Oregon track & field in first place at NCAA championships
Women's semifinal action took center stage Thursday at the 2015 NCAA track & field championships in sunny Eugene, OR, and it's the hometown Ducks stealing the show through two of four days of events. The 2015 Pac-12 champion Oregon men and women each hold nine-point leads heading into the championship rounds, with scores of 40 and 31, respectively. Here's your team-by-team recap of Thursday's action:
Boom-boom, Pau! Redshirt junior Pau Tonnesen earned a runner-up finish in the decathlon Thursday with a score of 8,247, and is the new Arizona track & field record holder in the event. It's the best runner-up score in the history of the event. Elsewhere, senior Elvin Kibet finished 13th in the women's 10,000m (34:12.57), ending her U of A career with nine All-America honors.
If you're a miler, then you know it's Shelby Houlihan's world and we're all just living in it. The ASU senior and defending NCAA champion qualified for Saturday's final in the women's 1,500m with a heat-winning time of 4:16.87; the second-fastest time of the day. In the women's 400m dash, senior Brianna Tate earned an All-America nod with her 13th place, 52.91 finish, making Tate a four-time All-American. Junior Jasmine Gibbs, Brianna Tate, senior Sara McDonald, and sophomore LaTroya Frankin finished 20th in the women's 4x100m relay, clocking in at 45.09. The women's 4x400m team finished 19th at 3:40.06. Redshirt freshman Magdalyn Ewen finished 22nd in the shot put at 14.97m. Ewen will also compete in the discus on Saturday.
Senior Sara Sutherland punched her ticket to the women's 1,500m final on Saturday thanks to a runner-up, 4:16.97 finish behind ASU's Shelby Houlihan. Redshirt freshman Erin Clark also ran for the Buffs in the women's 3,000m steeplechase, where she finished 15th (10:15.83) to earn an All-America nod. In her inaugural NCAA championship meet, junior Abrianna Torres finished 25th in the heptathlon with 5,483 points. Junior Morgan Pearson will run the 5k for CU on Friday.
QUACK. It was Oregon star Jenna Prandini's day to shine, and shine she did en route to a second-place finish in the long jump (6.80m), and qualifying for the finals in the 100m, 200m, and 4x100 relay. In the women's 10,000m, seniors Molly Grabill and Waverly Neer finished 4-5 for the Ducks to help add to the team's 31-point total on Thursday. Also contributing in the throws were redshirt senior Jillian Weir, who finished fourth in hammer throw (66.72m), and redshirt sophomore Brittany Mann, who finished fifth in shot put at 17.22m. Pac-12 women's 100m champion Jasmine Todd did not advance to the final round in her event. Arkansas, currently in second place, trail the Oregon women by nine with 22 points as of Thursday.
Holding it down for Leland Stanford Junior University in the decathlon was freshman Harrison Williams, who finished a mighty fourth in the decathlon, and catapulted his Card into fifth place at the NCAA's on Friday. His score of 7,806 is the all-time Stanford record in the decathlon. In women's action, junior Claudia Saunders advanced to the final in the 800m (2:03.38), as did freshman Elise Cranny in the 1,500m (4:17.87). The Stanford women's 4x400m relay team did not advance to the finals.
Not a lot doin' for the Bruins on Thursday, beginning with the women's 4x100m relay team that finished in 22nd at 45.48. Senior Tatum Souza finished her Bruin career at 17th place in the heptathlon with 5,604; the second-best score in school history. In the decathlon, freshman Steele Wasik finished 12th with 7,519, his best event coming in the 100m hurdles at 14.32. Senior Bronte Golick finished 17th in the women's 10,000m at the 34:45.65, and ends her collegiate track career as the second-fastest Bruin to run the event.
Six Trojan women are headed to Saturday's finals after solid Thursday showings. Freshman Dior Hall finished fourth in the 100m hurdles (12.95), while freshman Ky Westbrook finished fourth in the 100m dash (11.17). Sophomore Amalie Iuel (56.69) and junior Jaide Stepter (57.24) both advanced to Saturday's 400m final. Both the women's 4x100m and 4x400m qualified for finals as well.
Junior Kristina Owsinski set a UW school record in the pole vault on Thursday, en route to a fourth-place finish at 14' 5.25". Senior Gianna Woodruff set a personal record in the women's 400m at 57.49, though it wasn't good enough to qualify for Saturday's final in the event. Junior Baylee Mires did not advance in the women's 800m after finishing 11th. Junior Izaic Yorks will run the men's 1,500m final on Friday, and sophomore Maddy Meyers will be the last Husky to compete for UW on Saturday in the women's 5,000m.
Pac-12 heptathlon champion Alissa Brooks-Johnson finished 18th in the heptathlon on Thursday with 5,572 points. Brooks-Johnson, a sophomore, also ran the women's 400m hurdles with fellow Coug Liz Harper. Neither would advance to Saturday's final after 23rd and 19th place finishes, respectively. The WSU women's 4x100 relay team of Bria’una Watley, Danielle Darden, Christiana Ekelem and Dominique Keel did not advance to Saturday's final after a 17th place (44.98) finish. The 4x400 team couldn't get it going, either, and didn't advance after finishing 21st at 3:40.71.
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