn’t give it up, holding off Kansas University senior Nickesha Anderson, who was second in 23.45.
“It was supposed to be a really low-key (race), but I know Nickesha’s fast and a lot of other girls will beat me if I give them a chance,” said Lee, who also won the 100-meter dash invitational in 2005. “So I didn’t want that to happen.”
Bonds triumphs in 1,500
Lauren Bonds entered Saturday’s 1,500-meter run hoping to run fast enough to qualify for a berth in the upcoming regional meet, and that’s precisely what the KU junior did on an overcast morning at Memorial Stadium.
Bonds finished first overall in 4:27.36, easily outpacing runner-up Michelle May from Nebraska-Kearney (4:34.43) and earning a spot in the NCAA Midwest Regional Championship on May 29-30 in Norman, Okla.
“It’s good to get it out of the way,” said Bonds, who qualified for last year’s regional meet in the steeplechase. “I am going to go to Drake next weekend, try to run a little faster and maybe run an 800. I’ll just try to have fun the rest of this year until conference season.”
KU relay teams 2nd
Both the men’s and women’s 4X400-meter relay teams finished second on Saturday. The men’s team, which included Jacob Breth, Jarrell Rollins, Reggie Carter and Keron Toussainst, clocked a time of 3:12.45. The women’s team of Shayla Wilson, Sha’Ray Butler, Nickesha Anderson and Charity Stowers finished in 3:43.14.
Kansas freshmen 2-3
Kansas freshmen Keith Hayes and Keyen Porter finished second and third, respectively, in the men’s collegiate 110-meter hurdles. Hayes finished in 14.05 seconds, just three hundredths of a second behind winner Jeffery Julmis of Cloud County Community College. Porter finished in 14.35 seconds.
Carter notches silver
KU junior Reggie Carter earned a silver medal in the men’s college 400-meter dash, clocking a time of 48.08 seconds. Senior Jarrell Rollins, meanwhile, was fourth in 48.42 seconds.
Women’s relay 2nd
The KU women’s 4X100-meter relay team of Aubree Dorsey, Victoria Howard, Kendra Bradley and Nickesha Anderson finished second overall Saturday in a time of 45.80.
Butler places third
Kansas senior Sha’Ray Butler finished third in the finals of the women’s collegiate 400-meter hurdles in 1:01.07.
Wasinger fifth in 1,500
Freshman Don Wasinger took fifth overall in the men’s 1,500-meter run in 3:49.03.
Scherzer leaps to fifth
Kansas junior Nate Scherzer leapt to a fifth-place in the men’s college high jump,finishing with a jump of 6 feet, 6.75 inches.
Jones, Wills tie for 5th
Kansas sophomore and former Lawrence High standout Abby Jones and freshman Mackenzie Wills both finished in a tie for fifth in the women’s college pole vault, clearing 12 feet, 1.5 inches.