Texas A&M star Fred Kerley

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Texas A&M senior Fred Kerley cruised to a world-leading time of 44.94 seconds to advance as the fastest qualifier in the men’s 400m on Day 1 of the 2017 Southeastern Conference (SEC) Indoor Track & Field Championships at Vanderbilt’s Multipurpose Facility on Friday night.


Kerley took home Heat 6 of the 10th preliminaries to improve his own previous world-leading time of 45.02 seconds, set at Clemson, earlier this month.

Following Kerley home was Auburn’s freshman Akeem Bloomfield, who posted a personal best time of 45.49 seconds, which is the second best time heading into the final.

Also breaking the 46-seconds barrier in the heats was Mylik Kerley, the younger brother of Fred, who is a junior at Texas A&M.

Daina Harper: SEC Indoor Track and Field Championships
Daina Harper of Arkansas at the 2017 SEC Indoor Track and Field Championships

Arkansas senior Daina Harper was very impressive in the women’s 400m heats, qualifying the fastest for the final with a time of 51.77 seconds, which is tied for the fourth-fastest in the world this year.

Florida sophomore Sharrika Barnett was also impressive in the qualifiers, running 52.46 seconds for the second quickest heading into the final.

Elsewhere, Georgia senior and Olympian Kendell Williams notched her third SEC pentathlon title after scoring 4,686 points for first place.

She was followed by Arkansas trio Taliyah Brooks (4,450), Leigha Brown (4,379) and Kelsey Herman (4,226).

Meanwhile, in the short sprints, Christian Coleman of Tennessee sizzled to 6.54 seconds to lead the men’s 60m qualifiers before returning to ease to a time of 20.72 seconds — the second-fastest on the night — in the 200m heats.

Texas A&M star Fred Kerley

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