Second-Largest Crowd Witnesses GOLDZONE History

April 22, 2006

Results | Day One | Day Two

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LAWRENCE, Kan. — Beautiful weather, shattered records and impressive performances from GOLDZONE II highlighted the final day of the 79th Kansas Relays, Saturday at Memorial Stadium. In the main and final event of the GOLDZONE II, Sprint Capitol – anchored by the 2004 100 meter Olympic Champion Justin Gatlin – took the title in the 4×100 meter invitational relay.

Gatlin teamed with Dwight Thomas, Rodney Martin and Shawn Crawford to win the race in a time of 38.16.

In all, 11 records fell on the day, including the men’s 400-meter relay. Sprint Capitol’s time of 38.16 bested the old record of 38.45, previously held by Allen Johnson, Ato Boldon, Dwight Howard and Maurice Greene. In Saturday’s race, Greene took the baton and easily picked off two runners on the anchor leg, but could not overcome Gatlin’s head start down the stretch. Greene’s HSI squad of Kaaron Conwright, Allen Johnson and Leonard Scott finished in 39.02.

A crowd of 26,211 was in attendance on Saturday, surpassing 2005’s mark of 24,619 as the second-most in Relays history. Only the 1972 crowd of 32,000 had more.

“Goal setting is important for an athlete,” said Weaver after the day was over. “Goal setting is equally as important for an event. I don’t feel bad in the least for setting out that ambitious goal of 30,000, nor would I be reticent to do so again in the future. A secondary goal was to prove that last year wasn’t a fluke and that the Kansas Relays can consistently draw 25,000 plus. The fact that we did that in 2006 only strengthens the Relays’ team resolve to surpass 30,000 in 2007.”

In the women’s main event, also the 4×100-meter relay, the USA All-Stars team of Rachelle Boone, Allyson Felix, Kia Davis and Muna Lee easily won over an unattached team of Nichole Denby, Torri Edwards, Angela Williams and Crystal Cox. The All-Stars’ time of 42.91 bested the second place team’s time of 44.12.

Kansas senior Sheldon Battle had a busy day in two throws events. Battle, a native of Jamestown, N.Y., was the highest collegiate finisher in the shot put, finishing third (63-10 ½) behind pros Christian Cantwell and Dan Taylor. Cantwell’s mark of 70-3 3/4 broke the shot put record and was the furthest in the world this year. Battle also won the discus, beating the field with a toss of 179-2.

The Kansas women’s 4×100-meter relay team of Crystal Manning, Tiffany Cherry, Victoria Howard and Charisse Bacchus won its race, nipping Louisiana-Monroe by four hundredths of a second. Sophomore Colby Wissel also regionally qualified in the mile, running a 4:05.19.

Plans for the 80th Kansas Relays are already under way. Fans will be able to enjoy next year’s Relays on April 19-21, 2007.

Quotes From Day Three

Monique Robinson, Lincoln University (1st place, 3:56.96)
On their performance today:
“Awesome. We don’t rebuild, we reload.”

On Saturday’s weather conditions:
“It was perfect for running. The past couple meets we have had bad weather, but today we got to warm-up and everyone was sweating. We went out and gave it our all.”

Johnny Shupping, Cloud County (1st place, 3:21.88)
On their winning performance:
“It is a very nice race to run. It was very fast out there today.”

On coming from behind in the victory:
“I knew in the last 200 meters they were all going to fade. I was just trying to keep up with them and sprint by them at the finish. That is my secret weapon.”

Dan Killiard, Unattached (1st place, 49.59)
On their performance:
“I thought we ran ok. It would have been nice to have a little bit more competition pushing us.”

On Saturday’s weather:
“The weather helped us a lot. The warmer it is, the looser we can get.”

On competing in the Kansas Relays:
“The first time I competed was in 1967. As a team, this is our eighth year and we have now won seven in a row.”

Jenna Blubaugh, Nebraska (1st place, 13-1.50)
On performing at the Kansas Relays
“It’s awesome. It felt so good to be at home and to have all my family here to see me. I had my little fan section here today.”

On her performance
“You always want the higher bar but it will come. My outlook for the rest of the season is pretty high.”

On the weather conditions
“It was perfect. The KU Relays are known for rain and not sunny weather. This was amazing.”

Dace Ruskule, Nebraska (1st place, 186-11)
On her performance
“I felt good about it. That’s my second season-best so far. I have competed in only four meets. I’m satisfied, definitely. It was a good beginning for the year.”

On her goals for the rest of year
“I would like to hit the 200 mark. That is what I am aiming for.”

Mark Moore, Mid-America Nazarene (1st place, 7-00.50)
On winning the Kansas Relays
“It felt really good today. I came out here expecting to defend my title. So it feels good.”

On his performance at the Kansas Relays
“My performance today was actually real good. Coming out I got a season best and actually PRed.”

Outlook the rest of the season
“We have conference next week and then after that its off to nationals.”

Bowling Green (1st place, 9:34.28)
Angie Raizis
On their performance
“It felt really good. We fought really hard for it. We didn’t let anyone pass us. It was the greatest feeling ever.”

On the weather
“It was so hot my feet felt like they were on fire.”

Missouri Baptist (1st place, 7:43.22)
Titus Tirop
On his team’s performance
“It was nice. We were expecting a hot race and it wasn’t easy.”

Unattached (1st place, 13.53)
Rebecca Williams
On winning the race:
“It felt really good. I wish I would have ran a little faster, but there seemed to be a bit of a headwind so I’m okay with it.”

On her season goals:
“I am redshirting (for Iowa State University) so right now I’m just trying to get races in.”

Nike (1st place, 12.98)
Nichole Denby
On goals for the season:
“This is my opener. This is my first race of the year and it was my fastest time for an opener ever, so I’m definitely on track or ahead of myself. I was working on technique here. I did not care about the time, I just wanted to work on my technique. It was my goal to run under 13 seconds today. I was hoping that if my technique was right that I would have a good time. I’m happy because it was a good field.”

Lincoln University (1st place, 13.89)
Decosma Wright
On his performance:
“It wasn’t what I expected, it went faster than I thought. My hamstring was hurting me so my time was impressive even though I was hurt.”

Nike (1st place, 13.53)
Ladji Doucouré via translator
On his performance:
“He’s disappointed on his race. We’ve been training in Florida for weeks. He wanted to come here to come here and finally run a good race but it didn’t happen because he was surprised at the start of the race. The rules are different at NCAA and IAAF and he didn’t want to make a false start.”

HSI (1st place, 22.85)
Crystal Cox
On competitor Torri Edwards:
“She’s a phenomenal athlete. She had a fast start, but I’m here to win.

On competing in the 200 meters:
“I love the 200. A lot of people have labeled me as a 400 meter runner and I love the 400 because it pays the bills, but the 200 is my baby.”

On the crowd’s effect:
“It feels good. The crowd is great. I needed to take one back to North Carolina.

On the key to holding off Edwards:
“I came on strong at the end. Because I am a 400 meter runner, I have that endurance to hold off runners at the end.”

Nike (1st place, 20.48)
Leonard Scott
On competing in the Kansas Relays:
“We just expect to come out here and work. We came out here to get some conditioning in, hopefully it will carry over to our main event (100 meters).”

On competing in the 200:
“It’s a real good time. I don’t really do the 200. My coach has me doing a lot of 200s to help me. It gives me more endurance for the 400. It is about getting in the work and that carries over. The 200 is not really my race, but it helps me get prepared for the 100.”

On holding off Rodney Martin:
“I could see him dying out. I just stuck with what my coach told me to do and that is finish strong. I kicked at the right time so I think everything worked out well.”

On the crowd:
“The crowd was awesome. I could hear them yelling. That’s what we need in this sport, we need the fans to come out here and support us and bring track and field back to where it used to be.”

Missouri Baptist (1st place, 11.37)
Nickesha Anderson
On winning the Kansas relays:
“It was a big win. I did not get out of the blocks as I well as I would have liked. I am always confident and this victory only builds on that.”

On Saturday’s weather:
“The weather was just like home, Jamaica.”

On the crowd’s energy:
“I like this crowd. I wish there were more people, but they were great.”

Adidas (1st place, 11.04)
Allyson Felix
On the pace of the race:
“It was decent. The first half of the race was a bit sluggish, but I am happy with how it turned out for the day. It was my first individual 100 victory.”

On breaking the Kansas Relay’s record:
“It felt pretty cool. I was not really expecting it, but it was fun.”

On where she took the race over:
“I would say definitely in the middle of the race. I think they got out on me in the beginning which is kind of frustrating, but I am improving slowly.”

On where she is in our training:
“We have not really done that much speed work, so I am pleased.”

Kansas State (1st place, 2:09.81)
Morgan Bonds
On her thoughts on the race:
“It went well. You could feel a little bit of wind on the back stretch, but everyone was running fast around me which made for a good race.

On winning the Kansas Relays:
“It it definitely a step in the right direction. I would have like to run a little bit faster, but some days it is just not there. It still feels good to win. I will use this race to help build my confidence going forward.”

Nike (1st place, 1:47.58)
Kevin Hicks
On his expectations coming in:
“I never come into a race expecting to win because I know the best can lose on any given day. My motto when I get on the track is just to do my best every time I step foot on it.”

On setting a new Kansas Relays record:
“I think it is a great accomplishment especially considering the fact that this is my first time coming to Kansas and also my first time participating in the Relays. Also I was excited because this is my first open 800 race of the year.”

Unattached (1st place, 10.29)
Michael Rodgers
On his performance:
“I had a good start and I maintained my speed and went into my celebration stage. I won and I am happy.”

On the Kansas Relays:
“There’s a lot of energy here and it makes you run fast.”

Nike (2nd place, 10.28 )
Mardy Scales
On his performance:
“It was my first open 100 meter (of the season). I was satisfied because I just came to a new camp so I’m pretty satisfied.”

On the Kansas Relays:
“It was my first time. It was a pretty good race and a nice crowd gave me a lot of support.”

Kansas University (1st place, 45.73)
Crystal Manning
On the team’s performance:
“I think our times were good. Everybody worked up to their ability and God helped us through it. If it wasn’t for the crowd, our times would not have been as fast, and we may not have even won.”

Nebraska University (1st place. 40.35)
Michael Roper
On the team’s performance:
“It went pretty good and we ran 39.7 last week but we had our `B’ team out there today. So we ran pretty good. There was a guy closing on me but I felt the crowd go crazy so I knew I had to pick my knees up.”

On the Kansas Relays:
“It’s a great crowd. If you are going to run in a meet then the Kansas Relays are the way to go.”

Lincoln University (1st place, 58.10)
Carla Thomas
On the performance:
“I’m feeling good about my performance. I think I did well.”

Unattached (1st place, 51.53)
Maurice Bridges
On his performance:
“It is always a plus that I won. I have been to the Kansas Relays since I was a junior at Barton County Community College. We always have had bad weather here but the weather today was great.”

Nike (1st place, 48.34)
Bershawn “Batman” Jackson
On his performance:
“I thought it was great. It was a good season opener. I want to stay consistent and prove that I’m the best on the track.”

On the Kansas Relays:
“I love it here. I’ll be back here for years to come.”

Nike (1st place, 70-03.75)
Christian Cantwell
On his performance:
“I’m pretty happy with it. It’s my best opener for outdoor ever. So far I’m doing well injury-wise this year. I had knee surgery in September and it took me awhile to recover from that, but I think if I can stay healthy I’ll be ready to break a record here pretty soon.”

Uganda (1st place, 4:21.75)
Margaret Nakintu
On her performance:
“I’m happy with my performance today. I was not really expecting to win today because this is my first time to run with elite athletes but I’m happy because I know all my strength comes from the Lord.”

Cloud County CC (1st place, 3:53.67)
Johnny Shupping
On his performance:
“I was feeling good. I enjoyed it. The competition was tough but I hung in there and won it.”

Dickinson St. (1st place, 46.52)
Aaron Cleare
On his performance:
“I feel like I could have done better. I am happy I won, but it wasn’t my best time.”

Reebok (1st place, 45.77)
Mitch Potter
On his performance:
“Everything seems to be holding up. I’m not puking yet. I appreciate the opportunity to be here. I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t trying to win.”

Adidas, (1st place, 14-07.25)
April Steiner
On performing at the Kansas Relays:
“This meet is the best one I come to in the States. I love the runway and the crowd. We had perfect weather this year, and the wind was great today.”

On her performance:
“It was a good performance. I wish I would have taken a couple more takeoffs at 15 (feet), but overall it felt good.”

Lela Nelson (1st place, 20-09.25)
On performing at the Kansas Relays:
“It was a great experience. I’ve never been here before and I look forward to coming back next year.”

On her performance:
“I was satisfied. I was trying to redeem myself from the hurdles. It was not my PR, but it was a good jump for me.”

Cowley College, (1st place, 4:02.46)
Daniel Maina
On winning the mile run:
“It felt good running such a big mile like that.”

On the crowd:
“It was a big crowd. It was probably the biggest crowd I have ever ran in front of. They cheered me on to break my best personal time.”

On the weather:
“The weather was perfect. There was no wind.”

On repeating as Kansas Relays Champion:
“It felt good. I hope they invite me back next year to defend my two championships.”

Lincoln University (1st place, 52.64)
Davita Prendergast
On her performance:
“I think my performance was great. I’m disappointed that I didn’t run as well I had hoped.”

Nike (1st Place, 51.66)
Mary Danner
On the race:
“I wanted to go out there and be aggressive. I am glad to come home with the win. I thought on the start I could have gone out a little bit harder. I wanted to finish strong and that is what I did.

On competing at the Kansas Relays:
“This is my first time competing. I am so excited and I definitely want to come back next year. The crowd and the atmosphere got me really excited.”

Unattached, (5th place, 18-00.5)
Pat Manson
On current involvement in pole vaulting:
“I am currently working part-time coaching kids in pole vaulting.”

On his jumping over 18 feet for 22 years:
“I have to attribute most of my success with being blessed with good health. My body was just strung together right. As I get older my power curve decreases while my technical proficiency increases. The more I do it, the more I learn about pole vaulting. I have to get better at it because my power has decreased. Lord willing, next year I will be back.”

Sprint Capitol (1st place, 38.16)
Justin Gatlin
On confusion before race:
“They were playing duck, duck, goose with the lane assignments. Everybody switched around and then the caller called it wrong again and we had to move again. The audience was patient and we were patient.”

On finishing strong ahead of Maurice Green:
“I just tried to stay patient and finish strong. Maurice did a great job knocking two people off, but he is only human and I am only human and you can only do so much.”

On his team’s success:
“We work a lot on getting the stick around. We work on that a lot after practice, different drills and techniques so that we get the stick around as fast as possible so we can put on a good show for the people.”

Kansas (1st Place, 179-02)
Sheldon Battle
On his throws:
“It was an ok day place-wise, but I was a little disappointed with my distance. This is a stepping stone and look forward to Drake.”

On winning the Kansas Relays:
“It felt good to represent KU and win the Kansas Relays’ title.”

Lincoln University (1st place, 3:38.85)
Nikita McCreed
On the team’s performance:
“We just wanted to go out and do our best. We ran a 3:38 and that is pretty quick. Everybody just went out there and did their best which is pretty good. We felt kind of bad that we beat KU but that comes with the territory.”

Johnson County CC (1st place, 3:09.20)
Rufus Triggs
On the team’s performance:
“It was all heart. Our anchor leg got tripped up three times and still came on the straightaway strong for the victory. We have been wanting this for awhile.”

On running at the Kansas Relays:
“This is my first time being here and I love it. I love it.”

Records Broken On Day Three

– The men’s 4×100-meter relay Sprint Capitol team (Dwight Thomas, Rodney Martin, Shawn Crawford and Justin Gatlin) ran a time of 38.16, besting the previous record of 38.45 held by HSI (Allen Johnson, Ato Boldon, Dwight Howard and Maurice Greene). – Nike’s Christian Cantwell broke his own invitational shot put record, throwing a mark of 70-3 3/4. His previous record was 70-1 1/2. – Nike’s Bershawn Jackson broke his own record in the invitational 400-meter hurdles, running a time of 48.34. His previous record was 48.67. – Nike’s Mary Danner bested Suziann Reid’s record in the invitational 400-meter dash. Danner’s time of 51.66 beat Reid’s 52.95. -The men’s 800 meter run record was broken by Kevin Hicks of Nike, who ran the event in 1:47.58. The old record was 1:48.22, which was set in 2000 by Vitcors Lacis, who ran unattached. – Allyson Felix of Adidas set a new Kansas Relays’ record in the women’s 100 meter invitational dash, blistering the field with a time of 11.04. She broke the previous record of 11.10, which was set by Muna Lee of Nike in 2005. -The St. Louis High School boy’s 4×200-meter relay team broke the Kansas Relays record previously held by Ladue High School. Its time of 1:27.87 bettered the previous record of 1:42.33. – The girl’s Sunflower Showdown 4×100-meter relay team from Olathe East beat Blue Valley West’s previous record of 51.34. Olathe East finished in 50.72. – The girl’s 4×100-meter relay team from Grandview High School ran a 48.39, beating Ladue High School’s previous record of 48.43. – The boy’s Sunflower Showdown 4×100-meter relay team from Olathe South ran a time of 43.69, besting the same school’s previous record of 44.22. – The 4×100-meter relay team of St. Francis grade school ran a time of 52.34, beating St. Thomas Middle School’s previous best of 53.09.