Divine Oduduru runs world lead in 100m, then runs second-fastest 200m in collegiate history.
WACO, Texas – Those in attendance at the Michael Johnson Invitational in Waco Saturday may have witnessed one of the greatest hours by a student-athlete in collegiate track and field history. They undoubtedly witnessed the greatest one-day performance by a track and field athlete in Texas Tech history.
“It was the most impressive thing I’ve seen as a coach,” said Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Wes Kittley.
What led Kittley, who has coached collegiate track and field for over three decades, to make such a statement was the hour during which Divine Oduduru took commanding world leads in both the 100m and 200m.
Hoping to land a top seed at next month’s NCAA West Preliminary and improve upon his nationally sixth-ranked time, Oduduru became the first Red Raider to ever run a sub-10 100m. The Nigerian sprinter crossed in 9.94 seconds to take over as the U.S. and world leader.
Oduduru did something even more historic not 45 minutes later. The defending outdoor and indoor 200m national champion set his blocks for his first 200m of the 2019 season. Lined up against some of the Big 12’s and nation’s best, he ran a blistering 19.76 – the second-fastest time ever run by a collegiate athlete.
Oduduru is the ninth Nigerian to ever run sub-10 in the 100m, and the second to go sub-20 in the 200m.
“I worked for this,” Oduduru said. “My coaches have always been telling me that I have to get into the moment where I can feel everything. I want to say thank you to Coach [Calvin] Robinson for getting me to this point in my life and my career. We have a great team, and I want to say thank you to everyone for their love and support.”
Just 122 sprinters in history have broken the 10-second barrier in the 100m, and only 72 sprinters have gone sub-20 in the 200m. To do both within an hour is unprecedented. Oduduru, though, says it is simply the result of Robinson’s training regimen.
“It’s something we do in practice,” Oduduru said. “We run, time the rest, then come back and run another race. He [Robinson] said to just run it the way I do in practice.”
“Run, rest and run again,” Robinson said. “It’s exactly what we do in practice. We came here with the mentality of getting work in and we got it done.”
Not to be overlooked at all was who was right on Oduduru’s heels in both races: Andrew Hudson. The senior ran a personal best of 10.13 in the 100m to land himself fifth in the Tech record books and sixth in the nation this year. Then, 45 minutes later, he ran an outdoor PR of 20.41 in the 200m – the seventh-fastest time in Tech history.
“AJ had a heck of a day,” Robinson said of his senior. “We’ve spent the last few weeks since Texas A&M working on some things. He had a great last four or five days of practice and this was the outcome.”
Also on the track came a nation-leading 400m hurdles time from Norman Grimes, who ran a 49.75 to land himself atop the national leaderboard and inside the top-10 of the world ranks. It was the eighth-fastest time in program history.
Odaine Lewis returned to action for the first time this outdoor season Saturday, and did so in standout fashion. The senior recorded a 54′-2.75″ (16.53m) in his second attempt of the spring, which springboarded him into second in the country. The mark was also the fifth-farthest in program history. Lewis’ potential points contribution for the Red Raiders is vital, making Saturday’s debut mark a huge positive for Tech’s jumps team.
The high jump was yet another event that yielded great results for the Red Raiders. Zarriea Willis, the defending NCAA Indoor champion, cleared 6’-0.75” (1.85m). It was plenty enough for the win. More importantly, however, it was one of the best outdoor performances the senior has put together in her four years at Tech, as it was just the third time she has gone over 1.85m.
For the fourth time of the spring, Duke Kicinski picked up the win in the discus. The graduate student, who is already the top thrower in the nation, went over 200 feet for the second time this season and career. His toss, which was registered at 203’-3.5” (61.96m), was plenty to earn him first place in the invitational section. It was also enough to count as the fifth-farthest discus mark in school history. Kicinski now has two throws this season – Saturday’s and the nation-leading 207’-9” (63.34m) from March – that reside in the all-time program top-10.
Chloe Wall pole vaulted an outdoor personal best after clearing a top height of 13’-10” (4.22m). It was just the third time in her career – and second time outdoors – she has gone over 4.20m. The mark placed her fifth in the field at Baylor.
Texas Tech will return home Friday, April 26th for a one-day home meet, before which will take place the senior awards recognition. The meet will begin at 5 p.m., with senior ceremonies taking place at 4:30 p.m.