COLLEGE STATION, Texas – For the first time in her collegiate career, be it cross country, indoor or outdoor track, University of Colorado junior Jenny Barringer finally beat Texas Tech’s Sally Kipyego at the Big 12 Indoor Track and Field Championships here Saturday, and did it in record-setting fashion.
Barringer won the mile in a time of 4 minutes, 25.91 seconds, which is the fastest recorded in the world this indoor season. The previous best time was run by Lindsey Gallo (Team USA) at 4:27.90 on Feb. 7.
The time was a collegiate record, as well as a Big 12 Conference, Gilliam Track & Field Stadium and CU record. The former collegiate best mark was 4:28.31, run by Vicki Huber (Villanova) on Feb. 5, 1988. Sara Vaughn had previously held the CU record at 4:40.02, which she set almost a year ago.
“This is a new level and I have definitely taken a huge step,” Barringer said. “To think that I can step out onto a track and run 4:25 with little help is still coming to me.”
“She ran those splits for a reason today,” CU head coach Mark Wetmore said. “The fact that Sally was in the race complicated it some because Sally is a formidable opponent and Jenny had never beaten her before. But she executed the plan excellently and it was a beautiful race in the literal sense of the word. So many people came up to me afterwards, seasoned people who have seen a lot of track meets, and said just that. We are thrilled with it and she will enjoy it for another day before we get back to work.”
From the gun, Barringer got up to the lead and got comfortable as she would lead for the entire race. Kipyego wouldn’t be that far behind but the two of them quickly distanced themselves from the rest of the field. They both ran the first 800 meters in 2:15 while the rest of the field was running below 2:17. With 100 meters to go in the race, Barringer kicked it into high and finished just over a second ahead of Kipyego (4:27.19).
“I knew what she (Sally) had run in the mile earlier this season and I knew what I wanted to run today,” Barringer said. “I knew that I was likely going to be leading the majority if not all of the race. Sally is a tough competitor and she goes with people who go. Even with four or three laps to go I was ready for her.”
The crown is the first indoor title for the 2008 Olympian. Barringer has one from the 2007 outdoor championship in the steeplechase. She was the only Buff to win an individual title at the meet.
“A Big 12 title is such a big deal to me,” Barringer explained. “I think it is such a tribute to the Big 12 that I am an Olympian and I only have two titles. This is a very special and very treasured thing that I have achieved.”
Barringer had been registered to run in the 3k on Saturday as well, but did not run after her amazing victory in the mile for medical reasons.
“Obviously she would have done well in there and either she or Sally would have won the race, which would have been eight or 10 more points for the team,” Wetmore said. “But she is right at the end of a case of bronchitis which has been a season killer for her in the past. Coach (Heather) Burroughs and I took a deep breath and said that we need to get her 100% healthy for NCAAs. She has a long way to go and may have nine or 10 more months to go.”
Barringer has only run in three races this season and all three times have been CU records. (She is the current CU record holder in the mile, 3k and 5k as well as the 3,000-meter steeplechase outdoors.) Two of those races, the 5k and mile, have resulted in collegiate records.
“I have a ridiculous range and this is going to make the decision for nationals very tough,” Barringer said. “I think the decision will hinge on where we think I can have the most success and run the best.”
Barringer’s marks are all automatic times for the NCAA Championship in two weeks and Wetmore says she will more than likely run the 3k due to her strength in the 3,000-meter steeplechase during the outdoor season.
On the men’s side, senior Jeremy Dodson had a great day for the Buffs as he recorded 14 points for the team score.
“I don’t want to be the high scorer, but I guess I did my part as a senior since I added 14 points,” Dodson said.
Dodson raced to a fourth place finish in the 60-meter dash to start the day. He finished in 6.84 seconds, an identical time from the semi finals. Baylor’s Trey Harts won the race in 6.74. In the 200, Dodson won the first heat in 20.95 but took second overall as Harts won the second heat in 20.79.
“The 60 surprised me, but I guess consistency pays since I ran the same time as prelims and everyone ran slower,” Dodson said. “In the 200 I wish I could have gone head-to-head with the winner, but I will take second place. This was a solid weekend and now it is time to focus on nationals.”
Wetmore was also pleased with the performances from Dodson on Saturday.
“Neither Jeremy nor Coach Couts are ever effusive with their excitement after an event but he outran the form chart in the 60 and equaled it in the 200,” Wetmore said. “They were fast times and in head-to-head competition where it matters the most is impressive. Jeremy did a wonderful job and scored almost all of the points for the men’s team.”
Both the men’s and the women’s teams placed 12th in the team competition. The men recorded 16 total points and the women collected 11. The Texas men won the championship with 115 points while the Texas A&M women totaled 130.
“We are not happy with these final team standings, but we know this is a young group and particularly on the men’s side there are a handful of points sitting home in some distance runners who are getting healthy this season and field event guys (javelin) sitting at home,” Wetmore said. “We know we are better than this. The people who came here all did good work and we are looking towards the future.”
2009 BIG 12 INDOOR TRACK AND FIELD CHAMPIONSHIP
College Station, Texas (Gilliam Track & Field Stadium at the McFerrin Athletic Center)
Women’s Team Scores
1. Texas A&M, 130; 2. Texas Tech, 103.50; 3. Nebraska, 96.50; 4. Baylor, 86; 5. Texas, 83.50; 6. Oklahoma, 65; 7. Missouri, 52; 7. Kansas State, 52; 9. Kansas, 25.50; 10. Oklahoma State, 18; 11. Iowa State, 17; 12. Colorado, 11.
Men’s Team Scores
1. Texas, 115; 2. Nebraska, 102.50; 3. Texas A&M, 84; 4. Baylor, 71; 5. Oklahoma, 66; 6. Texas Tech, 62; 7. Missouri, 56; 8. Oklahoma State, 51; 9. Iowa State, 49; 10. Kansas State, 35; 11. Kansas, 32.50; 12. Colorado, 16.
Points: 13. Adam Salzmann, 5,001; 14. Alex Von Hagen, 4,967
60-Meters Hurdles: Salzmann, 8.66; Von Hagen, 9.09
Pole Vault: Von Hagen, 14-03.25; Salzmann, 13-07.25
1,000-Meters: Salzmann, 2:37.85; Von Hagen, 2:43.78
Field Events (CU Athletes Only)
Men’s Shot Put: 13. Ryan Miller, 44-05.50
Women’s Shot Put: 19. Kaity Kark, 41-01.50
Women’s High Jump: 11. Alyssa Frank, 5-06
Track Events (CU Athletes Only)
Men’s 60-Meters: 4. Jeremy Dodson, 6.84;
Men’s 200-Meters: 2. Jeremy Dodson, 20.95; 8. Ryan Campbell, 21.50
Women’s Mile: 1. Jenny Barringer, 4:25.91
Women’s 3,000-Meters: 17. Emma Coburn, 9:48.89; 22. Emily Hanenburg, 9:59.63; 25. Kaylen Slack, 10:00.44; 34. Allison Sawyer, 10:18.50
Men’s 3,000-Meters: 14. Kenyon Neuman, 8:18.35; 15. Christian Thompson, 8:18.60; 23. Aric Van Halen, 8:23.83; 24. Jordan Kyle, 8:23.96; 25. Andy Wacker, 8:24.42; 34. Dan Edwards, 8:29.04; 42. Jonny Stevens, 8:37.50;
Women’s 4x400 Relay: 9. Toi Windham, Joi Windham, Veronica Maul, Dyamond Seay, 3:49.56
Men’s 4x400 Relay: Quinton Dodson, Ryan Campbell, Matthew McCathran, Adrian Gomez, DQ