USC’s Iuel, Oregon’s Keys win multi events at Pac-12 Championships
PULLMAN, Wash. -- USC freshman Amalie Iuel and OREGON’s Dakotah Keys claimed the individual titles in the multi events at the Pac-12 Men’s and Women’s Track & Field Championships at Mooberry Track & Field Complex on Sunday on the campus of Washington State. Keys, a junior, nabbed his third-straight decathlon title with 7,801 points, while Iuel won the heptathlon with 5,378 points.
After being in third place after the first day of competition, Iuel made up the difference and stayed ahead of WASHINGTON STATE’s Alissa Brooks-Johnson, also a freshman, who scored 5,325 points to place second. The 53-point margin of victory is the closest since 2005 when WSU’s Julie Pickler scored 5,569 points to edge out teammate and twin sister Diana Pickler (5,563) to win the title. Placing third in the heptathlon was ARIZONA senior Amber Passalaqua (5,313), UCLA junior Alexis Walker was fourth (5,200) and CALIFORNIA’s Jaci Powell rounded out the top five scoring 5,160 points.
When asked about how the competition went for Iuel, she said, “It actually went a lot better than expected … I knew I wasn’t top three [coming into the weekend] and I knew who I had to look out for and try to stick with. So I did that and it worked.”
Iuel climbed the standings after each event, moving into third place after the first event of the day, the long jump, where she placed fourth with a leap of 18-3 (5.56m). Her seventh-place showing with a throw of 110-05 (33.67m) in the javelin was enough to move her into second going into the final event. Iuel would need a win in the 800-meter run in order to win the heptathlon and she did just that, clocking a time of 2:12.43 to propel her into the lead and claim the win.
Meanwhile, Brooks-Johnson had also made a steady climb and was right behind Iuel throughout the day. She also needed a win in the final event of the day, but fell just short, coming in second place with a time of 2:15.05. However, it was enough for second place in the overall heptathlon competition, making the climb up from fifth after Day One.
For the second-straight year, Keys made a comeback to win the decathlon. He is the fourth decathlete all-time to win the event at least three times, and third Oregon decathlete to accomplish the feat. He is also the first since former Oregon Duck and world record holder Ashton Eaton won the event from 2008-2010 to claim the decathlon three years in a row. Keys’ title is also Oregon’s 16th all-time, extending the program’s league record in the event.
“It feels pretty good. I was stressed out most of the meet. It wasn’t going as smooth as I wanted. But I was saying before I got here that I wanted to be confident and relaxed, and I started to feel my groove a little bit at the end of the first day,” said Keys about his performance. “It was just a big up and down roller coaster and usually that’s how the decathlon goes. I think it’s mentally prepared me for nationals.”
Keys overtook first place from yesterday’s leader, USC’s Viktor Fajoyomi, in the day’s third event of the day, the pole vault. Keys won the pole vault with a throw of 15-5 (4.70m), and then never looked back. He went on to win the very next event, posting a throw of 207-6 (63.26m) in the javelin, more than 23 feet of the second place throw. He then sealed his third-consecutive decathlon win, crossing the finish line with a time of 4:30.06 in the 1,500-meter run to place third.
Fajoyomi, who was first after yesterday and who won 110-meter hurdles to hold his early lead (14.52 seconds), finished second overall in the decathlon with 7,489 points. Oregon’s Mitch Modin (7,310) and Alec Fellows (7,081) were third and fourth, respectively, while COLORADO’s Brock Emory placed fifth overall.
The running and field events portion of the Pac-12 Championships will be competed next weekend Mooberry Track & Field Complex, May 17 and 18. Teams go into next weekend with Oregon leading the men’s competition with 21 points, followed by USC with 11 points, Colorado with 5 points and ARIZONA notching one points. On the women’s side, the Trojans lead all teams with 10 points, followed by Washington State with eight points, then Arizona with six points. In fourth place, is UCLA with five points, Cal is fifth with four points, and Colorado and Oregon are tied for sixth with three points each.
Live results will be posted throughout the entire championships at http://pac-12.com/2014-pac-12-track-field-championships or by visiting: http://results.flashresults.com/2014_Meets/Outdoor/5-10-Pac12/. A full schedule, final results and photos from the competition can also be found on the track & field championships page at http://pac-12.com/2014-pac-12-track-field-championships.
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