Mario Burke (left) and Jonathan Jones. (FILE)
Barbadian Mario Burke blazed to his first legal sub-10 clocking as he hunts a sprint double at the NCCA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Austin, Texas, and Jonathan Jones also qualified for the 400 metres final.
Burke, a senior at the University of Houston, clocked 9.98 seconds to win heat two with a legal wind of 1.3 metres per second. The two men ahead of him, Texas Tech’s Divine Oduduru and Florida’s Hakim Sani Browne, were split by the photo finish after both clocked a wind-aided 9.96 seconds (2.4).
Heat one, which came back in 10.01 seconds, was also wind-aided.
This is Burke’s second sub-10. He also did a wind-aided 9.95 (3.2) at conference finals, and broke into a big smile when the time flashed on the screen.
In the 200 metres, Burke did a personal best 20.08 seconds (0.7), second only to defending champion Oduduru (19.97) and with the same time as Joseph Amoah of Coppin State, just at the legal limit of 2 metres per second.
Meanwhile, Jones holds the distinction of being the only freshman in the finals of the 400 metres. Fresh off breaking Elvis Forde’s 34-year-old record with a personal best 45.02, the University of Texas student had plenty left in the tank with 45.53 seconds, sixth overall. If he can duplicate his record-breaking run, or improve on it, he could also be in line for a podium spot.
Burke’s schoolmate Kahmari Montgomery leads all comers with 44.80 in the event.
The other Barbadians at the NCAAs did not reach the finals.
Michael Nicholls of Georgia did a personal best 13.61 seconds in the men’s 110 metres hurdles to finish tenth overall and University of Kentucky’s Tai Browne was 13th overall with 13.71.
Both Burke and Jones are scheduled to run the finals on Friday. (SAT)