Last week: Grant, a senior, clocked 50.26 seconds in the 400 meters on Saturday, then came back less than 45 minutes later to run the 200 in 22.21. Both times, according to his coach, Eric Mead, were faster than any times posted in DODDS-Europe last year in those events and came despite 43-degree temperatures and constant rain. For good measure, Mead added, Grant also qualified for the European finals in the long jump with a Europe-best opening-day leap of 20 feet, 6 inches.
Mead wrote in an e-mail Tuesday that Grant’s 400 time was the result of a spur-of-the-moment decision.
"I wanted to save him for the 4-by-400 and 200…," Mead wrote, "so I told him to run only a sub-54 seconds in his opening 400 just to qualify. But Jamal came through the first 300 meters at a sub-50 pace, so I yelled at him to ‘go for it’ and he bore down in the rain and wind…."
Mead indicated Grant’s fast times were hard-earned.
"He has given nothing short of 100 percent at every practice," he said, "… and we run some pretty intense practices."
Last week: Bedford, a sophomore who finished fifth in Europe in the 200 meters as a freshman, qualified for this year’s European 100 with a time of 12.66 seconds on a cold, wet day Saturday at Ramstein. Her time beat last year’s winning time in the 100, 13.00 by Heidelberg’s Christine Holland.
Bedford "has been setting school records in the sprints since middle school," Menwith Hill coach Larry Bell wrote in a Monday e-mail.
"She has always had a fast start, and on Saturday was able to combine that with an outstanding finish to her race."
Bell added that Bedford, who ran 27.68 in the 200 final last May, said Saturday’s grim conditions provided Bedford with extra incentive.
"When I asked her why she ran so fast," Bell wrote, "her reply was, ‘I was really wet and just wanted to quickly finish my race and get my "hoody" back on.’ "
The meet was the season-opener for Bedford, who will compete in the 100, 200 and sprint medley relay this season for Menwith Hill, Bell reported.
Selected by Stars and Stripes staff