Trinidad and Tobago sprinter Deon Lendore opened up his 2021 outdoor track season with a 200 meters victory at the 2021 Willie Williams Classic, held at the Roy P. Drachman Stadium and hosted at the University of Arizona at the weekend.
Lendore, who made three appearances during the indoor season, got his outdoor campaign underway with a 20.49 seconds (+1.4 m/s) performance to take the 200m title on Friday (19). The winning time improved his personal best from 20.59 seconds, which was set in May 2018.
He fell well short, however, of the facility record of 20.08 secs, which is owned by his fellow Trinidad and Tobago countryman Ato Bolden while he was representing UCLA in 1995.
The 28-year-old took Section One of the event, beating Texas A&M’s Devon Achane who clocked 20.76 for second place and Arizona’s Maj Williams who ran 20.88 for third.
Lendore has been very productive at international meetings for Trinidad and Tobago, having won two bronze medals over the 400m at World Indoor Championships.
He also owns Olympic and World Indoor 4x400m relay bronze medals, as well as a silver in the same event from the 2015 championships.
Lendore had also been scheduled to race in the men’s 400m at the 2021 Willie Williams Classic but he opted out.
Freshman Johnnie Blockburger of Arizona who opened up his outdoor season on Friday with a 21.13 performance in the 200m, carried that momentum over into Saturday’s second day to post 45.83 seconds for the victory in the 400m.
In fact, Blockburger’s time broke the school’s freshman 400m record while he managed to move up to the fifth-best all-time in school history.
His Wildcats teammate Williams grabbed second in 45.95.
“I feel great about the performances,” said Arizona head Coach Fred Harvey. “Looking at how the sprinters ran, that had to be the highlight. I’m very pleased with the performances there.
“I thought we had a really good weekend in the field events as well, I thought those guys competed exceptionally well. I think the whole idea of getting the show on the road was so rewarding to everyone.”
Texas A&M senior Devin Dixon, the 800m specialist, got his season underway with a 46.89 performance for third place in the 400m.