Nigerian Blessing Okagbare, competing for the University of Texas at El Paso, served notice that she is ready for a big 2010 at the Texas A&M Challenge on Saturday.
The 2008 Olympic Long Jump bronze medallist began her short-but-sweet dayâ€™s work by leading the qualifiers in the womenâ€™s 60m dash in 7.24, just 0.02 off her PB. Then she won the Long Jump with only two pops â€“ 6.65m and 6.70m, an indoor PB which puts her fourth on the year list. Returning to the track, she won the 60m final by a metre in 7.25 despite a less-than-perfect start â€“ all that with 25-30 seconds of maximum effort.
Both 200s produced top-10 performances by Texas A&M athletes. Curtis Mitchell won the menâ€™s 200in 20.80, (a time bettered this year only by his earlier 20.69), with Grenadaâ€™s Kirani James, running for Alabama, second in 20.95.
Jeneba Tarmoh won the womenâ€™s 200 impressively in 23.37; second in 23.47 while winning another section was Kalyn Floyd, daughter of Stanley Floyd, the USâ€™ top 100m man in the boycott year of 1980, and Delisa Walton-Floyd, fifth in the 1988 Olympic 800m.
Another A&M long sprinter â€“ Tabarie Henry of the U.S. Virgin Islands, won the menâ€™s 400 in a good 46.14. Other good performances were also turned in by Phoebe Wright of the University of Tennessee, who won the womenâ€™s 800m in a bold front-running 2:02.84, and Texas A&Mâ€™s 3:35.00 victory, achieved largely thanks to a 51.52 anchor leg by Jessica Beard.