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Wells and Williams continue comebacks at Kansas Relays - IAAF

Published by
Matt   on Apr 24 2011, 11:45 PM

Lawrence, USA – Kellie Wells and Lauryn Williams took another step forward in their comebacks in the 84th Kansas Relays at the University of Kansas Memorial Stadium on 20-23 April.

Wells won the women’s 100m Hurdles in a wind-aided 12.75 (+2.2 mps) after being sidelined with a torn hamstring suffered in the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials. Williams won the women’s 100m in a wind-assisted (+4.1) 11.10 after taking the 2010 season off for personal reasons.

Favorable winds at the 2.0 mps limit also pushed Ivory Williams to a win the 100m in 10.05 and Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell  in the women’s 200m in 22.95.

Beijing Olympic medalists Bershawn Jackson and Sheena Tosta preserved winds on the homestretch to win the men’s and women’s 400m Hurdles. Jackson won in 48.98 for his sixth career Kansas Relays victory despite hitting the third hurdle - an effort that he ranked a close second to his meet record of 48.32 of his most satisfying Kansas Relays performances.

Wells regaining form, continuing indoor momentum
 
Wells was in control from the start to win over Tiki James (13.06) and Celrice Law (13.06). Saturday’s performance followed a windy 12.35 effort in Gainesville, Fla. by Wells for the world’s fastest time since 2008 under any conditions.

Wells’ outdoor performances have followed an indoor campaign that included the two fastest yearly performances in the 60m hurdles of 7.79 and nine of the top 12 overall.

It’s a stark contrast to 2009 when Wells,  28, was recovering from a torn hamstring on her right lead leg after crossing the finish line of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials semifinal in a career-best 12.58.

In lieu of surgery, Wells went to Dusseldorf, Germany, for platelet-rich plasma therapy, which involves injecting portions of a patient’s blood into the affected area. Wells ran 13.01 in 2009 and 12.84 last season at about “75-80 percent.”

“The hurdles seemed like 10-feet fall and 50 feet long. I just couldn’t get to the next one. I couldn’t execute properly,” Wells said. “Lifting to go over a hurdle was difficult. Sprinting hurt. Everything hurt.”

Wells estimates that she is running at about 90 percent of her capabilities but her confidence is at an all-time high.

“I tell my body to go and it just goes. I have no hesitation and no fear,” Wells said. “I think I am getting older and more mature. Hurdles are so much about confidence. If you think you can win, you can do it.”

Williams feeling 'refreshed'

The women’s 100m was a trial run for Williams, who took the 2010 campaign off for a break from athletics.

During her hiatus, Williams, 27, said she skied, sky dived, played flag football and got a job working at her alma mater at the University of Miami working in the athletic department.

“You name it, I pretty much did it. I enjoyed it. I don’t regret a moment of it,” Williams said. “People say you can only do this for so long so take advantage of the short window of time that you are able to do track and field. But I really feel refreshed.”

Williams ran a world-leading 22.65 at the Hurricane Invitational at the University of Miami on 16 Apr but the 2005 World 100m champion was still apprehensive about running the 100m in her first appearance at the Kansas Relays.
 
Armstrong wins inaugural street Shot Put
 
Canada’s Dylan Armstrong kicked off the opening day of the meet on Wednesday (20 Apr) by winning the Shot Put in a makeshift ring in an exhibition in downtown Lawrence. Armstrong threw 21.52m for the No. 2 mark in the World this season.

World leader Reese Hoffa was second at 21.12m. Adam Nelson was third at 20.86m. Corey Martin was fourth (20.72) and 2011 USA Indoor Champion Ryan Whiting was fifth (20.70m).

In other events, Jordan Boase was a surprise winner in the 200m in a wind-aided 20.72 (+3.0 mps) after overtaking Antigua’s Brendan Christian (20.87) and Darvis Patton (20.90) with a late surge.

Kirby Lee for the IAAF
 
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