Antonette Carter Wins All-American Honors in Long Jump
June 9, 2005
Sacramento, CA - Improved, albeit windy, weather greeted the athletes for the second day at the NCAA championships at Sacramento State. After the gloomy conditionsthat hovered over the athletes from the first day, the change was certainly welcome as the morning's rain gave way to more favorable conditions.
Senior David Glasgow began the day's competition in the qualifying roundof the men's high jump.
For the high jump competition would continue until 16or fewer jumpers remain at a given bar height. If less than 12 athletes qualifyfor a given bar height than a formula is applied to determine which competitorwill advance based on misses. Glasgow would jump eighth on the second pit.Glasgow cleared the first height of 6-08.75 on his first try and went over6-10.75 with no trouble either, but had a wave of relief wash over his face whenhe cleared 7-0.5 on his second try since that height ended up as the cut-offmark for the finals. Only four other jumper had series more perfect thanGlasgow's. Exactly 16 athletes ended up clearing the height to compete inSaturday's finals.
Antonette Carter would have a full day of competing. After runningtwice in the 200m within a two hour time span, Carter would have to compete inthe finals of the long jump with only 30 minutes of rest. Carter took care ofthe 200m in short order. The junior ran a controlled race in the qualifyinground, getting out quickly while Shalonda Solomon of South Carolina moved on theentire field from the inside. Coming off the turn Carter was in the front withSolomon only slightly ahead. Coming down the straight Carter stayed strong asNatalie Knight of Florida passed her for second. Carter then held off ShareeseWoods of North Carolina to beat the sophomore for the last automatic qualifyingspot by only .01 seconds. Carter's final time in the opening round was 23.41.
An hour and half later Carter would have to race again in the semi-finals.Here the athletes would have to run for place since only the top four from eachheat plus one time qualifier would advance to the final. At the gun Carter wasout well and the field was largely unchanged as they accelerated through theturn. Shalonda Solomon had a clear lead on the field off the turn with Carter inthe middle of the pack. Coming down the straight with 50m to go Carter was infourth, but running a perfect clip that would hold off the rest of the fieldwithout wasting effort to catch the leaders. Carter came across the line at23.16 to set a new school record and qualify for the finals at the seventh spotwith her first All-American honors all but guaranteed.
Between Carter's outstanding 200m heats, freshman Alysia Johnsonsecured her own spot in the finals. Johnson got out well and settled into thepack through 400m. At the bell, the field began picking up, but Johnson was notresponding to the pace change as the rest of the field ran away from her. At500m Johnson began jostling with Antoinette Gorham of Tennessee and the twoathletes exchanged words coming off the turn. With 250m left Johnson was inlast. Looking as though she was out of contention Johnson began chasing thefield with 100m to go running down Gorham and the rest of the field to get allthe way to third for the last automatic qualifying spot. Johnson's time of2:05.49 gets her into Saturday's final and sets a new lifetime best for thesecond day in a row. Johnson's new time beats her old best of 2:05.92 nearly ahalf-second. Gorham ran 2:06.06 and did not advance.
Osarhiemen Omwanghe ran into difficulties right away in the women's400mH. The junior hit the second hurdle hard loosing a lot of momentum in thecritical acceleration phase. Omwanghe was unable to make up the deficit againstthe other runners and finished in 61.88. The last time to advance was AllisonErzinger of Oklahoma State at 58.56.
The 4x400m relay had their work cut out for them. The team was entered with atime of 3:37.62 and would have to chop roughly five to six seconds to have anyhopes of making the final. Junior Whitney Schmucker got out slowly andthe field was clearly ahead of her going into the second turn. As Schmuckerpassed off to Alysia Johnson in sixth place, Johnson looked as though she mighthave a chance at chasing down Cornell to move into fifth. Johnson closed towithin a few meters, but could not affect the pass. Senior Shannan Haweswas next in what was looking like her last chance to run in Cal uniform. Thesenior stuck with Cornell with the race leaders a full 50m ahead. At the end ofthe leg Hawes started loosing steam and Cornell ran away from her. Jarvis wasunable to change anything as she got the baton a full 10m behind Cornell. Thesenior put up an effort, but the field had to much distance on her to makeanything up. The Bears' final time was 3:42.82 to finish 19th overall.
As the 10,000m winded down Antonette Carter sat in seventh with one jumpleft. The junior jumped 20-5.75 on her first jump putting her in fifth placethrough the first round. The junior wasn't able to improve through the secondand third jumps, but had an extra three to utilize in the final that only tookeight athletes from the original 12. After failing to improve again on herfourth jump, Carter skipped her fifth to try prepare for a better jump on hersixth and final attempt. Carter missed the board and bailed on the jumpfinishing seventh overall for Cal's first All-American of the meet.