Morgan Smalls Set USC Freshman LJ Record, Matthew Katnik 2nd in SP At Pac-12 Championships
Matthew Katnik took second in the men's shot put and Morgan Smalls third in the women's long jump with a USC freshman record to lead the Trojans during the second day of the 2021 Pac-12 Track & Field Championships being hosted by USC at Loker Stadium in Los Angeles, Calif. today (May 15). USC also had 18 athletes advance to event finals tomorrow, led by six Trojans reaching the women's 400m final. With eight events scored out of 21, the USC men's team has 36 points and is in fourth place, while the women's team has scored 14 points and is in 10th place.
- The USC men's shot put record holder Katnik placed second in the event today with a best mark of 65-8.75 (20.03m) which came in his final attempt. McKay Johnson finished fourth in the shot put with a best throw of 63-3.75 (19.28m) which came in his first attempt. The pair teamed up to earn the USC men 14 points in the team competition.
- Smalls finished third and set the USC freshman record in the women's long jump with her third-round leap of 21-5.25/6.53m (+1.6). She surpassed the previous USC freshman record of 21-3.25/6.48m set by three-time long jump All-American Wendy Brown in 1985. Lanae-Tava Thomas finished fourth with a wind-aided PR of 21-1.25/6.43m (+2.4w). The USC jumpers earned the women's team 11 points in the team competition.
- Two-time defending Pac-12 high jump champion Earnest Sears III, coming back from nearly a month off due to injury, placed fourth in the men's high jump. Sears cleared 6-9.75 (2.08m) in his first attempt and skipped up to 7-0.25 (2.14m) and cleared that in his first attempt, before going out at 7-1.50 (2.17m). Sears earned USC's men's team five more points.
- Jalyn Jackson finished fifth in the men's long jump with a best jump of 25-1.75 /7.66m (+2.1w). He also had a wind-legal PR of 25-0.75/7.64m (+1.1) in the first round. Jackson earned the men's team its final four points of the day.
- Karlee Freeman reached the women's shot put final in ninth place with a best throw of 47-7.25 (14.51m). Freeman did not better her mark and finished ninth overall.
- Tade Ojora was the first Trojan on the track today and he won his 110m hurdles heat with his collegiate-best time of 13.64 (+1.3) to automatically advance to tomorrow's final. Ojora had the third-fastest qualifying time.
- USC's women's 100m hurdlers Anna Cockrell, Jasmine Jones and Mecca McGlaston each won their heats to automatically advance to tomorrow's final. The Trojans had the three fastest qualifying times with Cockrell running 12.83 (+1.5), Jones 13.02 (-0.4) and McGlaston 13.15 (+0.6).
- Isaiah Jewett and Sam VanDorpe finished 1-2 in an eventful first men's 800m prelims heat to automatically advance to tomorrow's final. Jewett had a time of 1:49.19 and VanDorpe a time of 1:49.72 to automatically advance, but with roughly 200m remaining several runners got tripped up and went down on the track, including Josh Ligas who got up to finish sixth with a time of 2:02.32. Jack Carter finished seventh in his 800m heat with a time of 1:53.73. Jewett was fifth overall, VanDorpe seventh, Carter 18th and Ligas 22nd.
- The women's 800m was an extremely competitive contest and was run in five heats with the winner and next best three times advancing. Jemima Russell took fourth in the first heat with a time of 2:05.97 which ended up being ninth overall. Alyssa Brewer was second in her heat with a time of 2:07.89 which ended up 11th overall. Jennifer Daly was seventh in her heat and 32nd overall with a time of 2:18.18. Russell's time would have been good enough to finish sixth in the finals at the 2019 Pac-12 Championships, where she took fourth with a time of 2:05.71.
- The most impressive result may have been the six USC women's 400m runners all advancing to the eight-woman final, and that was with NCAA event leader Kaelin Roberts being a late scratch. USC's runners had the second through seventh-best qualifying times in order of Bailey Lear (52.03), Nicole Yeargin (52.17), Kyra Constantine (52.20), Jan'Taijah Ford (52.97), Kimberly Harris (53.56) and Rae-Anne Serville (53.64).
- USC also qualified both of its entered men's 400m runners to the final tomorrow. First, Brian Herron won the first heat with a time of 46.09, then Nicholas Ramey came in second in the third heat with a collegiate best of 46.56, 0.01 seconds behind the heat winner. Herron and Ramey were second and fourth respectively among the qualifiers to the final.
- The final races of the day for the Trojans were the 100m dashes. Davonte Burnett had a PR of 10.19 (+1.9) to win the third heat and advance to tomorrow's men's 100m final automatically. Alexander Barnum placed second in the same heat with a season-best time of 10.42 (+1.9) and qualified with the sixth-fastest time. Eric Allen Jr. had a time of 10.46 (+1.2) to finish ninth and Brendon Stewart (+1.2) and Daniel Robinson (+1.1) tied for 10th with a time of 10.49. They had the first three spots outside of the advancing times.
- TeeTee Terry had an impressive 100m time of 11.02 (+2.6w) to win her heat and advance to the women's 100m final tomorrow. That time ties for second on the NCAA descending order list and would have been a meet record if the wind was legal. Thomas won her 100m heat and finished second to Terry among the qualifiers with a season-best time of 11.18 (+1.6). Her time moves her to eighth in the country entering this weekend.
The Pac-12 T&F Championships will conclude tomorrow at Loker Stadium on the USC campus beginning with the men's discus throw at 1:15 p.m. The meet will be televised live on the Pac-12 Network from 3-6:30 p.m.