Pac-12 athletes shine at second day of NCAA Competition
The Conference of Champions had a strong showing at the second day of NCAA Track and Field competition today at Hayward Field. Six Pac-12 schools sent athletes to the finals to vie for the NCAA Women’s national title on Saturday.
Arizona Wildcat Sage Watson ran 55.80 in the 400m hurdles, the second fastest time in today’s competition. On the men’s side, Olympic qualifier Pau Tonnesen scored 8,103 points in the decathlon to finish fourth overall.
Arizona State’s Maggie Ewen represented the Pac-12 on the podium today, finishing fifth in the hammer throw with a best throw of 68.61m (208 feet, 8 inches).
The Buffs sent two women to the 1500m final. Both Dani Jones and Maddie Alm set PRs (4:13.44 and 4:14.54, respectively) to contend in Saturday’s final.
The defending national champions sent a slew of athletes to Saturday’s final competition. The women’s 4x100m team kicked things off, taking second place in the semifinal round in 43.01 seconds. From there, Annie LeBlanc ran 4:14.15 in the 1500m, the eighth fastest time in school history to qualify for the finals. Ariana Washington qualified for the finals in three events: The 100m, 200m and as part of the 4x100m team. Deajah Stevens is joining Washington in both the 4x100m relay and the 200m. The duo took the top two spots in semifinals of the 200m, running 22.32 for Stevens and 22.61 for Washington. NCAA defending champion Raevyn Rogers ran a 2:03.55 in the 800m to qualify for the final round. Brittany Mann gave the Ducks some points in the shot put, throwing 17.49m (57 feet, 4.75 inches) to finish fifth. Notably, 100m favorite Hannah Cunliffe pulled out of the semifinal roughly halfway through the race, and the Oregon 4x400m relay team dropped the baton on the exchange and were disqualified.
Elise Cranny got things rolling for the Card, qualifying for the 1500m final in 4:15.87. Two of the four Pac-12 athletes who qualified for Saturday’s 800m final hail from Stanford: Claudia Saunders and Olivia Baker, who ran 2:03.66 and 2:03.56, respectively. Valarie Allman finished 11th in the hammer throw with a best throw of 61.25m (200 feet, 11 inches), to earn second team All-American honors. Mackenzie Little threw 53.65m (176 feet) to finish seventh in the javelin. On the men’s side, Harrison Williams finished fifth in the decathlon, setting a PR and school-record 8,032 points.
The Trojans will also be well represented in the finals on Saturday. Both Tynia Gaither and Deanna Hill qualified for finals in three events. Gaither ran 11.19 seconds in the 100m, the seventh fastest in school history, and Hill ran a PR of 11.21 seconds to also qualify. Gaither and Hill will both race in the 200m as well, running 22.81 and 22.85 seconds in the semifinal round, respectively. Both athletes are a part of the 4x100m relay team that qualified in 43.39 seconds. Jaide Stepter made the cut to race the 400m hurdles on Saturday, having run 56.18 seconds. Wrapping up the Trojans’ qualifiers are the women of the 4x400m relay team, who ran 3:30.36 during today’s semifinal round.
The Huskies’ distance squad showed up for competition today. Charlotte Prouse qualified for the final round of the 3,000m steeplechase in 9:59.15. Baylee Mires ran 2:04.35 in the 800m to qualify for the final. Joining her teammates will be Amy-Eloise Neale in the 1500m, after she qualified with a 4:13.93. Pac-12 Champion Katie Knight placed 15th in the 10,000m, running 33:36.90 and securing second team All-American honors.The men’s final competition will take place Friday beginning with field events at 5:00 pm. The women’s final competition will take place Saturday beginning with field events at 3:00 pm.