Oregon men, women lead at Pac-12 track & field championships
LOS ANGELES -- The OREGON men and women take the lead at the end of the first day of the Pac-12 Track & Field Championships at Drake Stadium on the campus of UCLA. A combined 13 champions were crowned on Saturday, while fans were also treated to two of the fastest sprints in Pac-12 history, one of which was one of the best times in the world this season and also a Canadian record.
On the women’s side, OREGON has a sizable lead in the standings, collecting 78 points after the first day. In second place, STANFORD picked up 40 points, UCLA is in third with 39 points, and WASHINGTON STATE is fourth with 27. USC has 22 points for fifth place, COLORADO is sixth (19), ARIZONA is seventh (15) and ARIZONA STATE has 12 for eighth. UTAH scored eight points for ninth place, WASHINGTON is in 10th with six points, OREGON STATE picked up five points and CALIFORNIA has two to round out the standings.
On the men’s side, OREGON is holding on to just a three-point lead over host-UCLA, 53-50. COLORADO has 39 points for third place, WASHINGTON (35) and STANFORD (32) are fourth and fifth, respectively. USC’s 26 points are good for sixth place, pacing ahead of ARIZONA (23) and ARIZONA STATE (22). CALIFORNIA scored 18 points for ninth place, while WASHINGTON STATE collected 14.
Highlights from the day included STANFORD’s Brianna Bain and OREGON’s Sam Crouser winning the javelin for a fourth-consecutive year. UO sophomore Brittany Mann became the first-ever Duck to win the shot put and a jump off determined the women’s high jump with UCLA’s Zibby Boyer pulling through for the win. COLORADO also swept the steeplechase races, having won the women’s race every year since joining the league four years ago.
USC’s Andre De Grasse ran one of the top-three times in Pac-12 history in the 200-meter preliminary, also one of the fastest times in the world and clocking a Canadian record. OREGON’s Jasmine Todd recorded a top-10 time in league history in the 100 meters and WASHINGTON scored 25 points in the men’s pole vault.
In addition to the individual champions that were crowned today and standout performances, one of the biggest news to emerge was the scratch of OREGON’s Jenna Prandini from the meet. Prandini was expected to score big points for the Ducks as the defending champion in the 100 meters, 200 meters and the long jump. She is currently No. 1 in the country in both sprinting events and was slated to defend three individual events, including the 100 meters, 200 meters and long jump.
The Pac-12 Track & Field Championships conclude tomorrow, May 17 at Drake Stadium. To follow along, visit pac-12.com and the official championships page at http://pac-12.com/track-field/championships/2015-pac-12-track-field-championships.
Conor McCullough gave USC its third-consecutive men’s hammer title and fifth in six years. The top hammer thrower in the country, he was far out in front of the field, recording a 236-10 (72.20m). OREGON’s Greg Skipper was second with a throw of 225-02 (68.64m) and UCLA’s Alec Faldermeyer’s throw of 209-02 (63.75m) was third.
OREGON’s Brittany Mann became the first-ever Duck to win the women’s shot put, recording a throw of 56-6.75 (17.24m). Mann took care of business early, achieving the mark in just her first throw. UCLA sophomore Torie Owens was second (66-6.50/16.93m) and ARIZONA STATE freshman Maggie Ewen was third (53-5.75/16.30m).
With defending champion UO’s Jenna Prandini out of the meet, the field for the women’s long jump was wide open. She is ranked No. 6 in the country in the event. But USC’s Alexis Faulknor capitalized on the opportunity and won the individual crown with a leap of 21-0.75 (6.42m), a mark she achieved on her final attempt. She becomes the first Trojan to win the event since 2004. OREGON’s Jasmine Todd was second (20-8.50/6.31m) and UCLA freshman Jessie Maduka was third (20-7.75/6.29m).
WASHINGTON collected 25 points in the men’s pole vault alone, sweeping the top two spots and placing four in the top seven, overall. Junior Jax Thoirs successfully defended his title, recording a height of 18-6.50 (5.65m), and also attempted to break the championship record at 5.73m but was unable to clear it. Teammate Chris Williams was second with a height of 17-4.50 (5.30m), and decathlon champion Pau Tonnesen of Arizona was third (17-4.50/5.30m). UW freshman Lev Marcus and senior JJ Juilfs, the 2012 champion in the event, were fourth and seventh, respectively.
A familiar face was left standing in the women’s javelin as STANFORD’s Brianna Bain claimed her fourth-straight title in the event. Ranked eighth in the country in the event, she posted a throw of 168-7 (51.38m) to beat the field again. UTAH sophomore Megan Glassman was second with a mark of 166-00 (50.59m) and multi-sport athlete out of OREGON Liz Brenner was third (157-9/48.09m).
The top-three placers tied for the best mark in the women’s high jump, sending the competition to a jump off where UCLA junior Zibby Boyer took the crown, defeating OREGON’s Lauren Crockett and Chancey Summers, both seniors, as well as defending champion WASHINGTON STATE senior Charlotte Muschamp (5-10.50/1.79m). The trio leapt 5-11.50 (1.82m) to force the jump off.
It was a sweep in the 3,000-meter steeplechase for COLORADO. For a fourth-straight year, the women’s title is won by a Buffalo as freshman Erin Clark easily won the title with a time of 10:02.16, one of the top-eight times in Pac-12 history. OREGON sophomore Frida Berge was second (10:09.94) and STANFORD sophomore Danielle Katz (10:23.32) was third. Colorado has won the women’s steeplechase every year since joining the league four years ago.
In the men’s steeplechase, it came down to a pair of Buffs duking it out down the straight away, but ultimately, junior Conor Winter edged out teammate senior Blake Theroux by just seven-hundredths of a second. Winter turned in a time of 8:48.93 and Theroux ran an 8:49.00. In third place was Tanguy Pepiot with a time of 8:52.15. It is the second time since the Buffs joined the Pac-12 four years ago they have swept the men’s and women's steeplechase (2013).
On his final attempt, UCLA sophomore Nicholas Scarvelis threw a 64-5.25 (19.64m) to claim his second-straight Pac-12 title. Ranked ninth in the country, the throw was enough to beat freshman teammate Braheme Days (63-6.00/19.35m). With that win, UCLA has won at least one individual title in 51-consecutive years, adding to the Pac-12 record. USC freshman Nicholas Ponzio was third wit a throw of 63-1.25 (19.23m).
OREGON’s Sam Crouser becomes the first-ever four-time men’s javelin champion, winning the event with a mark of 252-10 (77.06m). The second-ranked athlete in the event in the country, he is only the seventh athlete in Conference history to win four individual titles in one event since 1960. UCLA senior Derek Eager was second with a throw of 233-9 (71.26m) and WASHINGTON senior Curtis Clauson was third with 225-3 (68.67m).
The top three in the men’s long jump were all freshmen with USC’s Adoree Jackson taking the title after breaking the tie. He jumped 25-3.50 (7.71m), defeating OREGON’s Nate Moore. CALIFORNIA’s Walter Jones was third at 25-1.25 (7.65m).
STANFORD’s Jessica Tonn broke away from the pack in the final lap of the 10,000 meter race to defend her Pac-12 title. She ran 34:00.33 to claim the crown for the second-straight year, staying ahead of OREGON’s Waverly Neer (34:03.59) and ARIZONA’s Elvin Kibet (34:04.97).
ARIZONA STATE’s Shelby Houlihan advanced to the final of the 1,500-meter women’s race. The NCAA Champion in the event in 2014, she will be going for her third-straight individual crown at Drake Stadium after winning her heat with a time of 4:17.99. STANFORD freshman Elise Cranny was the winner of the second heat with a time of 4:20.52.
With the men’s 1500 title up for grabs after former ARIZONA Wildcat Lawi Lalang took home the crown three-consecutive years, the second heat in the event came down to the wire as five runners battled it out for four spots. The top three runners were separated by just .01 seconds with OREGON’s Johnny Gregorek (3:51.274) edging out teammate Daniel Winn (3:51.276), and UO freshman Blake Haney was third with a time of 3:51.59. COLORADO’s Ben Saarel recorded the fastest time in the prelims, winning heat 1 with a time of 3:41.85.
Fifth-ranked 100-meter hurdler USC’s Dior Hall, a freshman, had the fastest time in the 100-meter hurdles, clocking a 13.14, easily qualifying for Sunday’s final. Fellow Trojan DJ Morgan posted the fastest time in the 110-meter hurdles to lead all qualifiers.
Almost half of the women’s 400-meter finals tomorrow will be a Trojan as four sprinters advanced. Senior Vanessa Jones had the fastest time in the event, winning the second heat with a time of 51.92 seconds. ARIZONA STATE’s Brianna Tate, who is the highest-ranked at the distance in the Pac-12, also qualified for the final.
On the men’s side of the 400-meters, ARIZONA senior Pete Lauderdale turned in the fastest preliminary time at 46.28 seconds and OREGON sophomore Marcus Chambers won the first heat with a time of 46.57.
Without Prandini in the competition, OREGON sophomore Jasmine Todd still was able to make headlines in the women’s 100-meters. She turned in the fasted time, clocking an 11.12 to advance. The time also cracked the top-10 all-time in Pac-12 history. The Trojans dominated the 100-meters, advancing five sprinters to the finals on Sunday.
The men’s 100-meter final looks to be an exciting one, as well, as the 2013 Pac-12 Champion Beejay Lee of USC advances. Teammate Andre De Grasse is the top-ranked sprinter in the country and turned in the fastest time of the day (10.12).
OREGON’s Annie Leblanc (2:08.18) and freshman teammate Raevyn Rogers (2:07.03) won the first and third heats in the 800 meters, while STANFORD’s Claudia Saunders won the second heat (2:09.06). Saunders is the third-ranked 800-meter runner in the country.
The Conference’s top three 800-meter men’s runners advanced to make the final on Sunday a battle for the title. UCLA’s Nick Hartle, ranked 20th in the country, had the fastest time at 1:49.81 and finished ahead of WASHINGTON STATE’s Jesse Jorgensen (1:49.82), who ranks 11th in the nation. Seventh-ranked Collins Kibet of ARIZONA won his heat, crossing the finish line with a time of 1:50.42.
USC swept the wins in the 400-meter hurdles heats, with sophomore Amalie Iuel recording the top time in the event at 56.43. Teammate and sophomore Jaide Stepter will have a chance to defend her title she won last year, running in a time of 57.35. WASHINGTON STATE advanced three hurdlers to the finals.
STANFORD junior Jackson Shumway had the fastest 400-meter hurdles time, running a 52.13 in the first heat. COLORADO sophomore Jaron Thiel won the second heat with a time of 52.35.
In the women’s 200 meters, seven USC sprinters qualified for the finals, while OREGON’s Jasmine Todd had the fastest time of the day in the event, running a 22.89. WASHINGTON STATE senior Briauna Watley claimed the last spot in the finals after running a 23.83 in the second heat.
The men’s 200 meter turned in the fastest time in the world this season at the time of the race and was also a Canadian record as USC’s Andre De Grasse clocked a wind-legal 20.03 in the preliminaries. The time is also tied for second all-time in Pac-12 history. Teammates Beejay Lee and Just N’ Thymes also advanced, giving USC a heavy presence in the event.
Pac-12 Championships Individual Champions
Men’s Hammer - Conor McCullough, USC, 72.20m/236-10
Women’s Long Jump - Alexis Faulknor, UCLA, 6.42m/21-0.75
Men’s Pole Vault - Jax Thoirs, WASH, 5.65m/18-6.50
Women’s Javelin - Brianna Bain, STAN, 51.38m/168-7
Women’s Shot Put - Brittany Mann, ORE, 17.24m/56-6.75
Women’s High Jump - Zibby Boyer, UCLA, 1.82m/5-11.50
Men’s Long Jump - Adoree Jackson, USC, 7.71m/25-3.50
Men’s Javelin - Sam Crouser, ARIZ, 77.06m/252-10
Men’s Shot Put - Nicholas Scarvelis, UCLA, 19.64m/64-05.25
Women’s 3,000-Meter Steeplechase - Erin Clark, COLO, 10:02.16
Men’s 3,000-Meter Steeplechase - Connor Winter, COLO, 8:48.93
Women’s 10,000 Meters - Jessica Tonn, STAN, 34:00.33
Men’s 10,000 Meters - Ammar Moussa, COLO, 29:34.28
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