Sunday, 16 April 2017


Trackspeed1-UK sprinters enjoyed a spectacular opening to their competitive 2017 summer season with several lifetime best marks shattered in a meeting in Clermont, Florida.
Brandon Murray(right) is all smiles as he reflects
on his fastest ever 100m at Clermont, Florida
Nearly all the performances at the meet, held at their training base at the National Triathlon Training Centre, were assisted by a strong breeze but, even ignoring that, several times were well within previous personal bests.

Arguably the leading performance of the day was 19-year-old Brandon Murray.  Having joined the squad 2 years ago with a lifetime's fastest 100 metres of 11.37, he lowered that in 2016 to 11.16, but at Clermont sent that into oblivion with a 10.71 second sprint aided by one of the only legal tail winds of the day measured at 2.0m/s.

It was of course mixed with an element of luck that the wind gauge stopped on the absolute limit for legal times, but it was a performance that easily outshone any other in the 19-year-old South London Harrier's 4-year track career.

It was a close call for the top squad performer of the day though, with Niclas Baker tearing up the home straight to record a sensational 20.89s 200m run, albeit assisted by a mini-gale recorded at 5.9m/s.  It still easily outshone his previous 21.61 best, and was assessed by coach John Powell as potentially faster:
Niclas  Baker on his way to a sensational sub-21-second 200m,
annihilating his previous lifetime best for the distance!
"Nic didn't really get hold of the bend, and only switched on the after-burners in the straight.  It was a very classy run despite the wind, especially as he had run a 48.81 400 meters 3 hours or so earlier," he explained.
It's real!  Confirmation of Nic's super 200m run!
Another Trackspeed1-UK athlete in the form of his life was Cameron Starr, who clocked 10.71s for the 100m aided by a 3.6m/s tail wind - the second fastest time of his life behind his best 10.70, but in the 200m he timed 21.69s to win his heat despite nearly falling 10 strides into the race.  His heat winning time destroyed his previous best of 22.08s, and was another run that was easily inside his best with or without the wind.

Rhys Francis, 18, from Cambridge Harriers, began the day with a 11.14s personal best, but was blown to 10.98s at Clermont with a 4.1m/s tail wind.  In the 200m his form was even better with a 22.92s run, dispelling his previous best 23.59s with a 4.2m/s tail wind.  His 200m was surrounded in controversy though as he finished 2 metres ahead of second place in his race, yet was recorded at the same time as second place.  With the backside clock stopping at 22.8 it is likely his mark was in reality yet faster!
Rhys Francis on his way to a lifetime best 200m
Shaftesbury Barnet Harrier Jerome Lule was knocked for six when news reached him of the tragic passing of his grandmother after arriving in the US, making all the more creditable his focus in training, and eventual personal best 200m at Clermont.

Jerome timed 22.96 with a 3.7m/s tail wind, having started the day with a 23.17s best mark.  John Powell commented:

"Jerome didn't take the news well, but has knuckled down in training to produce some excellent sessions.  Wind or no wind he is clearly in the form of his life, and will doubtless do his Grand Mother proud this summer.
Jerome Lule set a wind-assisted best ever 200m
"Overall I was delighted with everyone's showing at Clermont though.  It was a pity the wind confused results a little, but there is always a bit of pressure around an athlete's opening race.  It has been another long winter and everyone is always anxious to see where they are at on day one."

Trackspeed1-UK return to the same track this week to continue their training programme, with the next competition scheduled for Friday 28th April in Gainesville for the elite Tim Jones Memorial meet.  At least five athletes will compete on a traditionally fast track, with another week of training to follow before the group return to the UK.
Cameron Starr (red shirt) was in the form of his life at Clermont 

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