ANCHORMAN: Texas A&M's Deon Lendore, left, gets the baton from Bralon Taplin, and Florida's Armon Hall, front right, gets the baton from Dedric Dukes, during the men's 4X400-metres relay, at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, on Saturday, in Eugene, Oregon, USA. Lendore, his fellow-Trinidad and Tobago quartermiler Carlylel Roudette, Aldrich Bailey and Taplin combined for gold in two minutes, 59.60 seconds. Photo: AP

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RELAY GOLD

NCAA 4x4 honours for Lendore, Roudette

By Kwame Laurence kwame.laurence@trinidadexpress.com

Trinidad and Tobago quartermilers, Deon Lendore and Carlyle Roudette teamed up with American Aldrich Bailey and Grenadian Bralon Taplin for gold in the men’s 4x400 metres relay, on the final day of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Outdoor Track & Field Championships, in Eugene, Oregon, USA, on Saturday.

Roudette split 44.7 seconds on the second leg, while Lendore anchored in 44.11 as Texas A&M University won in two minutes, 59.60 seconds, missing out on the American collegiate record by just one-hundredth of a second. University of Florida clocked 3:00.42 to finish second, ahead of Louisiana State University (LSU) in 3:01.60.

“It was an amazing experience and I’m happy to be here as a senior,” Roudette said, in an interview on the Texas A&M website, www.aggieathletics.com. “It was an amazing run, I couldn’t ask for a better way to go out. I just wanted to put my team in a good position to win. I was able to come back on Florida and close the gap so we could make it a close run for Deon on the anchor.”

Lendore, the individual 400m champion, said the collegiate record was a team goal.

“Going into the race we had a lot of hope for each other especially after the time we ran in the semifinal (3:00.76). We knew there was a chance we could break the collegiate record. We came so close, but we missed it this time. Hopefully next year or in the near future we will get the record.”

Earlier on Saturday, Lendore anchored Texas A&M to silver in the men’s 4x100m in 38.84 seconds. He outleaned another T&T athlete at the line, Shermund Allsop and his LSU teammates taking bronze in 38.85. Florida (38.73) grabbed gold.

T&T’s Janeil Bellille was part of the Texas A&M team that secured silver in the women’s 4x400m in 3:25.63. University of Texas won in a meet record time of 3:24.21, while third spot went to University of Oregon (3:29.03).

“I’m really blessed and happy to be part of an amazing team,” Bellille said. “Today meant a lot to the team, so I came out and put my best foot forward in the relay.”

Texas A&M captured the women’s team title with 75 points. Texas (66) and Oregon (59) were second and third, respectively.

In the men’s team competition, Texas A&M finished third with 41.5 points. Oregon (88) captured the title, while Florida (70) secured the runner-up spot. LSU (29 points), Steve Waithe’s Pennsylvania State University (5) and Durell Busby’s University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (2) were fourth, 44th and 64th, respectively.

On Saturday, Waithe finished fifth in the men’s triple jump with a 16.14m effort—a new personal best.
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