• Posted on: February 20, 2010

Simplot swansong for Purvis, soph record for Wilson

No Comments

Pair of #1’s for Ashton Purvis, soph hurdle mark for Trinity Wilson highlight Saturdayby Dave Devine, ESPN RISE DyeStat

Photos by John Dye and Robert Rosenberg 

POCATELLO ID 2/20/2010 — For standout and St. Elizabeth (Oakland, Calif.) senior Ashton Purvis, a sustained string of excellence at the Simplot Games in Pocatello, Idaho, came to a fitting close Saturday afternoon with two more victories and two national leaders in the she’s claimed as her own these last three years.   For club teammate and longtime friend Trinity Wilson (St. Mary’s Berkeley, Berkeley, Calif.), a second Simplot hurdles title and national class record is really just the beginning, as the sophomore (right) has two years left to carve out the sort of legacy Purvis has left on these Games. The two Californians entered the 32nd Simplot Games as expected stars, and they didn’t disappoint or wilt under the expectations. On a day which featured reliable wins by familiar faces and breakout performances by several national newcomers, the early afternoon victories by Purvis and Wilson held up as the leading highlights of the day.  Other standout performances included Fuquawn Greene’s scintillating 21.41 meet record in the 200, Kelsey Brown’s #1 2:11.05 in the 800, a triple gold performance by sophomore Iesha Hardiman in winning the 400 and running legs on a pair of relay wins by ISC LSI Empire Athletics club, and a trio of field event doubles by Davis Fraker (WT/SP), Kasen Covington (LJ/TJ) and Tara Richmond (HJ/TJ).

Purvis powers to ‘triple double,’ Wilson claims another record

Purvis got things rolling right out of the box with a #1 7.36 60-meter dash in the first final of the afternoon.  Trimming several hundredths from her own national leading mark, she faced a stiff challenge from Canadian Loudia Laarman, who was hot on her heels at 7.41, but successfully defended a title she first won as a precocious sophomore in 2008.

The seasoned vet (left) approached the meet applying less personal pressure, and came away with more satisfying results.

“Every year I’ve always pressured myself,” she said, “but this year was the first one I didn’t pressure myself to run fast, and I accomplished my goals.”

The second item on her weekend goal list came a short time later in the 200, where a powerful and focused effort saw her again setting a nation-leading mark and again turning back Calgary International star Laarman, 23.54 to 24.30 this time.  Unlike the 60 final, the outcome of the 200 was never in doubt, as Purvis was in control from the moment the field banked off the first turn and angled onto the backstretch.

Between Purvis’ two victories came her teammate’s triumph, as Wilson exploded from the blocks and ran a clean flight of hurdles straight into the record books.   It was her second Simplot 60m hurdles title, and the second year in a row she’s set a national class record in the cavernous Holt Arena stadium.  Despite its distance from her home in California, Wilson said the Idaho State facility is starting to feel like home, at least in an athletic sense.

“Every year,” she said, “I look forward to Simplot because it’s a good meet with a lot of good competition. Something about this makes me kind of feel at home.  I feel comfortable here.”

That comfort was on full display as she pushed the sophomore class record, previously owned by Stowers, all the way down to 8.29.

“Today I was hoping to get in the 8.30’s, so hopefully next year I can get to 8.15.  After I break a record I’m happy about it, but I just want to move on to the next thing to see how much better I can get.  This year my mindset is different.  I’m coming in thinking, ‘If I want to be great, I have to practice really well and I have to bring it to the meets.’  If I’m trying to be better than everyone else, I have to think of myself as an athlete.”

Some of that mindset comes from Purvis.  The two came up through age-group club together, and they’ve known each other since Wilson was 9 years old.

“We encourage each other and tell each other what we’re here to do,” Wilson said. “We’re not here to play around.  And because the 60 is usually before the hurdles, watching [Ashton] run makes me want to do well, because she thinks like a great athlete, so it’s good to learn from her.”

For her part, Purvis couldn’t have been happier to see her younger clubmate notch another class record.

“I’m happy for her, because we’re two years apart, so it’s been the whole sisterly vibe.  I’m really proud of her.”

Another Californian took the boys 60-meter hurdles, as top qualifier Chris Mamon (Young Sharp/Benicia, Benicia, Calif.) prevailed in 8.01.  Canadian Junior 100 champion Akeem Haynes adapted well to the shorter distance, taking the 60 dash in 6.74, a mark which would have been #1 in the U.S.


Comments are closed.