Arizona's Tonnessen, Washington State's Brooks-Johnson win Pac-12 multis titles
LOS ANGELES -- ARIZONA’s Pau Tonnessen maintained yesterday’s lead to claim the decathlon crown at the Pac-12 Men’s and Women’s Track & Field Championships on Sunday at Drake Stadium on the campus of UCLA. Meanwhile, WASHINGTON STATE’s Alissa Brooks-Johnson came from behind to win the heptathlon crown. Tonnessen scored 7,823 points, while Brooks-Johnson collected 5,803 points to claim the individual titles.
A sophomore, Brooks-Johnson redeemed herself from last year where she started day two of the multis weekend with the lead. This time, she started the day in third place and fought her way to the top by day’s end, defeating ninth-ranked Tatum Souza of UCLA (5,636), who had the lead going into today’s action, and USC sophomore Amalie Iuel (5,610), who was the defending champion.
“I felt very strong in this competition and excited to compete,” Brooks-Johnson said. “I knew I was ready with my training and how I felt. After my first day PR-ing in all my events, I knew this weekend was gonna be a good competitive hep.”
It was a tight race going into Day 2 of competition with just 103 points separating the top-five competitors. Souza lost her lead after just one event. COLORADO’s Abrianna Torres leapt 5.96m/19-6.75 to take first in the long jump, the day’s first event. Iuel placed fourth in the long jump, giving her a slim 30-point lead in the overall standings, while Brooks-Johnson’s fifth place in the long jump (5.77m/18-11.25) was enough to tie for second overall with Souza.
Brooks-Johnson’s winning event was in the javelin, throwing the apparatus at a distance of 44.75m/146-10, which was enough to give her the lead in the heptathlon competition. A second-place finish in the 800-meter run (2:13.94) to close out the competition was enough to seal the victory, a first for a WSU athlete since Diana Pickler won in 2007. Brooks-Johnson’s heptathlon title is also the sixth all-time for Washington State. Iuel won the final running event with a time of 2:10.28, propelling her ahead of Souza to take second place in the heptathlon competition.
OREGON freshman Ashlee Moore was fourth in the heptathlon with 5,512 points and Torres rounded out the top-five with 5,455 points. UCLA and WASHINGTON STATE go into the final weekend of the Pac-12 Track & Feld Championships tied for first with 10 points each, while USC is third with six points. Oregon is fourth with five points and ARIZONA and Colorado are tied for fifth with four points.
The top two spots in the decathlon standings did not change from yesterday with Tonnessen staying ahead of STANFORD freshman Harrison Williams to claim the title, the fifth all-time for the Wildcats. Tonnessen won back-to-back events, throwing the furthest in the discus (44.45m/145-10) and pole vault (4.93m/16-2) to maintain his lead in the overall standings. Williams did not make it easy for Tonnessen, taking first in the 110-meter hurdles (14.55) to open the day on Sunday.
“It was a great meet,” Tonnesen said. “There were a lot of great decathletes and I really enjoyed competing with them. I'm really happy with the meet. I had a big personal best in the shot put and I vaulted well. I can't wait to get to the NCAA Championships and try for 8,000 points.”
Tonnessen, ranked No. 3 in the country, led a strong field which featured six of the top-15 decathletes in the country, including four in the top 10. Williams scored 7,679 points to place third, followed by UCLA’s Marcus Nilsson (7,663), OREGON’s Mitch Modin (7,417) and WSU’s Dino Dodig (7,416) who came in fifth place. Tonnessen’s win was an upset as UO’s Dakota Keys, who went into the weekend ranked No. 2, was going for his fourth-straight Pac-12 individual title.
ARIZONA goes into next weekend’s track and field championships with 12 points to lead all teams. Stanford has eight for second place, tying with Oregon. UCLA collected seven points for fourth place and WSU has four.
The running and field events portion of the Pac-12 Men’s and Women’t Track & Field Championships will be competed next weekend, May 16-17, at Drake Stadium. Live results can be found on pac-12.com by visiting the the track & field championship page here: http://pac-12.com/track-field/championships/2015-pac-12-track-field-championships. A full events schedule, final results and photos from the competition can also be found at that link.