Arizona Women and Oregon Men Lead After First Day of Pac-10 Track and Field Championships
Tucson, Ariz. - Behind a sweep of the shot put medals and a win in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, the ARIZONA women lead the field with 70 points after the first day of competition at the 2011 Pac-10 Track and Field Championships at Roy P. Drachman Stadium in Tucson, Ariz. With 53 points, the OREGON men carry an eight-point lead over Arizona and STANFORD heading into Saturday's action.
In the first event of the weekend, the women's hammer, USC redshirt junior Marissa Minderler captured the Pac-10 title with a personal-best throw of 210-3 (64.09m). Entering the meet ranked third in the conference, Minderler's previous best was 205-5 (62.60m). UCLA freshman Ida Storm finished second (209-0/63.72m) and Trojan freshman Jenny Ozorai was third (207-7/63.28m).
In the men's high jump, Arizona sophomore Nick Ross won his first Pac-10 title, clearing 7-2.5 (2.20m) on his first attempt. California junior Brian Carmichael picked up points for the Golden Bears by finishing second (7-1.5/2.17m), while Arizona State freshman Bryan McBride joined them on the medal stand, finishing third by jumping 7-1.5 (2.17m) on his second attempt.
Washington State senior Marissa Tschida won her second-straight conference crown in the women's javelin with a throw of 183-9 (56.02m), which ranks sixth all-time in the Pac-10. Stanford senior Eda Karesin threw 172-11 (52.72m) to finish second, while junior Courtney Kirkwood earned another medal for the Cougars with her third-place finish (166-7/50.79m).
In the men's javelin, USC junior Cooper Thompson threw 238-6 (72.69m) to claim the title. Thompson was the runner-up one year ago. Kyle Nielsen, a senior from Washington, finished second (237-10/72.50m) and fellow Husky Joe Zimmerman placed third (235-8/71.83m).
The host Wildcats owned the medal podium in the women's shot put, with sophomore Julie Labonté repeating as the Pac-10 Champion in the event. Labonté threw a career-best of 59-9 (18.21m) to claim sole possession of the Canadian record. Her previous best was 58-6 (17.83m), which equalled the national record. Sophomore Alyssa Hasslen finished second (55-6.5/16.93m) and freshman Baillie Gibson was third (55-0.75/16.78m). Arizona claimed five of the top six spots.
The men's shot put title is going back to Tempe for the third-straight year, as Arizona State sophomore Jordan Clarke threw 62-6 (19.05m). Arizona athletes rounded out the top three, with freshman Bozidar Antunovic tossing 59-7.5 (18.17m) and senior Robert Gire finishing with a mark of 59-5 (18.11m).
In the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase, Arizona senior Margaret Callahan took the lead at the bell and won the conference title in 10:23.53. Last year's champion, Oregon senior Claire Michel was second (10:26.05) and teammate Melanie Thompson finished third (10:33.35).
Duck senior Steve Finley out-kicked Stanford junior Benjamin Johnson in the final stretch to capture the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase in 9:04.62. Johnson had taken the lead in the final lap before Finley charged in front of him. Johnson finished in 9:05.09.
Stanford senior Stephanie Marcy and Arizona sophomore Jennifer Bergman battled down the stretch in the women's 10,000 meters. Bergman took the lead with one lap remaining, but Marcy passed her down the backstretch to win the event in 35:47.37. Bergman was right behind her in 35:47.91. Cal's Alison Greggor claimed third place (36:00.24).
Arizona junior Stephen Sambu, who broke the school record in the 10,000 meters earlier this month, won the Pac-10 title in 28:57.72. Stanford junior Chris Derrick (29:19.90) and senior Elliott Heath (29:20.24) rounded out the top three.
Arizona State sophomore Christabel Netty, fourth in the heptathlon last week, won the women's long jump with a mark of 21-5.5 (6.54m) in the third round. Oregon senior Jamesha Youngblood was second (21-3.25/6.48m) and Stanford senior Brittni Dixon-Smith was third (20-11.75/6.39m).
USC senior Brendan Ames, who earlier in the day set the Pac-10 meet record in the 110-meter hurdles, won the men's long jump with a distance of 25-2.75 (7.69m). Oregon seniors Vernell Warren (24-9/7.54m) and David Klech (24-6.5/7.48m) rounded out the top three.
Stanford junior Katerina Stefanidi repeated as the Pac-10 Champion in the women's pole vault, clearing 14-0.5 (4.28m) on her second attempt. Oregon senior Melissa Gergel cleared the same height on her third attempt to finish second.
In the women's 100 meters, top-seeded Jessica Davis, a freshman from USC, qualified first in 11.27. Oregon junior Amber Purvis, the defending champion, ran 11.30 to finish second.
Arizona State freshman Ryan Milus took the 100-meter heats in 10.23. Sophomores James Alaka of Washington (10.32) and Aaron Brown of USC (10.38) rounded out the top three.
Oregon junior Amber Purvis looks to repeat in the women's 200 meters tomorrow, taking the top qualifying time of 23.11. USC's Davis is close behind in 23.12.
UCLA sophomore Maxwell Dyce, the top seed in the men's 200-meter race, was first in the heats with a time of 20.75. USC junior Joey Hughes, last year's winner in the 400 meters, qualified second (20.84).
Oregon freshman Chizoba Okodogbe had the top time in the 400 meters, finishing in 53.19. UCLA senior Ashlea McLaughlin was second 53.27, and ASU senior Jasmine Chaney qualified third (53.68).
Two freshman stole the show in the men's 400-meter heats, with Washington's Maurice McNeal qualifying first in 45.60. McNeal entered the meet ranked seventh, with his previous best being 46.63. Oregon freshman Mike Berry was second in 45.65.
Washington State senior Anna Layman, seeded fourth, posted the top time in the women's 800 meters, finishing in 2:05.54. Defending champion Anne Kesselring, a sophomore from Oregon, was second in 2:05.65.
Oregon runners took the top two qualifying times in the men's 800 meters, with sophomore Elijah Greer first in 1:48.54 and freshman Boru Guyota second in 1:48.80.
Sophomore Jordan Hasay of Oregon, the national leader in the 1,500 meters, was the top overall finisher (4:30.35). Three other Ducks will join her in the final.
Arizona freshman sensation Lawi Lalang took the top time in the men's 1,500 meters with a time of 3:45.60, followed by Arizona State redshirt sophomore Darius Terry (3:46.13).
USC senior Nia Ali will take the top time in the 100-meter hurdles into tomorrow's final, finishing in 13.16. Ali holds the top time in the Pac-10 this season, running 12.74 at the Texas Relays.
The Trojans were also strong in the 110-meter hurdles, with Brendan Ames setting the Pac-10 meet record with his time of 13.39. The previous record was 13.43, set by UCLA's Greg Foster in 1980.
Defending Pac-10 Champion Turquoise Thompson, a sophomore from UCLA, won the women's 400-meter hurdles in 56.58.
Washington State senior Jeshua Anderson, going for his fourth-straight 400-meter hurdles title tomorrow, was the top qualifier in the event in 48.92.
The Pac-10 Championships resume Saturday, May 14 at 3 p.m. with the men's hammer, with the running events beginning at 6 p.m. PT.
Men's Current Team Standings
1. Oregon 53.0
2. Arizona 45.0
2. Stanford 45.0
4. Washington 31.0
5. Arizona State 26.0
5. UCLA 26.0
7. USC 20.0
8. California 15.0
9. Washington State 12.0
Women's Current Team Standings
1. Arizona 70.0
2. Arizona State 53.0
3. Oregon 49.5
4. Stanford 48.0
5. USC 24.0
6. Washington State 23.0
7. California 17.0
8. UCLA 16.5
9. Washington 11.0