Cardinal Classic Day 2
Photo: Kennedy Simon of Texas, Sanaa Hebron & Moriah Oliveira of Miami.
On Jan. 14, the Texas foursome of Rachel Helbling, Rahsidat Adeleke, Julien Alfred and Kennedy Simon won the 1,600-meter relay on the second and final day of the Cardinal Classic, in Louisville, Kentucky.
The winners recorded a time of 3:30.50 which is the second fastest 1,600-meter relay time in the NCAA this season. In the seven-team field Miami placed second as it was the only other squad to finish under 3:40. The Hurricanes finished at 3:33.51 which is currently fifth in the NCAA.
The women of Texas who won the relay had busy weekends before closing the meet with the win in the final event. Helbling placed third in the 400 meters at 54.41. Alfred, an NCAA outdoor champ in last season's 100 meters and 400-meter relay races, won the 200 meters at the Cardinal Classic at 23.10. She's currently first in the NCAA after that finish. Simon recorded top four finishes in three events. Along with winning the 1,600-meter relay, the All-American sprinter was third in the 60 meters at 7.50 and fourth in the 200 at 23.81.
Last indoor and outdoor seasons Texas was second in the 1,600-meter relay at the NCAA Championships. Adeleke and Simon were members of both of those silver medal winning teams. Alfred joined the foursome during outdoor season, replacing Davicia Patterson who was a member of the indoor unit. Former Longhorn All-American and Olympian Stacey Ann Williams was also on both teams.
As for the Miami relay squad, the Hurricanes, members of the ACC, are the only 1,600-meter relay team in the NCAA top 10 that is not in the Big-12, Big 10 or SEC. Led by All-American sprinter and ACC 400 meters champ Moriah Olivera, the Miami squad included her sister Sierra and two promising freshmen Sanaa Hebron and Gabriella Grissom. Outside of the relay race, Grissom placed fourth in the 400 at 55.36, behind her teammates Oliveira who won at 53.48 and Hebron, the runner-up at 53.87. Hebron also started her collegiate career with a fifth-place finish in the 200 at 24.13.
A Look Around the NCAA
Diggs impressive in 60 meters
NCAA 400 meters indoor and outdoor champ Talitha Diggs of Florida outran a talented group of sprinters to win the 60 meters at 7.14. Diggs, currently second in the NCAA grabbed the victory at the Clemson Invite beat Kaila Jackson of Georgia (7.18), Jacious Sears formerly of Miami, now of Tennessee (7.20), Joella Lloyd of Tennessee (7.20) and Autumn Wilson of Georgia (7.24) on Jan. 13. All of those women currently hold five of the top six times in the NCAA.
They all trail Chukwuma Rosemary of Texas Tech who won the 60 meters at the TTU Corky Classic at 7.13.
Salmon captures three wins
North Carolina A&T All-American Paula Salmon was the star of the HBCU Showcase in New York City. The Brooklyn native shined in her homecoming taking a win in the 200 meters at 24.85, the 60-meter hurdles at 8.26 and as a member of the 800-meter relay with Nilaja Florence, Jaera Griffin and Shaliciah Jones at 1:40.20. Salmon has been one of the top hurdlers in the NCAA during her career at North Carolina A&T. She placed fourth at the NCAA outdoor final in the 100-meter hurdles last season.
Mays among best in NCAA
Oregon's Jadyn Mays won the 60 meters and 200 meters at the Cougar Classic Invitational, Jan. 13. She won the 60 meters final at 7.25 which is seventh in the NCAA. The third-year sprinter who was third in the 60 meters at the 2022 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships, also has the second fastest 200 meters time in the NCAA this season with a time of 23.18, which enabled her to finish ahead of USC sprinters Christine Mallard (23.46) and Bailey Lear (23.76).
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