DES MOINES, Iowa – Harry Adams set a school record with a time of 9.96 in the 100 meters and the Auburn men’s 4x100m relay team posted the second-best time in school history at 38.53 seconds on the first day of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Drake Stadium.
Harry Adams crosses the finish line ahead of teammate Marcus Rowland
“(Adams’ performance) is real impressive especially on this platform," Auburn coach Ralph Spry said. "To put a time together like that at the NCAA Championships is very impressive. I knew he had the ability to do it. It was a matter of him lining up at the right time and doing it.”
Adams, who had the top time on the day, recorded only the second wind legal sub-10 second mark in Auburn history as he eclipsed Coby Miller’s previous school record of 9.98 seconds from 2000. The mark is the sixth-fastest in the world in 2012 and the top mark by a collegian. He is the only collegiate runner to record a wind-legal time below 10 seconds this year.
“I wasn’t going out there for the record,” Adams said. “I was going out there to make the finals, to win. I ran a good race. God blessed me. I stayed with my technique and ran tall through the line. I just won the race. I didn’t expect the nine, but I thank God for it.”
The time by the junior from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. is the third-fastest ever run at the NCAA Championships and ties for the fourth-best in NCAA history.
Joining Adams in the finals of the 100 meters will be teammate Marcus Rowland. The South Carolina native recorded his fastest time in the event since 2010 with a 10.09, setting a new wind-legal collegiate best and tying Keenan Brock for fifth in Auburn history.
Rowland finished in sixth overall on Wednesday, while Brock was 12th overall with a mark of 10.18 seconds. Brock’s mark is the fastest at the NCAA meet that did not qualify for the finals.
Kai Selvon will make her first career appearance in the 100 meter finals at the NCAA championships after posting the sixth-fastest time in the semifinals with her mark of 11.21 seconds, a new PR. Her time is the fastest for Auburn since 2010. Selvon improved by 15 spots after entering the event seeded 21st.
The Tigers will be the top seed in Saturday’s 4x100m finals thanks to a blistering semifinal mark of 38.53 seconds. Auburn used the combination of Jeremy Hardy, Harry Adams, Marcus Rowland and Keenan Brock for the first time this year and recorded the second-fastest mark in school history behind only the 38.30 nation-leading time from earlier this season that included Michael DeHaven.
“(The 4x100m performance) was big from a confidence standpoint,” Spry said. “It was the first time we’ve ran with that order so had to make sure we made it through (to finals).”
The mark ranks as the 10th-best in the world this year and is the sixth-fastest performance by a school in NCAA Outdoor Championships history. It gives Auburn the top two collegiate times in 2012.
Auburn’s women missed a spot in the 4x100m finals by the slimmest of margins. Anchor leg V’alonee Robinson held the lead with less than 30 meters remaining, but ran out of gas as the Tigers finished in third with a mark of 44.01 seconds.
That time placed Auburn in ninth overall, just .02 behind eighth-place Texas Tech (43.99) and just one slot out of the finals.
Sophomore Stephen Saenz got his week of competition started with the discus on Wednesday afternoon. The likely Mexican Olympian in the shot put entered the discus throw seeded 21st and finished the event in that spot. He registered a long throw of 173-0 (52.75m) on his first attempt to place 21st.
In the women’s 400 meters, CeCe Williams finished her heat in fourth after crossing the finish in 52.63 seconds. She finished in 12th overall.
Thursday is a light day on the track for Auburn. The Tigers will have four competitors combined in the men’s and women’s 200 meters. The events are scheduled for 5:30 and 5:45 p.m. CDT.