Sloan's Meet Record In The TJ & USC's School-Record 4x400m Relay Highlight The Final Day At The NCAA West Prelims|
May 27, 2017
USC's women's 4x400m relay team set a school record and Eric Sloan won the triple jump with a West Preliminary Rounds record as seven individual Trojans and three relay teams qualified for the NCAA Track & Field Championships during the final day of the 2017 NCAA West Preliminary Rounds held at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin, Texas today (May 27). To advance in an event to the NCAA T&F Championships in Eugene, Ore. from June 7-10, an athlete must have finished in the top 12 at the West Preliminary Rounds. During the three-day competition USC qualified 20 athletes in 19 individual events and three relays for the National Championships.
"We had an exciting weekend filled mainly with ups and also a few downs," said USC Director of Track & Field Caryl Smith Gilbert. "In true Trojan form, our shot putters came through, qualified and got the job done. It was great to see Eric Sloan back at 100% again and I'm looking forward to watching him perform in Eugene. All of our hurdlers made it to the final round and had some of the best races of the year. Robert Ford is running well and tactical so he is in a good position right now.
"The sprinters are rounding into shape just in time for Eugene. Our relays did a great execution job and ran smart. Unfortunately, I was informed of the women's 4x1 disqualification close to an hour after the event ended and after the official on the track gave us a white flag in the exchange zone. I happened to be standing at the exact exchange zone of the alleged violation so I disagree with the outcome of the ruling and I was not allowed to view the video used to make the call but that's the way it goes in track and field. So we will take the 3 relays we have and to Oregon and compete to the best of our ability. It will definitely hurt us not to have Randall Cunningham at nationals in the high jump, but I'm certain he will rebound and be back next year. Just'N Thymes just could not pull it all together in time from straining his hamstring at Mt. SAC. He is probable to run on the relays in Eugene. I'm hopeful he will end his time as a Trojan as an All-American. I have never been more proud of a team in my coaching career. They have set a new standard for our program. They carry themselves with class and charisma...and they keep FIGHTING ON!"
The Trojans' day began with Dominic Smallwood and Sloan competing in the men's triple jump. Smallwood was in the third flight and Sloan the fourth flight. After the first two seeded flights, the top jump was 51-11.25 (15.83m) and three jumpers had gone at least 51-5 (15.67m). Sloan's first attempt went for 52-4.50/15.96m (+0.4) to take over first. By the time his second attempt came around he was in second, but he put away the field on his next leap of 55-6.25/16.92m (+1.9) to take the lead for good. That jump was a PR, moved him from fifth to third on USC's all-time list, set the West Preliminary Rounds record and is the top jump by a collegian this season. Sloan passed on his final attempt and won by nearly a foot. Smallwood's first attempt went for 50-2.00/15.29m (+2.2w) to put him 13th place. He improved to seventh on his next jump which was a wind-legal PR and second-farthest jump of his career of 51-6.50/15.71m (+1.5). By the time his final attempt came around he was in 12th and did not improve with a leap of 48-8.75/14.85m (+1.5). There were 10 jumpers remaining who could knock him out of nationals and two passed him on their final attempts, so he finished 14th.
The women's 4x100m relay team of Dior Hall, Ky Westbrook, Destinee Brown and Deanna Hill got the running portion of the meet started for USC by placing second in the second heat with a time of 43.58 to appear to automatically advance to the NCAA Championships. USC had the third-fastest time among the qualifiers, however, there was a protest mounted by Missouri which was the team that ran in the first heat and finished 13th overall. After the review it was determined that, although it was close, USC had not completed the second handoff within the zone and the Trojans were disqualified and Missouri, a team with a time of 44.59, would be advancing.
The men's relay team of Marquis Morris, Alexander Barnum, Christian Sourapas and T.J. Brock cut it a close by finishing fourth in the final 4x100m relay heat, but its time of 39.34 was tops among the non-automatic qualifiers and they advanced 10th out of the regional.
Both Tanya Sapa and Brittany Mann qualified for the NCAA Championships in the women's shot put. Mann's first attempt of 52-8 (16.05m) would have been good enough to advance her, but after a foul, she improved to 53-7.50 (16.34m) to better her 10th place standing, with the top 12 advancing. Sapa made it much more interesting. She opened with 48-5.25 (14.76m) which had her in 33rd place entering the second round. Her next attempt was a mark of 51-0.75 (15.56m) which moved her into 12th, but a minute later she was being passed and entered the final round in 16th place. Sapa then came up with a clutch throw of 55-0.75 (16.78m) which moved her into seventh and she would finish eighth among the qualifiers. It was her second farthest throw of the season and third best of her career.
Anna Cockrell and Dior Hall were next up in the women's 100m hurdles and they both easily advanced to the NCAA Championships in the event. Cockrell was first and took second in her heat with a time of 12.94 (+2.4w) to automatically advance. Her time ended up sixth among the qualifiers. Hall then took second in her quarterfinal heat with a wind-aided season's best of 12.87 (+4.5w). She had the fourth-fastest times among the qualifiers.
Marquis Morris was next in the men's 110m hurdles and he took second in his heat with a wind-aided PR of 13.51 (2.5w) to automatically advance to nationals. His time was third among the qualifiers.
Deanna Hill won the third quarterfinal heat of the women's 200m dash with a wind-aided PR of 20.30 (+3.8w) to automatically advance in her second event (also the 100m). Her qualifying time was second overall.
Christian Sourapas and Just'N Thymes both ran in the first heat of the men's 200m quarterfinals. Sourapas was fourth with a time of 20.56 (+2.9w) and Thymes seventh with a time of 20.78 (+2.9w). Thymes was eliminated and would ultimately finish 17th. Sourapas would have to wait and after the final heat, he had dropped to 13th, .01 second behind the final qualifier who had the advantage of a 4.2 wind-reading for his heat.
The Trojans then took another hit as reigning NCAA high jump champion Randall Cunningham missed at 7-0.50 (2.15m) to tie for 14th. He passed at the opening height of 6-6.75 (2.00m) and then cleared 6-8.75 (2.05m) and 6-10.75 (2.10m) on his first attempts.
The final events on the track to conclude the West Preliminary Rounds were the women's and men's 4x400m relays. USC's women ran a team of Cameron Pettigrew, Amalie Iuel, Anna Cockrell and Kendall Ellis and it set a school record by winning its quarterfinal heat with a time of 3:26.09 to automatically advance to the NCAA Championships. The previous record of 3:26.27 was set earlier this season on the same track during the Texas Relays. USC had the top qualifying time by more than two seconds.
The men's team of Ricky Morgan Jr., Alex Rohani, Marquis Morris and Michael Norman was next in the first heat of the men's quarterfinal. They took second with a season-best time of 3:04.65 to automatically advance to the NCAA Championships in the event. The 4x400m relay time was USC's best since running 3:00.64 in taking second at the 2012 NCAA Championships.
Trojans that qualified for the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore. (June 7-10) during the three days of the West Preliminary Rounds were: Alexander Barnum (M-4x100m), T.J. Brock (M-4x100m), Anna Cockrell (W-100m HH, W-400m IH), Kendall Ellis (W-400m), Robert Ford (M-800m), Dior Hall (W-100m HH), Deanna Hill (W-100m, W-200m), Amalie Iuel (W-400m IH), Matthew Katnik (M-SP), Brittany Mann (W-SP), Ricky Morgan Jr. (M-400m), Marquis Morris (M-110m HH), Michael Norman (M-400m), Cameron Pettigrew (W-400m), Nick Ponzio (M-SP), Alex Rohani (M-4x400m), Tanya Sapa (W-SP), Eric Sloan (M-LJ, M-TJ), Christian Sourapas (M-4x100m), Ky Westbrook (W-100m) and the men's 4x100m relay and both the men's and women's 4x400m relays.