Johnson and Rankin Win Individual Titles on Sunday
May 15, 2005
Senior Jon Rankin and sophomore Brandon Johnson picked up individual Pac-10 titles on Sunday on the final day of the Pac-10 Championships at Drake Stadium, as the Bruins finished second (134.50 pts.) to the Oregon Ducks (152 pts.). The Bruins, who were the reigning Pac-10 Champions, finished ahead of ASU (3rd, 122 pts.), USC (4th, 106 pts.), Washington (5th, 75.50), Stanford (6th, 66 pts.), Arizona (7th, 65 pts.), California (8th, 60.50 pts.) and Washington State (9th, 36.50 pts.).
Rankin, running in two events on Sunday, won the 1500m easily (3:44.61), running away with the race with 150 meters to go. He became the first Bruin in 40 years to capture the 1500m Pac-10 title. In his second event of the day, the 800m, Rankin was edged out by Washington's Ryan Brown (1:47.31), finishing second in a time of 1:47.39.
Johnson, who was competing in three events on Sunday, won his specialty, the 400m hurdles in a time of 49.34. Johnson also ran a lifetime-best 46.34 in the 400m race, finishing fifth overall and ran the third leg of the fourth-place 4x400m relay (season-best-3:04.11).
Senior Jonathan Williams recorded two lifetime-bests on the final day of competition, as he finished second in both the 110m hurdles and 400m hurdles. In the 110mH, Williams ran 13.81 (old-best, 13.93) and 49.67 (old best, 50.14) in the 400m hurdles.
Freshmen Dominique Easterling and Michael Johnson, Jr., along with junior Demetre Howard, all surpassed the 50-foot mark in the triple jump on Sunday. Johnson placed fourth with a lifetime-best and regional qualifying mark of 51-3.50, Howard finished fourth with a mark of 51-0.75, and Easterling was seventh with a jump of 50-8. Easterling also tied for sixth in the high jump, equaling his season-best mark (6-10.75).
In all, the Bruins have qualified 33 athletes and two relays for the NCAA West Regional Championships, held May 27-28 in Eugene, Oregon. Next weekend, freshman Greg Garza, freshman John Caulfield and junior Jeremy Silverman will head to Salinas for the Hartnell Throws Meet, while the majority of the team rests up for Regionals.