Stowers stuns star-studded field to win 110 hurdles at Drake Relays

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Illinois' Dylan Lafond comes out of the water pit during the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase race at the Drake Relays athletics meet, Saturday, April 25, 2015, in downtown Des Moines, Iowa. LaFond won the event. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)


Arkansas' Chrishuna Williams anchors her team to victory in the women's 1,600-meter sprint medley relay at the Drake Relays athletics meet, Saturday, April 25, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)


DES MOINES, Iowa — The field for the women's 110-meter hurdle race at the Drake Relays was so stacked that hometown favorite Lolo Jones' late scratch was barely noticed.

All those stars couldn't touch unheralded Jasmin Stowers — who likely won't be an afterthought much longer.

Stowers blew past a field that included 2012 Olympic gold medalist Dawn Harper-Nelson and Queen Harrison, winning Saturday in a meet-record 12.40 seconds.

Harper-Nelson was second in 12.71, followed by Kristi Castlin in 12.72.

"The time that I ran was crazy to me," said Stowers, whose previous best was 12.71. "It shows me that I can do (well) for the world trials and make the world team and possibly the Olympics the next year."

Stowers, 23, graduated in 2014 from powerhouse LSU — just like Jones did — as a seven-time All-American.

Stowers also won the 2015 U.S. Indoor championship in the 60 hurdles. But Saturday's race was her breakout performance outdoors.

"I knew she would be revved up and ready to go," Harper-Nelson said.

The miserably cold and windy conditions didn't affect defending world champion Francena McCorory either.

She set the meet record in the women's 400 — breaking a mark that had stood for 28 years — and posted a world-leading 50.13.

American star Sanya Richards-Ross was second, but she and top-ranked Novlene Williams were nearly a second slower than McCorory.

Cassandra Tate took the women's 400 hurdles in 55.68, barely holding off Georganne Moline by six-hundredths of a second. Lashinda Demus, the silver medalist in London, was fifth in 57.93.

The men's mile went to Leo Manzano, who held off Matthew Centrowitz to win in a world-leading 4:00.05.

Centrowitz had gotten the best of Manzano earlier in the week, beating him in an exhibition mile in downtown Des Moines.

"You never know what's going to happen, especially on days like today when it's windy and rainy," said Manzano, a four-time NCAA champion at Texas. "I didn't want the field to get too far away from me, so that's when I decided to kind of get back on track and catch the field, and that's when I brought it home."

The star of Saturday's field events was Will Claye. He set the current world-leading long jump at 55 feet, 7 inches — and engaged a bundled-up crowd by running to them for high-fives after every big leap.

ON THE TRACK

McCorory broke a record set by Lillie Leatherwood-King of Alabama in 1987 at 50.64...Arkansas hurdler Omar McLeod celebrated his 21st birthday by smashing the meet mark in the 110 meters, winning in 13.21. The previous mark of 13.48 was set four years ago by Terence Somerville of Cincinnati...Chaunte Lowe, a four-time meet Drake champion in the women's high jump, settled for fourth with a top mark of 6-1.50...Oklahoma State won five of the meet's six distance relay events.

QUOTABLE

'I'm really happy for her. It means it's going to be a hot year," Harper-Nelson said about Stowers.

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