Johnnie Blockburger improved his 400m personal best significantly, while Josephine Anokye landed the women’s sprint double to be among the highlighted performers at the Jim Click Shootout 2021 meeting at the Roy P. Drachman Stadium, hosted by the University of Arizona in Tucson this past weekend.
Arizona freshman Blockburger surged up the rankings this year after posting the No. 2 best time in the NCAA this season with a 44.71 personal best to take the men’s 400m.
The time posted by Blockburger over the weekend broke the Arizona school 400m record, as he became the first Wildcat to ever run the 400m under 45 seconds in program history. The 18-year-old who also improved the freshman record from the Willie Williams Classic with a 45.83 performance on March 20, erased the previous school record of 45.31 which was set by Bobby McCoy in 2008.
“Johnnie has that type of skill set to be one of the elite 400m runners in the country, if not the world,” his head coach Fred Harvey said. “I think his race really lifted the squad, both men and women, when they saw that. That was definitely the performance of the meet.”
The young quarter-miler finished ahead of BYU junior Michael Bluth who ran 45.68 for second place with Dubem Nwachukwu of Arizona State grabbing third place with 46.39.
Blockburger’s time is second in the nation behind the 44.62 secs posted by Texas A&M’s Deadmon, Bryce at the 2021 Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays on March 25.
Sprint Double For Anokye At Jim Click Shootout
Meanwhile, Josephine Anokye of Arizona State posted two personal bests to secure the women’s sprint double.
The senior from Ghana opened her Jim Click Shootout 2021 account with an 11.40 seconds performance to win the women’s 100m, beating Wurrie Njadoe of Kansas State at 11.58 and Arizona’s Neysia Howard who clocked a personal best of 11.74.
Anokye returned to match her personal best with a time of 23.00 to win the 200m to defeat Njadoe (23.55 PB) and Howard (24.00) again.
Elsewhere at the meeting, Noennig, Samantha of Arizona heaved a NCAA leading mark of 18.14m to win the women’s shot put competition.
“We are as good as we think we are,” Widcats coach Harvey said. “What I mean by that is we are as competitive as anybody in the country. We have really good diversity. The balance that we have is pretty fabulous.”