Mondo Clears 2nd Highest Height in NCAA Outdoor History

by Aaron Hyder
LSU Invitational - Final Results +0
Mondo Clears 2nd Highest Height in NCAA Outdoor History

Baton Rouge, La. – Nineteen feet, five a three quarters of an inch. That’s the height that freshman sensation Mondo Duplantis cleared on Saturday afternoon in the pole vault at the LSU Invitational to etch his name in the LSU and NCAA record books.

Final Results | Final Results (PDF)

The clearance of 19′ 5.75” (5.94m) is the second-best clearance of his career only falling short of his personal best of 19′ 10.25” (6.05m) that earned him a European title in the summer of 2018. The mark of 19′ 5.75” is, get ready for it, an LSU school record, facility record, a 2019 world lead, and the second-best mark in NCAA outdoor history. Interestingly enough, he broke his own facility record in the event after he cleared 19′ 5.50” at the 2018 LHSAA State Championships a year ago for Lafayette High School at the Bernie Moore Track Stadium. Duplantis leapfrogged his dad, Greg (18′ 5.25”/1986), and Russ Buller (18′ 8.75”/2000) on the LSU top-10 list for the school record.

On the NCAA all-time outdoor list, Duplantis only trails Tennessee’s Lawrence Johnson, who cleared 5.98 meters (19′ 7.50”) back in 1996. Duplantis wound up taking three attempts at the collegiate record with a bar of 19′ 8.50” (6.01 meters). Duplantis’ world lead for 2019 is three and a half inches better than Chris Nilsen (South Dakota State), who cleared 19′ 2.25” on Saturday as well at the Drake Relays. Duplantis knocked off the 2017 NCAA outdoor champion in the pole vault, Matt Ludwig of Akron, who provided some stout competition.

“It felt good to redeem myself today with some quality jumps,” Duplantis said after his thrilling performance. “Took some good attempts at the collegiate record as well. Now, it’s time to shift the focus to the postseason meets.”

Fellow freshman sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson had herself a day as well. The native of Dallas, Texas, anchored the LSU women to gold in the 4×100 meter relay, and she won the individual 100 and 200 meter dash races. Her day got started at 12:30 p.m. as she served as the anchor leg of the 4×100 meter relay. Richardson got the stick about five meters behind Alabama and Ole Miss, but in unsurprising fashion, she chased down the leaders and helped LSU win with a time of 43.75. Tonea Marshall, Ariyonna Augustine and Rachel Misher served as the first three legs of the relay. Richardson’s day was just getting started and she returned to the track at 1:20 p.m. for the 100 meter dash. In the 100, she ran a season best NCAA-legal time of 11.06 to win the race and take over the No. 2 spot in the NCAA standings, but she wasn’t done quite yet. She returned to the track for her finale, the 200 meter dash, at 1:50 p.m. and clocked a personal best of 22.78 to win her third race of the day and claim the fourth-fastest time in the NCAA.

The men’s 100 meter dash trio of Kary Vincent Jr., Jaron Flournoy and Akanni Hislop had a solid showing on the straightaway. Vincent Jr., who plays football at LSU as well, was running his first 100 meter dash individual race since 2017, when he was a senior at Port Arthur Memorial High School in Texas. All he did on Saturday was come out and run a wind-aided 10.07 (+.2.6) to take the top spot and rank fifth in the NCAA in the event. Flournoy checked in a second behind Vincent Jr. with a  10.17, and Hislop rounded out the podium finish with his 10.19 for third.

A pair of women’s hurdlers, Tonea Marshall and Jurnee Woodward, clocked the second fastest readouts in the nation in their event. Marshall, one week after running a career best of 12.81 seconds in the 100 meter hurdles, followed up that historic performance by lowering her all-conditions personal best to 12.74 for her gold medal. Woodward circled the track in the 400 meter hurdles with a career best readout of 56.82 to write herself into the LSU record book in the No. 10 slot and win her race. Brittley Humphrey ran both the 100 and 400 meter hurdles. The junior from Hoover, Ala., used a career best of 57.30 in the 400 meter hurdles to rank fourth in the NCAA and win the race, and her time of 13.13 in the 100 meter hurdles earned her bronze.

Tyler Terry clocked a season best in the 400 meters for the second straight week to claim gold. Terry circled the track once in 45.84 seconds for the top spot and the ninth-fastest readout in the NCAA. Jake Norris won the hammer throw with a season’s best of 70.06 meters (229′ 10”) to rank 11th in the NCAA. Amy  Stelly registered a career-best clearance of 12′ 8” in the pole vault to move into No. 4 on the LSU all-time list; she placed third in the event.

LSU had seven other individual winners and two additional relay wins to close out the meet. Arthur Price won the 110 meter hurdles with a time of 13.85, Amber Desselle (19:02.14) won the 5,000 meter run, Ersula Farrow clocked a season best of 4:22.99 to win the 1,500 meter run, Hollie Parker won the 800 meter run with a readout of 2:10.03, Eric Coston (1:52.09) won the men’s 800 meter race, Christian Boyd captured the title in the 400 meter hurdles (53.17), and Christian Miller closed out the meet with gold in the triple jump with a wind-aided leap of 52′ 6.50”. The men’s 4×100 meter relay of Vincent Jr., Akanni Hislop, Correion Mosby, and Jaron Flournoy won the race with a time of 39.04. The men’s 4×400 meter relay – Christian Boyd, Raymond Kibet, Dorian Camel, Tyler Terry – closed out the meet with a time of 3:08.28 for gold.