Morrison Second, Kuechler Seventh after Day 1 of Pac-10 Decathlon
May 8, 2010
Ashton Eaton of Oregon, the two-time defending conference champion and the 2009 NCAA titlist, leads after five events with 4,220 points, followed by Morrison with 3,858 points and Washington's Jeremy Taiwo with 3,788. Kuechler has 3,453 points.
Oregon's Brianne Theisen head the women's heptathlon field with 3,600 points, with Samantha Henderson of Arizona State (3,262) in second and UCLA's Ryann Krais (3,160) in third. Theisen captured last year's Pac-10 title with a two-day total of 5,986 points, as well as the '09 NCAA championship with 6,086 points.
'I thought we had a very solid first day,' said Tony Sandoval, Cal's director of track & field. 'Mike sprained his ankle just after the Big Meet and he did a great job getting through his events. We're in second and seventh, which is a good day for us.'
In the opening event, the 100 meters, Morrison and Kuechler both raced in the second of two heats, which was won by Eaton in 10.59 seconds. Morrison took second in the heat and had the fifth-best overall time at 11.23, while Kuechler's 11.63 was fourth in the heat and 10th overall.
Both Morrison and Kuechler came through with PRs on their third and final attempts in the long jump. Morrison, who had fouled on his first two jumps, posted a mark of 24-1.50, 2 1/2 inches further than he leapt at the Texas Relays earlier this year and just three inches behind Eaton, the leader. Kuechler's final try didn't have as much drama as Morrison's but he still went 22-6.50, which bettered his distance of 22-5.00 set during the 2010 indoor season.
'Mike has great poise and did a great job of pulling it together,' said Sandoval, who noted that Morrison also fouled on his first two attempts in the long jump before leaping 24-1.50 on his last try during the heptathlon at the NCAA indoor championships in March. Morrison went on to place third with a school-record 5,726 points.
Morrison finished third behind a couple of Oregon competitors in the shot put. Eaton won with a throw of 41-10.75 and teammate Marshall Ackley was second at 40-7.75. Morrison's best effort of 39-0.75 came on his final attempt. Kuechler, meanwhile, took sixth with a mark of 37-11.25.
In the high jump, Morrison tied for fifth with a height of 6-3.25 and Kuechler tied for ninth at 5-10.50.
Then in the final event of the day, the 400 meters, Morrison closed with a strong finish in the final 100 meters to finish in 49.74, just off his PR in the event of 49.25 seconds. Kuechler crossed the line in 51.52.
In his only other decathlon this season, Morrison had 4,041 points after the first day at the Texas Relays March 31. He went on to finish with 7,557 points - the fifth-highest total in school history. Kuechler had 3,523 points after the first day of the Cal Multis March 24 on his way to a PR 6,638 points.
Competition in both the decathlon and heptathlon resumes Sunday at 11 a.m., starting with the decathlon's 110-meter hurdles.
Next week, all 10 Pac-10 schools will be represented at Edwards Stadium when Cal hosts the Pac-10 Championships May 15-16. For more information, including schedules and ticket options, visit the Pac-10 Championships button on CalBears.com.
Pac-10 Multi-event Championships
Saturday, May 08, 2010 - Edwards Stadium
Decathlon Day 1 Standings
1. Ashton Eaton, Oregon 4220; 2. Michael Morrison, California 3858; 3. Jeremy Taiwo, Washington 3788; 4. Marshall Ackley, Oregon 3638; 5. Jamie Sandys, Arizona State 3572; 6. Trent Perez, UCLA 3470; 7. Kevin Kuechler, California 3453; 8. Kyle Schauble, Washington St. 3436; 9. Austin Prince, Arizona State 3365; 10. Andrew Ferleman, Washington 3176; 11. Jeremy Marcinko, Arizona State 3099; DNF Ramsey Hopkins, Washington St.
Heptathlon Day 1 Standings
1. Brianne Theisen, Oregon 3600; 2. Samantha Henderson, Arizona State 3262; 3. Ryann Krais, UCLA 3160; 4.. Keia Pinnick, Arizona State 3089; 5. Karynn Dunn, Stanford 3057; 6. Angela Jensen, Washington St. 3055; 7. Jasmine Johnson-McKeown, Washington St. 3022; 8. Erin Funkhouser, Oregon 2907; 9. Sarah Schireman, Washington 2727; 10. Lindsey Kirschman, Washington 2536; 11. Whitney Liehr, Stanford 2282