Athletics-Track-and-Field

Andre De Grasse runs 9.75 in 100m at NCAA track and field championships

Andre De Grasse of Markham, Ont., dominated the field in the men’s 100 metres at the NCAA track and field championships on Friday, clocking 9.75 seconds with a 2.7 wind aide. The University of Southern California sprinter also prevailed in the 200 in 19.58 with a 2.4 wind aide.

Sprinter also victorious in 200m

Andre De Grasse wins 200m at NCAA Championship

6 years ago
1:35
Follows up 100 m win with a fast 19.58 in the 200 metres. 1:35

Nothing is official, but it's hard to imagine anyone knocking Andre De Grasse off Canada's track and field team for the upcoming Pan Am Games.

The 20-year-old sprinter from Markham, Ont., dominated the field in the men's 100 metres at the NCAA track and field championships on Friday, clocking 9.75 seconds with a 2.7 wind aide, just over the legal limit of 2.00.

I just believed in myself and kept pushing.- Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse on his 200m performance

"It was just an unbelievable feeling," De Grasse said from Eugene, Ore. "I never thought that I could run that fast but I just have to believe in myself and, now that I've run that fast, it's just changed my whole perspective on running."

De Grasse, who races for the University of Southern California, also prevailed in the 200 in 19.58 with a 2.4 wind aide. That time was the fastest ever by a collegiate runner under any conditions.

"I just believed in myself and kept pushing," De Grasse told the CBC's Ian Hanomansing after the race.

Both times won't count for official rankings or records because they were wind-aided.

De Grasse said he isn't going to put a limit on how fast he can run, saying: "I'm just going to keep running, keep training and trust my training."

De Grasse's next goal is to win a Pan Am medal in Toronto next month and then focus on the world track and field championships in Beijing, China that run Aug. 22-30.

According to the International Association of Athletics Federations website, only Justin Gatlin of the United States, a 2004 Olympic gold medallist, has run faster than De Grasse this season. He clocked a non-wind assisted 9.74 in Doha, Qatar on May 15.

National record

Donovan Bailey and Bruny Surin share the Canadian record in the 100 at 9.84. DeGrasse already holds the national 200 record of 20.03, set on May 16.

Athletes have until Sunday to submit qualifying marks for the Pan Am event, with the top two Canadian performance securing berths as long as they meet Athletics Canada's performance standards.

In Friday's 100, De Grasse, who began his day anchoring the fourth-place USC 4x100 relay team, burst away from defending champion Trayvon Bromell of Baylor in the final 30 metres. Bromell was second at 9.88 and Jarrion Lawson of Arkansas third in 9.90.

"Honestly, I didn't even know where I was in the race," said De Grasse when asked by Hanomansing how he felt when he crossed the finish line. "I just kept doing what my coach told me to do and I just leaned and I [saw] the time and I was just like, 'wow.'"

Three weeks ago, De Grasse set a meet record of 9.97 in the 100 at the Pac-12 Track and Field Championships in Los Angeles, the fastest time by a Canadian since Surin ran 9.94 in 1999. De Grasse is ranked the third-fastest Canadian ever behind Donovan Bailey and Surin.

The performance also represented the first sub 10-second time for a Canadian since 2000.

Also at the Pac-12 meet, De Grasse shattered the Canadian mark he shared with Aaron Brown in the 200 at 20.16, cruising to a 20.03 finish in the 200 heats. He clocked 20.05 the next day to win the 200 final.

At the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif., in April, De Grasse became the first person in the meet's 57-year history to sweep the 100 and 200.

A sociology major, De Grasse transferred to USC this year after two years at Coffeyvill Community College in Kansas.

He used to play basketball and didn't take up track until he was spotted at a meet in Toronto by coach Tony Sharpe.

​"I'm going to try to put Canada back on the map," De Grasse said, "and compete with the U.S. and Jamaica."

With files from The Canadian Press & Associated Press

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