10 Trojans Earn Their Way To The NCAA T&F Championships|
May 27, 2016
LAWRENCE, KAN. -- Ten different Trojans earned their way to the NCAA T&F Championships during the second day of the 2016 NCAA West Preliminary Rounds at Rock Chalk Park in Lawrence, Kan. today (May 27). The top 12 in each event advance to the semifinals at the NCAA Championships to be held in Eugene, Ore. from June 8-11. Due to the suspension of the first day's activities, the schedule was revised to make each running event a quarterfinal today and tomorrow, with the heat winners and the next six fastest times advancing to the NCAA Championships.
Sophomore Dominic Smallwood got things started for the Trojans competing in the men's long jump at 9 a.m.. He had a legal-PR of 24-7.25/7.50m (+1.2) in his final attempt to finish second among the jumpers in the first two flights. Sophomore Adoree' Jackson was in one of the final two flights of the long jump which ran simultaneously and had a best jump of 25-5.25/7.75m (+2.4w) in his second attempt. That jump was good for third overall and moved him onto nationals. Smallwood hung onto the 12th spot until the final round of the last flights, when he dropped to 13th, one-half inch out of 12th place.
The women's 100m race was the first on the track for USC and senior Tynia Gaither and sophomore Deanna Hill earned their way to Oregon by finishing third and eighth overall, while junior Destinee Brown finished 24th. Gaither won the final heat with a time of 11.32 (+2.4w) to automatically advance. Hill was second in the third heat with a time of 11.48 (+1.4) which at the time was the third-fastest of the non-automatic qualifiers and it stood up as third through the rest of the heats. Brown placed sixth in the first heat with a time of 11.72 (+1.8).
USC's women's 400m runners sophomore Kendall Ellis and junior Cameron Pettigrew ran in the fifth heat. Ellis took second with a time of 52.91 which was the fastest of the non-automatic qualifiers and advances to nationals. Pettigrew was third in the heat and 16th overall with a time of 54.38.
Sophomore Ricky Morgan Jr. then qualified for nationals in the men's 400m with a 46.46 to take second in his heat and eighth overall. Redshirt freshman Zyaire Clemes took third in the third heat with a time of 46.74 which ended up 14th overall.
The men's and women's 800m races did not go the Trojans' way. First, freshman Mikaela Smith was called for a false start and disqualified from her 800m heat, then sophomore Robert Ford finished 13th overall in the men's 800m. Ford was third in the first heat with a time of 1:48.90, but by the end of the fourth heat he had dropped outside of the top 12. He was eighth among the nonqualifiers and 13th overall because one of the heat winners to automatically advance finished 22nd.
Junior Amalie Iuel was in the first heat of the women's 400m IH and she took care of business by winning with a time of 56.90 to automatically advance to the NCAAs. Senior Jaide Stepter then followed suit winning the fourth heat with a time of 56.87. When the event was done, Stepter had the second-fastest and Iuel the third-fastest time among the qualifiers.
Iuel was also scheduled to compete in the women's high jump, but due to the rescheduling from the weather delay the day before her events were only a little over an hour apart. The coaches decided to pull her from the high jump which had been moved indoors to the Anschutz Sports Pavilion, a 15-minute drive away. Since it appeared she could only get a few jumps in before leaving for the hurdles Iuel was scratched. As the day went on and the schedule kept changing, the high jump was perhaps moved back late enough for her to jump, but she had already been scratched.
Sophomore Randall Cunningham eased his way through the men's high jump competition clearing 6-9.50 (2.07m), 6-11.50 (2.12m) and 7-1.00 (2.16m) on his first attempt to tie for first and move on to the nationals. He was one of three competitors to be clean through 7-1.
The final event to be completed was the women's long jump, just after 9 p.m. and more than 12 hours from USC's first event of the day. It like the high jump was held at the Anschutz Sports Pavilion. Senior Alexis Faulknor was in the third flight and had a foul on each of her first two attempts, so was going to need something special on her final attempt. She got it with a clutch leap of 19-9.00 (6.02m) to move into fourth after three flights were completed. The last group of 11 jumpers (one scratch) featured freshman Margaux Jones. Jones jumped 20-4.50 (6.20m) in her first attempt to move into a tie for second place. She did not improve in her final two jumps (19-11 and 19-9) and finished sixth. When all of the jumps were completed, Faulknor had slid to 11th and would be joining Jones heading to Oregon for the NCAA Championships.
The women's discus throw competition kept getting moved back and eventually was stopped after two flights with the best mark being 173-11. Senior Tera Novy will compete in the final flight which is now scheduled for 9 a.m. tomorrow. The men's discus throw competition was also pushed back until tomorrow also set for 9 a.m. USC will have freshman Nathan Bultman competing in the men's discus throw.
Redshirt junior Erika Peyton had a best throw of 180-10 (55.13m) to finish ninth in the first women's hammer throw flight which began at 9:20 a.m. By the end of the three flights and several delays, her mark was good for 37th.
Here is the new schedule for the final day of the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds: