In a meet loaded with established sprint stars from Florida and Texas, and with two Dream Mile tickets to New York on the line, it was a unheralded senior from Georgia in his first out-of-state big meet that stole the show at the 36th Golden South Classic in Orlando.
Coffee County senior Tyreek Hill shocked the prep track world in the 200 with a mind-boggling 20.14. Riding a legal 1.8 wind, Hill became the second faster half-lapper in history, missing Roy Martin’s 1985 USR by just .01. It was pretty heady stuff for someone who came into the meet with just a 20.94 PR.
Even more amazing is the fact that even if Hill hadn’t started the 200, his day had already been a smashing success. In the 100, he began the day with a US#1 10.19 that was shocking by itself. It lowered his wind-legal PR of 10.44 (he also carried a 10.32 nwi coming in). Then in the 200 prelim, he led qualifiers again with a US#1 20.45.
In the 100 final, however, he was defeated by defending Golden South champ Lavonte Whitfield, 10.38 to 10.45. Still not bad at all, but some might have thought that Hill had used up the gas tank for the night. Not so, as in the furlong he nearly made history.
Hill has signed with Garden City Community College in Kansas for football.
Florida speedsters Marvin Bracy, Shayla Sanders, Robin Reynolds, Whitfield, and Texan Aldrich Bailey all had tremendous credentials coming in, but no one could match Hill’s fireworks. Bracy, recovering from injury suffered in his state meet, scratched. Sanders had a strong 11.40/23.44 double, but her US#1s held previously are still in place. US#1 400 stars Reynolds and Bailey both won with fast times, but again, neither set a PR. Whitfield, of course, could claim to beat Hill after he ran the fast prelim, but didn’t top his own 10.31 personal best in the process.
Meanwhile, Chiles sr Lily Williams ripped the field in the Dream Mile qualifier with a PR US#3 4:46.15 PR that was more than enough to earn an auto berth to New York. Colonial jr Andres Arroyo, however, will have to wait and see after a US#13 4:11.70 that was 1.70 short of the automatic standard.