Four meet records go down at Pac-12 Track & Field Championships
PULLMAN, Wash. – It was a record-setting weekend at Mooberry Track and Field Complex that saw four meet records go down and one tie at the 2014 Pac-12 Track and Field Championships.
Starting with the women’s 4x100-meter relay, the USC women lit up the track Sunday afternoon with a winning time of 43.21 seconds, a season best that broke the meet record of 43.27 seconds set by Oregon in 2010. The team of Loudia Laarman, Jessica Davis, Alexis Faulknor, and Tynia Gaither rallied to take down runner-up Oregon and third-place Arizona. The time is also the third-fastest in league history.
The men’s 1500 meter was a rival matchup that came down to the wire as Arizona’s Lawi Lalang and Oregon’s Edward Cheserek fought to the finish line. Lalang defended his Pac-12 title with a winning time of 3:36.34, shattering his own Pac-12 Championships record of 3:38.53 set last season. Cheserek finished second with a time of 3:36.50. Lalang’s time is also two seconds faster than any collegiate time this season.
“I just thought if he can kick, I can kick so why not try?” Lalang said after edging out Cheserek at the line.
USC’s Aleec Harris continued on his 110-meter hurdle tear with a winning time of 13.35 seconds to take down the meet record of 13.39 seconds set by fellow Trojan Brendan Ames in 2011. Harris stands as the second-fastest hurdler in the NCAA this season with his time of 13.32 seconds, which he set at the Mt. Sac Relays in mid-April. Harris set the meet record Sunday after winning the 4x100-meter relay with his Trojan teammates.
“The 4x100 sets me up to have a good start. That’s why I love the 4x100, because it helps me stay aggressive coming out of the blocks,” Harris said.
Arizona’s Nick Ross came up big for the Wildcats after winning his third conference high jump title with a clearance of 7-5.75 (2.28m), which ties the Pac-12 meet record. Ross and Oregon State legend Dick Fosbury are the only two athletes in conference history to win three titles in the event. Ross also picked up a third-place finish in the triple jump in between attempts in the high jump competition.
Oregon standout Jenna Prandini cleaned house Sunday afternoon, winning the long jump, the 100 meters and the 200 meters. Her time of 22.60 seconds in the 200 broke the Pac-12 Championships meet record of 22.62 seconds set by English Gardner in 2013. Prandini totaled 32 points for the Ducks and was named Women’s Athlete of the Meet.
“Repping the ‘O’ on your chest is special. Our coaches prepare us as best as any other coach and our team chemistry is great.” Prandini said, “We just rally each other and feed off each other’s energy.”