NY Connections: Hurtault advances in 400 in Berlin

Erison Hurtault advanced to the second round of the men’s 400 at the World Championships in Berlin on Tuesday.

Hurtault, the 24-year-old Columbia University graduate who competes for the Caribbean island nation of Dominica, placed 4th in Heat VII. Only the first three finishers advanced automatically from each heat, but Hurtault’s time of 45.55 was good enough to place him among the three additional time qualifiers. The time was just off his personal best of 45.40, set two years ago when Hurtault placed 3rd at the NCAA Championships for the Lions.

Aliann Pompey, the Manhattan College graduate who represents Guyana, fell just short of the women’s 400 final, placing 4th in the first semifinal. American Sanya Richards – an Armory veteran in her own right – went on to win that event on Tuesday, for her first major individual championship. Richards, who set national high school records in the Armory in 2000 and 2002 in the 200 and 400, won the race in 49.00.

Pompey, 31, nevertheless came away with a new Guyanese national record, running 50.71 in her quarterfinal race, breaking her own record of 50.90 set a month ago.

Two PSAL grads who now run for St. Kitts & Nevis, Tiandra Ponteen and Virgil Hodge, failed to reach their respective finals. Ponteen was 7th in her semifinal of the 400, running 53.22. Hodge was 5th in her quarterfinal of the 100, running 11.51. Both ran for Washington Irving High School. Ponteen went on to the University of Florida, Hodge to TCU. They are expected to compete later in these championships in the relays.

In the women’s 800, Hazel Clark, who graduated from Columbia H.S. in Maplewood, N.J., fell just short of the final, running 1:59.96 for 4th in her semifinal, while Kenia Sinclair, the Seton Hall graduate who runs for Jamaica, was 5th in her semi in 2:02.31. In Round 1, Neisha Bernard-Thomas, a Tilden graduate who runs for Grenada, failed to advance, running 2:04.55 in Heat 1.

In the men’s hammer, New Yorkers Jake Freeman and Michael Mai failed to advance to the final. Freeman, a Manhattan College graduate, finished 15th in the qualifying and threw 243-5, 4 feet short of making the final. Mai, a West Point graduate and now a captain in the U.S. Army, was 21st, throwing 238-1.

From upstate New York, Lopez Lomong advanced to the men’s 1,500 final, along with fellow Americans Leonel Manzano and Bernard Lagat. Lomong is a native of Sudan who attended Tully High School upstate. Lagat, born in Kenya, is the reigning world champion in the event. Manzano, born in Mexico, was an Armory regular in recent years, running for the Texas Longhorns at the annual New Balance Collegiate Invitational, where he won the mile and anchored several winning DMRs.

The championships continue through Sunday in the Olympic Stadium first used for the 1936 Olympic Games, made famous by Jesse Owens’s four gold medals, under the gaze of dictator Adolf Hitler. /JP/