Jackson Wins Pac-12 Long Jump Title; 9 Trojans Score On Day 1

    Freshman Mikaela Smith runs the 7th-fastest 800m time ever by a Trojan woman of 2:05.33 to advance to tomorrow's final.
    May 14, 2016

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    Adoree' Jackson won the men's long jump, nine Trojans scored in event finals and 18 advanced to finals during the first day of the Pac-12 Track & Field Championships hosted by Washington at Husky Track in Seattle, Wash. today (May 14). The conference championships will conclude tomorrow with the final 28 event championships. Both the USC men (27 points) and women (30 points) are currently in fourth place.

    The junior Jackson closed out the first day of action for the Trojans by winning his second consecutive conference men's long jump title with a best jump of 25-3.50/7.71m and led from his first jump of 24-9.25/7.55m. He became the first Trojan to win the men's Pac-12 long jump title in consecutive seasons since school and conference record-holder Randy Williams won it from 1972-75. Sophomore Dominic Smallwood had a strong series of jumps himself, jumping into second, falling to fourth, jumping back into second and finally taking third with a leap of 24-4.50/7.43m. Together Jackson and Smallwood earned USC 16 points in the team competition.

    In a day that was cool, windy and rainy throughout, freshman Nathan Bultman and sophomore David Sellens got things started for the Trojans in the men's hammer throw first flight. Bultman got things started with a PR of 193-11 (59.12m) and then had another PR in his second attempt, a mark of 197-3 (60.13m). That mark would win the first flight and advance him to the finals. Sellens had a best mark of 171-10 (52.39m) to finish fourth in the first flight and 12th overall. Bultman did not improve in the finals, but his mark held up for third place, earning USC six more points.

    In the women's long jump, freshman Margaux Jones finished third and senior Alexis Faulknor seventh to earn the Trojan women eight points. Jones had her best jump of 20-6-50/6.26m (+2.1w) to finish in third, one half-inch out of second. She also had a wind-legal jump of 20-5.00/6.22m (-0.1). All six of her jumps were clean and over 20 feet, with the shortest jump being 20-1.75/6.14m. Faulknor had a best jump of 19-6.25/5.95m (-0.5) to finish seventh. Also, freshman Jasmyne Graham tied for 10th with a best jump of 19-0.75/5.81 (+2.2w), sophomore Madisen Richards was 18th with a jump of 17-11.50/5.47m (+1.7) and freshman Lyndsey Lopes was 20th with a jump of 17-6.25/5.34m (+1.2).

    The women's shot put finished next and junior Tanya Sapa placed sixth with a best mark of 51-0.25 (15.55m) and senior Tera Novy was eighth with a best throw of 50-2.75 (15.31m). Novy actually tied for the eighth best throw, but her second-best effort of 49-11.25 (15.22m) broke the tie. Together Sapa and Novy earned the USC women's team four points.

    Later in the men's shot put, sophomore Nick Ponzio placed fourth with a best mark of 62-3.00 (18.97m) to earn the Trojans five points. Freshman Matthew Katnik finished just out of the scoring in ninth place with a mark of 58-8.00 (17.88m). That throw came in his first attempt and he finished with five fouls, so he could not advance. Bultman won the first flight with a mark of 57-11.25 (17.66m), but finished 10th as all nine men in the second flight topped that mark.

    Junior Amalie Iuel, who got the Trojans on the board last weekend by winning the heptathlon, took fifth in the women's high jump with a top clearance of 5-5.25 (1.66m). Despite competing with a sprained right elbow injured during a fall yesterday at practice, she was able to earn USC four more points.

    The final field event the Trojans competed on during the day was the men's javelin throw. Senior Diego Lopez finished 11th with a best mark of 186-7 (56.87m).

    The running portion of the meet began with the 4x100m relay prelims. USC's women's team of junior Destinee Brown, sophomore Deanna Hill, Faulknor and sophomore Gabriella Cantrell won its heat with a time of 44.90 to automatically advanced to the final tomorrow. Their time was second overall. The men's team of sophomore Ricky Morgan, sophomore Jadon Joyner, Jackson and sophomore Randall Cunningham took fourth in its heat with a time of 41.16, but that was eighth overall and it too advanced to tomorrow's final. Due to several injuries, the Trojans asked their high jumper Cunningham if he could take the stick to run anchor and he accepted the challenge and helped the Trojans advance to the finals.

    Redshirt sophomore Rebekah Ent was the only Trojan to run in the 1500m race and she was 10th in the first heat and 28th overall with a time of 4:37.08.

    In the women's 100m HH prelims, Graham was second in her heat with a time of 13.60 (+1.0) to automatically advance to the finals. Her time was fourth overall. Iuel placed 10th in the event with a time of 14.18 (+0.2) and Lopes was 13th with a time of 14.37 (+0.2). It was in this event that Iuel felt the most pain with her elbow as the event required her to throw her arms back with great force.

    Trojan sophomore Kendall Ellis and junior Cameron Pettigrew cruised into tomorrow's women's 400m final by taking first and second respectively in the second heat. Ellis had a time of 54.11 and Pettigrew a time of 54.40 to advance with the third and fifth-fastest qualifying times.

    USC's men's 400m runners redshirt freshman Zyaire Clemes and sophomore Ricky Morgan also automatically advanced to the 400m finals tomorrow. First, Clemes took second in the first heat with a time of 47.09, then Morgan won the second heat with a time of 46.90. Morgan had the fastest qualifying time and Clemes the third-fastest.

    Next up on the track was the women's 100m prelims. Senior Tynia Gaither won the second heat with a time of 11.27 (+2.0) to automatically advance, as each heat winner and the next four best times advanced. Hill was second in the fourth heat with a time of 11.44 (+1.4) and advanced as the third best non-automatic qualifier. Brown was third in the second heat with a time of 11.54 (+2.0) and finished ninth, the first person out of the finals, .02 seconds behind the last non-automatic qualifier. Cantrell was fourth in the third heat with a season-best time of 11.67 (+1.3), good for 13th overall. Faulknor was sixth in the fourth heat with a time of 12.07 (+1.4) and finished 22nd.

    Jackson advanced to the men's 100m final by taking second in the first heat with a time of 10.48 (+1.4). His time was fifth among the qualifiers. Joyner was sixth in the third heat with a time of 11.01 (+1.8) and finished 19th overall.

    Freshman Mikaela Smith advanced to the women's 800m final with a PR of 2:05.33, taking second in the first heat. That time moved her into seventh place on USC's all-time women's 800m list. She wasn't in the clear until all four heats were run as the heat winners and the four next best times would advance. As it turned out, she had the second-fastest time of the finals qualifiers. Freshman Rachel Glynn finished seventh in the fourth heat and 27th overall with a time of 2:18.24.

    With only three men's 800m heats, sophomore Robert Ford would just have to finish in the top two of his heat to automatically advance to the finals and he did just that, taking second in the first heat with a time of 1:49.52. Sophomore Jordon Wallin was sixth in the same heat with a time of 1:54.21 and finished 17th overall.

    Neither seniors Katerina Berdousi nor Jenna Tong scored in the women's 3000m steeplechase, but they had strong races. Berdousi had a PR of 23 seconds finishing 11th with a time of 10:42.40. She moved from seventh to fourth place on USC's all-time 3000m SC list, moving Tong back to fifth. Tong was running well but took a spill halfway through the race and regrouped to finish 15th with a time of 10:55.65.

    Senior Jaide Stepter and Iuel easily advanced to the women's 400m IH finals by finishing first and second respectively in the first prelim heat. Stepter had the fastest time on the day of 55.95 and Iuel a time of 59.04, which was the fifth-fastest qualifier.

    The final races for the Trojans on the day were the women's and men's 200m dashes. Gaither won the first heat with a time of 23.48 (+0.0) and Brown was third in the heat with a time of 23.90 +0.0). Gaither automatically advanced and Brown grabbed the last spot in the finals. Cantrell took second in the second heat with a time of 23.94 (-0.4) and finished ninth overall, the first person out of the finals. Hill took second in the third heat with a time of 23.09 (-0.5) and would advance with the fourth-fastest time overall. Faulknor was fifth in the same heat with a time of 24.68 (-0.5) and finished 17th overall. Ellis was fourth in the fourth heat with a time of 24.27 (-0.1) and finished 13th overall.

    Finally, Morgan took second in the second heat of the men's 200m race with a time of 21.21(+0.4) to automatically advance to the finals. His time was also second-best among the qualifiers. Joyner placed fifth in the third heat and 14th overall with a time of 21.95.

    The action begins tomorrow at 9 a.m. with Erika Peyton in the women's hammer throw. The first race of the day will be the women's 4x100m relay final scheduled for 1 p.m.