Sunday, April 23, 2006

Relays Notebook


Christian Cantwell, a former University of Missouri standout, broke his own invitational shot put record, tossing 70-feet, 3 3/4-inches - the best throw in the world this year. His previous Relays record was 70-11/2.

"It would have been nice to throw in here before the crowd. Maybe next year, Mr. Perkins?" Cantwell said, making a request of KU athletic director Lew Perkins when interviewed on the loudspeaker.

Cantwell wishes the weight throwers could compete inside the stadium rather than before smaller crowds outside at the shot pit.

"I want to get in the middle of the field like the pole vaulters," Cantwell added with a smile, noting there was a strong crowd of about 1,500 fans by the shot pit. There were an estimated 26,211 inside the stadium.

"It was a nice day. We had a great crowd, (but) I want to get in the middle of the field like the pole vaulters here : like the Drake Relays," Cantwell said.

Batman rules: Nike's Bershawn "Batman" Jackson broke his own Relays record in the 400 invitational hurdles in 48.34 - the third-best mark in the world this year. His previous record was 48.67.

"It's my goal to be the (fans') favorite here," said Jackson, who won at KU a year ago. "I love it here. It's a great place to run."

Felix bests friends' record: Adidas' Allyson Felix set a Relays record in the 100 in 11.04. She broke the previous mark of 11.1 set by Kansas City, Mo., native Muna Lee in 2005.

"It's pretty cool. I was not expecting it," Felix said of setting the record and nudging training partner Lee, second in 11.13.

"I think we'll have some competitive practices," Felix said.

Storybook start: Nike's Leonard Scott won the 200 in 20.48, just ahead of Nike's Rodney Martin (20.51).

"This is the beginning to a good story," Scott said.

Cox a winner: HSI's Crystal Cox took the women's 200 in 22.85. Nike's Torrie Edwards was second in 22.89.

"She is phenomenal," Cox said of Edwards. "It was great to get out and win. A lot of people label me as a 400 (runner). The 400 pays the bills; the 200 is my baby. The crowd was great."

New mark for Hicks: Nike's Kevin Hicks won the 800 in a meet-record 1:47.58. The old mark was 1:48.22 by Victory Lacis in 2000.

"It's the easiest race in track," the bespectacled Hicks told the crowd.

"I was just kidding," the former Florida A&M; runner said later.

400 record falls: Mary Danner of Nike won the women's 400 in a meet-record 51.66, bettering the old mark of 52.95, set by Suzanne Reid of Nike in 2005.

Hands of steel: Former KU vaulter Pat Manson placed fifth with a leap of 18-01â2. Defending champ Jacob Pauli won again in 18-4 1/2.

Manson, 38, who has cleared 18 feet for 22 straight years, barely missed at the 18-4 1/2 mark.

Manson, who teaches young vaulters in Boulder, Colo., as well as working for his own "Vault Mortgage Company," showed signs of recent vault inactivity. Early in the competition, he developed severe blisters on his right hand.

"It's the first hot, humid day. It made it slippery, harder to jump. I used quite a bit of glue on my hand," Manson explained. "There was a little too much glue on my hand. I lost a little skin when I pushed off. The guys were kidding me that I have office-worker's hands now."

MVP announcement coming: The Relays most valuable performers will be announced Monday.

Second-best crowd: Meet director Tim Weaver on the crowd of 26,211 - the second largest in Relays history behind the 30,000 in 1972.

It surpassed the old No. 2 mark of 24,619 of a year ago.

Weaver had hoped for 30,000.

"Maybe I had a goal that was a bit ambitious," Weaver said. "We are averaging 25,000 a year the past two years. That's something to be happy about. The GOLDZONE 2 was great. It went as scripted all the way through. There's next year (for the record)."


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.