Track & Field Day 1 Recap: Arizona women, UCLA men claim early leads as records fall
LOS ANGELES - Arizona women and UCLA men are in the lead after the first day of running and field events at the Pac-12 Men’s and Women’s Track & Field Championships being held at Cromwell Field at Loker Stadium on the campus of USC. Six stadium records, three meet records and a NCAA collegiate meet record were set to highlight the first day of the competition.
The Wildcats have 60 points and a 15-point lead over Arizona State (45), followed by UCLA, which has 33 points. Stanford trails the Bruins by just a point (32), while Oregon is in fifth place with 30.50 points. In sixth place is Colorado (27), followed by Washington State and Washington, who both sit in seventh place. California (20.50), USC (9), Oregon State (6) and Utah (3) wrap up the field.
It is an even tighter race on the men’s side, with the Bruins (53.50) holding on to a slim four-point lead over Oregon (49.50). Washington is in third place with 37 points, followed by Colorado with 34. Arizona State is fifth with 29 points, California is sixth with 22 points and Stanford is seventh with 14 points. Arizona and USC are tied for eighth place with 12 points each, and Washington State posted 10 points.
The Arizona State women came out of the gates with a pair of wins in the day’s first two events, setting Pac-12 Championship meet records in both. Chelsea Cassulo, the top-ranked hammer thrower in the nation, threw for a meet-record 68.00m/223-01 in the day’s opening event. Teammate Christabel Nettey, the top-ranked long jumper in the country, followed up with a jump of 6.68/21-11 to claim the individual title, stadium record and meet record. It was Nettey’s second individual medal in three years and Cassulo is the first Sun Devil to win the hammer since 2009.
[Related video: Brigetta Barrett sets NCAA high jump record]
In the men’s pole vault, UCLA had three scorers in the event, including Michael Woepse, who took the individual title with a height of 5.46m/17-11.00, defeating 2012 pole vault champion Washington's JJ Juilfs (5.16m/16-11.00) who placed third. Chris Williams was second (5.26m/17-3.00) to give the Huskies two of the top-three spots on the podium. Woepse is the second Bruin to win the pole vault in three years, after his brother, Greg, won the event in 2011.
The women’s high jump was another record-setting event. For the second-straight year, Arizona's Brigetta Barrett finished the event uncontested. As she did last year, she attempted the NCAA collegiate meet record. Last year, she nearly cleared the height, but was not high enough. This time at Loker Stadium, she was successful. A silver medalist at the 2012 London Olympics where she set the Pac-12 record with a mark of 2.03m/6-8, the highest-ever mark achieved by a collegian, Barrett cleared a height of 1.99m/6-6.25 to claim the NCAA collegiate competition record and Pac-12 title. The league crown was the third of her career, making her the third athlete all-time to claim three titles in the event. Washington State’s Holly Parent (1.81m/5-11.25) and Oregon State’s Sara Almen (1.78m/5-10.00) were second and third.
[Related video: Christabel Nettey wins long jump title while shattering records]
Stanford's Brianna Bain won a second-straight Pac-12 title in the women’s javelin, putting over seven feet (nearly 24 feet) between her and the rest of the field with a throw of 53.84m/176-08. Bain is the top-ranked javelin thrower in the nation. In second place was WSU’s Anna Adamko (46.64m/153-00) and placing third was Oregon's Liz Brenner (45.71m/150-00), a three-sport athlete for UO who earned All-America honors in volleyball and was a member of the women’s basketball team.
Arizona State’s Jordan Clarke won his third-career shot put Conference title and the first since UCLA’s John Godina achieved the feat from 1993-95. Clarke threw 19.35m/63-06.00 and could not be reached by the field. UCLA’s Nicholas Scarvelis was second with a throw of 17.88m/58-08.00 and ASU’s Joe Riccio threw a 17.22m/56-06.00 to accompany his teammate on the podium.
California's Hammed Suleman became the first Golden Bear to win the men’s long jump since 1996, achieving a 7.91m/25-11.50 to stay ahead of the field by nearly a foot-and-a-half. Placing second behind Suleman was Oregon's Trevor Ferguson with a jump of 7.47m/24-06.25 and UCLA’s Michael Perry was third, recording a 7.43m/24-04.50 jump.
Arizona swept the top-two spots on the podium in the women’s shot put, with Julie Labonté, a London Olympian from Canada, leading the way with her third title in four years. Labonté’s throw of 17.38m/57-00.25 bested teammate Alyssa Hasslen’s throw of 17.01m/55-09.75.
[Related video: Take a tour of USC's track and field facilities]
Colorado swept the men’s and women’s steeplechase. A London Olympian for Team USA, Emma Coburn was the only runner in the field to run under 10 minutes, setting a Loker Stadium record with a time of 9:55.67. It is the second-straight year Colorado has claimed the women’s steeplechase after Team USA teammate Shalaya Kipp claimed the title last year. In the men’s competition, Aric Van Halen ran an 8:41.73 to win, staying ahead of 2012 Champion Collin Jarvis, who crossed the finish line in a time of 8:47.82. Colorado placed three more in the to eight, including third-place finisher Blake Theroux (8:49.99) and fourth-place finisher Hugh Dowdy (8:50.75).
The day wrapped up with the meet’s longest races, as Arizona claimed both 10,000 meter races. In the women’s race, Arizona's Jennifer Bergman claimed her first-career title, the Wildcats’ first in the event since 1999. Bergman outpaced Stanford's Jessica Tonn (34:41.68) and Washington's Lindsay Flanagan (34:46.68).
Meanwhile, in the men’s race, UA’s Lawi Lalang ran a 28:14.63 to claim the program’s third-straight 10,000-meter title. Lalang was over 40 seconds faster than the second-place finisher, Oregon's Stinson Parker (28:56.20). Colorado's Pierce Murphy wrapped up a solid day for the Buffs, placing third with a time of 29:36.48.
A stunning development in the women’s 100-meter race saw Oregon's English Gardner, the favorite in the race and two-time defending Conference champion in the event, was disqualified after being charged with a false start. It sets up tomorrow’s final which is now wide open. Teammate Jenna Prandini turned in the fastest time (11.31) of the day to advance.
[Related video: Two-time Pac-12 champion English Gardner DQ'd in 100m heat]
In the women’s 200 meter, Oregon sprinters posted two of the top three fastest preliminary times to advance to the finals, including English Gardner, who is looking to defend her title in the event. Two USC sprinters were also in the top five among the qualifiers.
In the women’s 400 meter, defending champion Oregon's Phyllis Francis posted the top qualifying time. But Arizona's Shapri Romero is the seventh-ranked runner in this race and was second among the qualifiers.
Oregon's Laura Roelser is the second-ranked runner in the 800 meter and successfully moved on to the finals, posting the second-fastest qualifying time of the day. She will be looking to defend her 2012 crown but will be challenged by Stanford's Justine Fedronic, who had the fastest time in the event today.
[Related video: Pac Profiles: Oregon's Laura Roesler]
In the women’s 1500 meter, Oregon runners posted three of the top four times, with Jordan Hasay running the fastest of the day. She is looking for a third-straight title in the event.
Stanford's Kori Carter looks to defend her 100-meter hurdles title after posting the top qualifying time. But UCLA’s Brea Buchanan will do her best to get to the top of the podium as the fifth-ranked hurdler at that distance in the country.
The women’s 400-meter hurdles features an Olympian. Arizona's Georganne Moline is wrapping up a collegiate career that already included plenty of highlights. She will be looking to successfully defend her league crown.
In the men’s 100 meter, USC’s Aaron Brown and Beejay Lee put up fast times. Brown’s, in particular, was a legal time of 10.07, tied for the fourth-fastest in Pac-12 history. Lee recored a wind-aided mark of 10.08. 2012 Champion Colorado's Joe Morris also moved on to the finals.
A pair of USC Olympians posted the fastest qualifying times in the 200 meter, with Aaron Brown posting the fastest (20.47). Teammate Bryshon Nellum has the second-fastest time. Washington's James Alaka, the two-time defending champion in the event, just missed the cut and did not advance to the finals.
USC’s Bryshon Nellum has the fastest qualifying time in the 400 meter. He won a silver medal at the London Olympics as a member of the 4x400-meter relay team. He is also the defending champion, but he will go up against 2011 Champion Oregon's Mike Berry, who had the second-fastest time.
UCLA’s Nick Hartle leads the 800-meter contingency, posting a time of 1:49.09 for the fastest preliminary time. However, Oregon's Elijah Greer is the top-ranked runner at the distance in the country and also moved on to the finals.
[Related video: Arizona's Lawi Lalang captures Pac-12 10k championship]
Arizona's Lawi Lalang will be looking for a second Pac-12 title this year and a second-straight title in the event after winning the 2012 crown. This race should be an exciting one with four of the top-10 ranked runners in the country vying for the title, including Stanford's Michael Atchoo who ranks second in the nation.
The defending champion in the 110-meter hurdles also moved on to the finals. Oregon's Johnathan Cabral will try to make it two-straight and will be tough to beat as the top-ranked hurdler in the nation.
USC’s Reggie Wytatt is ranked second in the nation in the 400-meter hurdles and he posted the top time in the qualifying heat. Cabral also looks to challenge at this distance, having qualified for the finals, as well.
The Pac-12 Men’s and Women’s Track & Field Championships concludes on Sunday, May 12 at Cromwell Field at Loker Stadium. For more information and to follow the action throughout the day, visit championships.pac-12.com/track-field. Full results, photos and video interviews are also available. For more information on the venue, visit www.usctrojans.com.
Team Standings - WOMEN
1. Arizona - 60
2. Arizona State - 45
3. UCLA - 33
4. Stanford - 32
5. Oregon - 30.50
6. Colorado - 27
7. Washington State - 23
7. Washington - 23
9. California - 20.50
10. USC - 9
11. Oregon State - 6
12. Utah - 3
Team Standings - MEN
1. UCLA - 53.50
2. Oregon - 49.50
3. Washington - 37
4. Colorado - 34
5. Arizona State - 29
6. California - 22
7. Stanford - 14
8. USC - 12
8. Arizona - 12
10. Washington State - 10
Pac-12 Championships Individual Champions
Women’s Hammer - Chelsea Cassulo, ASU, 68.00m/223-01
Women’s Long Jump - Christabel Nettey, ASU, 6.68/21-11
Men’s Pole Vault - Michael Woepse, UCLA, 5.46m/17-11.00
Women’s High Jump - Brigetta Barrett, ARIZ, 1.99m/6-06.25
Women’s Javelin - Brianna Bain, STAN, 53.84m/176-08
Men’s Shot Put - Jordan Clarke, ASU, 19.35m/63-06.00
Men’s Long Jump - Hammed Suleman, CAL, 7.91m/25-11.50
Men’s Javelin - Sam Crouser, ORE, 76.01m/249-04
Women’s Shot Put - Julie Labonte, ARIZ, 17.38m/57-00.25
Women’s Steeplechase - Emma Coburn, COLO, 9:55.67
Men’s Steeplechase - Aric Van Halen, COLO, 8:41.73
Women’s 10,000m - Jennifer Bergman, ARIZ, 34:17.09
Men’s 10,000m - Lawi Lalang, ARIZ, 28:14.63