2014 USATF Outdoor Championships day 4 recap: Devon Allen, four others win U.S. titles
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Another day, another slew of medals for former and current Pac-12 athletes. On day 4 of the 2014 USATF Outdoor Championships at Hornet Stadium, Oregon freshman phenom Devon Allen claimed a national title in the men's 110m hurdles, Stanford grad Kori Carter smashed the 400m hurdles competition, Cal alum Inika McPherson cleared a personal best and won her first outdoor high jump crown, 'SC standout Duane Solomon won back-to-back 800m titles, and former Buff great Jenny Simpson cleaned up in the women's 1500m. And that's why it's the Conference of Champions.
Here's a full breakdown of Sunday's action featuring athletes with Pac-12 connections:
Devon Allen may have just had the perfect collegiate season, and he’s a redshirt freshman. The Duck, who doubles as a wide receiver on the gridiron, captured the win in the men’s 110m hurdle final with another blazing time of 13.16, just milliseconds ahead of runner-up and 2013 U.S. champion Ryan Wilson.
Allen is fresh off of a shocking win at the NCAA outdoor finals weeks ago, where he broke the NCAA meet record set by Olympic gold medalist Aries Merritt. He is the first college athlete to win both an NCAA title and a national title in the same year since Renaldo Nehemiah in 1979.
— TrackAndFieldPhoto (@TnFphoto) June 29, 2014
“Things just started clicking in practice,” Allen said. “Me and my coaches went through some things and just got better every practice. I just started feeling better and faster, and it just clicked.”
The freshman took down a tough field that included world champions and Olympic medalists, but the competition just fuels him even more.
“Being able to compete with national-caliber athletes every race gives me more confidence in my ability to compete at a high level,” he said.
Oregon senior Laura Roesler also made history Sunday with a runner-up finish in the women’s 800m final that finally broke the the two-minute barrier she’s been chasing all season.
Her time of 1:59.04 is the second-fastest 800m time in school history, which still stands because Roesler was still wearing the ‘O’ while competing. She is also the fourth fastest collegian all-time when including performances from outside the collegiate season.
There was speculation aplenty on possible sponsorship deals leading up to the final, but Roesler was proud to continue to wear the ‘O.’
“A lot of people thought I would go pro once NCAAs was over, but I figured why not wear the ‘O’ for as long as I can?” Roesler said, “They’ve supported me for four years and there’s no other uniform I would want to wear.”
Former Oregon Duck Elijah Greer finished in fourth place in the men’s 800m final despite a fall from Oregon Track Club’s Charles Jock, which affected a large portion of the field 200 meters into the race.
Former Oregon standout Cyrus Hostetler, who now trains with the Oregon Track Club, finished ninth in the men’s javelin final with a mark of 71.52m.
Former Colorado standout Jenny Simpson stomped all over the field in the final of the women’s 1500m with a winning time of 4:04.96 for her first national title in the event. Simpson has won a gold medal in the 1500m at the world championships, two national titles in the steeplechase and one in the 5k, but never a U.S title in the 1500m until Sunday. And it was an milestone she took very seriously going in.
“There’s always a point where you have to be brave even when you’re the heavy favorite, maybe especially when you’re the heavy favorite," Simpson said. “But that’s why you work hard, because that’s what gets you to the finish line.”
— emma coburn (@emmajcoburn) June 29, 2014
Former Buffaloes Arik Van Halen and Billy Nelson finished eighth and 12th in the men’s steeplechase final, respectively. Van Halen posted a time of 8:42 and Nelson clocked in at 8:52.
Trojan grad Duane Solomon continued to dominate in the men’s 800m with a stunning win in 1:44.30 that almost beat his meet record of 1:43.27 set at last year’s championships. The Olympian cruised to the win over runner-up Casimir Loxsom (1:45.97) and the entire field that was affected by a fall early on in the race.
Under the guidance of American record-holder and coach Johnny Gray (UCLA alum), Solomon is on a mission to continue to push the limits and the American record (1:42.60).
“I think my best way to race is to run like this,” Solomon said, “If I run like this every race, I’m going to be hard to beat.”
— TrackAndFieldPhoto (@TnFphoto) June 29, 2014
A former Trojan standout and now coaching at USC, Ryan Wilson nearly edged out Oregon’s Devon Allen for the win in the final of the men’s 110m hurdles, but fell short by 0.005 seconds. Since graduating from USC, Wilson won a national title in 2013, was the runner-up in 2010, and third in 2006.
Wilson’s training partner and mentee Aleec Harris closed out an incredible season for the Trojans with a fourth-place finish in the men’s 100m hurdles final at 13.26, just behind winner Devon Allen, Wilson and Olympian David Oliver.
Alex Collatz took home a 10th-place finish in the women’s discus final with a mark of 54.24m. The junior earned first-team All-American honors with an eighth-place finish at the NCAA outdoor championships this year. Her teammate Tera Novy finished 13th with a mark of 51.46m.
Former Trojan and now Nike athlete Bryshon Nellum finished sixth in the final of the men’s 200m in 20.65. Nellum is a 2012 Olympic Games 4x400m silver medalist.
Trojan alum Reggie Wyatt clocked in a third-place finish in the final of the men’s 400m hurdles with a time of 50.16 behind Johnny Dutch and Michael Stigler. Wyatt was the 2013 NCAA outdoor champion.
Cal alum Inika McPherson had a tremendous final attempt in the women’s high jump to not only clear a personal best, but also claim her first outdoor national title. Her mark of 6-6 ¾ bested five-time national champion Chaunte Lowe’s clearance of 6-4 ¼.
Since graduating from Cal in 2009, McPherson, who is unsponsored, has won two U.S. indoor titles (2013, 2014) and two runner-up finishes, bringing home the gold twice in 2014.
“After Cal I took a break, I just had to relax, but I came back because I had to do what I love,” McPherson said.
Former Golden Bear and All-American Ryan Young finished seventh in the men’s javelin final with a mark of 74.73m.
Stanford grad and now Nike athlete Kori Carter wowed the crowd in the final of the women’s 400m hurdles with a win in 53.84 to take the crown over multiple Olympians and American record holder Lashinda Demus. Former Arizona Wildcat Georganne Moline followed close behind in 54.00, and Cassandra Tate took third in 54.70.
Despite the stiff competition, Carter still managed to go “Kori monster mode.”
“My race for 1-2-3 (hurdles) was pretty good for four; got into the shady around five, six and seven, but with 100 to go I just decided to go Kori monster mode and just gave everything I had,” Carter said, beaming.
This was Carter’s first U.S. outdoor final performance after failing to make the final at last year’s championships.
Kori Carter wins the 400mH national title! 53.84 is the fastest by an American this year. Moline 2nd, Tate 3rd. #USAoutdoors
— USATF (@usatf) June 29, 2014
Former Stanford great Summer Pierson competed in the women’s discus final today for a seventh-place finish with a mark of 57.60m.
Freshman All-American Valarie Allman got her first taste of national-caliber talent with a 12th-place finish in the women’s discus with a mark of 51.84m. She finished third at the NCAA outdoor championships this year.
Bruin senior Michael Woepse capped off his season with a sixth-place finish in the men’s pole vault, clearing a height of 18-0 ½. Woepse set the UCLA-USC dual meet record this year with a mark of 18-5.25.
Dustin DeLeo, another former Bruin pole vault standout, competed for a seventh-place finish with a height of 17-8 ½.
Former Wildcat and now Nike athlete Brigetta Barrett competed for a third-place finish in the women’s high jump final with a clearance of 6-3 ¼. Barrett was the NCAA indoor and outdoor champion from 2011 to 2013, and in 2012 she won silver at the London Olympics.
Arizona grad Georganne Moline held on for a tight runner-up finish to Stanford alum Kori Carter in the final of the women’s 400m hurdles. Her time of 54.00 was just behind Carter’s winning time of 53.84. Moline has represented Team USA at the 2013 world championships and the 2012 London Olympics.
Shelby Houlihan continues to show her range as the NCAA 1500m champ finished with another personal best in the final of the women’s 800m in a time of 2:01.12 for seventh place.
After finishing third in the triple jump Friday, Sun Devil alum Chris Benard finished 10th with a mark of 24-111/4. While at Arizona State, Benard was the runner-up at the 2012 NCAA outdoor championships.
Former Husky great and now Brooks Beasts athlete Katie Mackey competed for a third-place finish in the final of the women’s 1500m with a time of 4:07.70. She was an eight-time All-American while at Washington and earned Pac-10 titles in 2008 and 2009.
Former Coug Jeshua Anderson competed for a fifth-place finish in the final of the men’s 400m hurdles at 50.24. Anderson is the 2011 U.S outdoor champion in the event.
For full results of the 2014 USATF Outdoor Championships, visit USATF.org.