Athletics News

SEC Men — Record Relays Shine, Hibbert Flies

SEC Men — Record Relays Shine, Hibbert Flies

Setting off a flurry of recordbreaking on the SEC’s last day, LSU and Florida ran under the Gators’ previous CR. (BRYAN WAYNE)

BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA, May 11-13 — With outstanding individual performances almost everywhere, the opening and closing relay events on the final day of the SEC provided mind-boggling bookends on the track. The collegiate 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 records were broken by two teams in each race.

LSU and Florida went neck-and-neck in the 4×1 as two collegiate squads broke 38 seconds for the first time. Both dipped under Florida’s CR of 37.97 from ’19 — LSU at 37.90 just holding off Florida’s 37.93.

The two rivals matched crisp passing at every station. LSU in lane 6 opened with Brandon Hicklin and Florida with Ryan Willie in lane 7. The margin was too close to call. Down the backstretch Dorian Camel (LSU) and Jacory Patterson (Florida) both were solid and passed well to Da’Marcus Fleming (LSU) and PJ Austin (Florida).

The Tigers had a slight edge, and Godson Oghenebrume held off the Gators’ Robert Gregory for the final margin of 0.03.

“This is what we work for,” Fleming said. “All year we’ve just been getting the stick around the track and getting faster and faster every week, so it feels good to have that number up there right now. Brandon always catches the guy in front of him, Dorian just gets the stick and opens it up, I put at least 2 more meters ahead, and Godson closes it and brings it home.”

The closing 4×4 was also historical as 3 collegiate programs ran sub-3:00 for just the second time, matching the Texas Relays earlier in the spring with SEC squads Georgia and Alabama carrying batons ahead of UCLA.

Here, Alabama and Georgia were 1–2 after the first two legs, with Chris Robinson and Khaleb McRae carrying for the Crimson Tide (1:29.59) and Elija Godwin and Matthew Boling for the Bulldogs (1:29.98). Florida was 3rd at 1:30.47 with JeVaughn Powell and Emmanuel Bamidele running the opening legs.

Bama held the lead with a 44.17 carry from Tarsis Orogot, but Florida moved into 2nd after a 43.98 leg from Patterson and Georgia dropped to 3rd. Willie took control for Florida with a blazing 43.32 anchor as Cordele Long closed in 44.26 for Alabama.

The final times of 2:57.76 and 2:58.01 both surpassed the 2:58.53 CR that Florida set in April at the Tom Jones Memorial. Georgia’s 2:59.63 put them 3rd.

Another CR came in between the relays, with precocious Arkansas frosh Jaydon Hibbert bounding an…

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