Defending 100-meter NCAA champion English Gardner has done it again.
Gardner, who has been toughing through an ankle injury in the NCAA Track and Field Championships meet, ran a time of 10.96. That mark was the fastest collegiate time this year — a smidgen better than Gardner’s 11 seconds that she posted in April. Her sub-11 time on Friday was the third-fastest in collegiate history.
“I did it for every single one of the seats that is filled in Hayward field,” Gardner said from the medal stand.
Gardner was the leader in the race the whole way, nabbing the lead in the first strides of the sprint and finishing with a burst at the finish line. She bested Octavious Freeman’s time of 11 seconds.
“I am very happy and very pleased and thanking the lord,” Gardner said.
Gardner’s sore ankle first became apparent to the rest of the field on Wednesday when she finished near the bottom of her preliminary heat.
“You can’t worry about things you can’t control,” Gardner said. “I can’t control that my ankle hurts.”
Oregon freshman Jenna Prandini was also in the final, finishing seventh with a time of 11.43.
“I came out here and did the best I could do and I was happy to score some points,” Prandini said. “I am so happy for English right now, and what better way for her to finish her season than this?”
Prandini won the Pac-12 title in the 100 meters a few weeks ago after Gardner was eliminated on a false start.