USC Men Qualify In 14 Events, Women In 20 For NCAA Track & Field Championships
USC had 29 athletes (14 men and 15 women) advance to the 2021 NCAA Track and Field Championships during the four days of the 2021 NCAA West Preliminary Rounds held at E.B. Cushing Stadium in College Station, Texas which concluded today (May 29). To advance to the semifinals at the NCAA Track & Field Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore. from Jun 9-12, an athlete or relay team had to finish in the top 12 at the West Preliminary Rounds. Due to weather activity last night the men's track quarterfinals were contested today along with the originally scheduled women's competition. The top three finishers in running quarterfinals in which the Trojans were in, plus the next three best times would advance to Nationals.
"I am so honored to work with such an amazing group of young people and energetic coaches and staff," said USC Director of Track & Field Caryl Smith Gilbert.. "This weekend went according to plan in terms of getting the job done and moving through the rounds injury free. The team overcame the adversity of the meet being postponed on Friday. They came out today and competed like warriors. I am highly impressed with the work Coach (Quincy) Watts did with his 400m group. They posted several PB's on both sides and will move on to Eugene. Coach (Nick) Newman also did a wonderful job of preparing the jumpers to be able to accomplish their marks within the 3-jump parameter. People don't realize the effect of having only 3 jumps can play on an athlete's psyche. The short sprints and hurdles groups did not falter and I believe this is the largest group of final round qualifiers for men and women we have had during my tenure at USC. I am excited to get back to L.A. and continue training for the final round in EUGENE next week. Although we still have work to do, this team never ceases to amaze me!"
The Trojans were on fire all day, but none more than TeeTee Terry who ran the fourth-fastest all-time women's collegiate 100m dash of 10.89 (+1.3), trailing only Sha'Carri Richardson (10.75 in 2019), Dawn Sowell (10.78 in 1989) and Aleia Hobbs (10.85 in 2017). Terry established a new Pac-12 women's 100m record and set the E.B. Cushing Stadium record in the 100m and 200m, as she also posted the fastest 200m qualifier with a PR of 20.54 (+0.1).
- The men's 4x100m relay team of Davonte Burnett, Brendan Stewart, Kenan Christon and Eric Allen Jr. were the first Trojans to compete today and the first to qualify for the NCAA Championships on the final day of the West Preliminary Rounds. The team posted a season-best time of 39.20 to take third in its heat and finished sixth overall.
- Tade Ojora ran in the final men's 110m hurdles quarterfinal and he placed second with a collegiate-best wind-legal time of 13.58 (+1.1) to advance to the NCAA Championships. His time was fifth among the qualifiers in the event and is just 0.02 seconds outside of USC's top 10 I the event.
- Burnett won his men's 100m dash quarterfinal with a time of 10.12 (-1.2) to advance fourth among the qualifiers in the event to the NCAA Championships.
- Brian Herron posted a PR of 45.55 to place third in his quarterfinal and sixth overall to advance in the M-400m to the NCAA Championships. Nicholas Ramey was fourth in the final 400m quarterfinal with a time of 46.47 and finished 16th overall.
- Isaiah Jewett qualified for Nationals in the men's 800m by taking second in his quarterfinal and second overall with a time of 1:45.60. Sam VanDorpe was seventh in his quarterfinal and 20th overall with a time of 1:50.52.
- Cameron Samuel then won his men's 400m hurdles qualifying heat with a time of 49.46 to automatically advance to the NCAA Championships. His time was fourth among the qualifiers.
- Burnett made it three for three on the day as he qualified in the M-200m with a PR of 20.29 which was second in his heat and fourth overall among the qualifiers. His time also moved him to ninth on USC's all-time list in the event.
- USC's men's 4x400m relay team of Ramey, Herron, Samuel and Jewett closed out the men's portion of the meet by winning its quarterfinal with a season-best and top qualifying time of 3:02.85. That time also moves them to seventh on USC's all-time list in the event and sends them to the NCAA Championships in the event.
- The women's action began with the high jump and Morgan Smalls advanced to the NCAA Championships with a clearance of 5-11.50 (1.82m). She was tied for fourth as that height decided the competition. Temi Ojora went out at that height which would have been a PR and finished with a best clearance of 5-9.75 (1.77m) which tied for 15th.
- In the women's triple jump, Ojora advanced and improved her PR and USC freshman record with a jump of 44-8.25/13.62 (-0.1). That jump also bettered her third-place standing on USC's all-time list and qualified fourth out of the regional. Smalls had a best jump of 41-4.25/12.60m (-0.4) to finish seventh in the first two flights and 27th overall.
- Karlee Freeman had a best discus throw of 155-8 (47.46m) and finished 39th overall.
- The women's 4x100m relay team of Jasmine Jones, Angie Annelus, Lanae-Tava Thomas and TeeTee Terry began the running portion of the meet for the women and won its quarterfinal with the best time of the day of 42.88 to automatically advance to the NCAA Championships.
- Then next Trojans on the track were Anna Cockrell, Jones and Mecca McGlaston in the women's 100m hurdles and they impressively advanced out of the Regional. Cockrell won the third quarterfinal with a time of 12.86 (+0.4), while Jones was second in the second quarterfinal with a time of 12.98 (+1.2) and McGlaston third in the same heat with a wind-legal season best of 13.12 (+1.2) to automatically advance. On time, Cockrell finished second, Jones fourth and McGlaston fifth among the qualifiers.
- Terry blazed to victory in her women's 100m quarterfinal with a new USC and Pac-12 record and the fourth-fastest women's collegiate time ever of 10.89 (+1.3). Terry had set the E.B. Cushing Stadium record on Thursday, which was snapped by Kemba Nelson of Oregon in the heat prior to her's with a time of 10.98, but Terry must have really wanted the record as she took it back about four minutes later with her time of 10.89. Thomas was in the second heat and finished third with a time of 11.34 (+0.1) to also automatically advance in the event. Terry was first and Thomas eighth among the qualifiers.
- If Terry alone hadn't let people know USC was in the house, the women's 400m runners drove home the point next. USC had five of its seven 400m runners advance to the NCAA Championships and six finish in the top 14. Bailey Lear with a PR of 51.21 and Kyra Constantine a time of 51.33 went 1-2 in the first quarterfinal to advance, while Rae-Anne Service had a time of 54.16 to finish 8th in the heat and 23rd overall. Kaelin Roberts then took second with a PR of 50.82 and Nicole Yeargin third with a time of 51.54 after a strong finish in the second quarterfinal to automatically advance. Kimberly Harris was fourth in the same quarterfinal with a PR of 51.84 and qualified on time to the NCAAs. Jan'Taijah Ford was fifth in the final quarterfinal and 14th overall with a collegiate-best time of 52.02. Overall on time, Roberts was third, Lear fifth, Constantine sixth, Yeargin 8th, Harris 12th, Ford 14th and Serville 23rd. Roberts moved to second and Lear to fifth on USC's all-time list.
- Breanna Bernard-Joseph had a PR of 57.44 to win the second W-400m hurdles quarterfinal and advance to the NCAA Championships in the event. Her time also moved her into ninth on USC's all-time list and was fourth among the qualifiers. Cockrell then won the final quarterfinal with the fastest time of the day of 56.47 to also advance.
- Terry then established her second E.B. Cushing Stadium record and PR of the day by running 22.54 (+0.1) to win her W-200m quarterfinal. That time moved her into a tie for fifth-place with Tynia Gaither on USC's all-time list in the event. Annelus was third in the second quarterfinal with a time of 23.06 (+1.2) to automatically advance to the NCAA's with a chance to defend her titles in 2018 and 2019. Thomas finished fourth in the first quarterfinal also with a time of 23.06 (+1.2), but that would grab the final non-automatic qualifier position to also advance her to the NCAAs. Terry was first, Annelus 10th and Thomas 11th on time among the qualifiers.
- The final event on the day for the Trojans was the women's 4x400m relay and the USC team of Lear, Yeargin, Roberts and Constantine won its quarterfinal with a season-best time of 3:26.37 which places the quartet third on USC's all-time list.
USC men advancing in individual events to the NCAA Championships are Nathan Bultman (HT), Davonte Burnett (100m, 200m), Brian Herron (400m), Jalyn Jackson (TJ), Isaiah Jewett (800m), McKay Johnson (SP), Matthew Katnik (SP), Tade Ojora (110m H), Cameron Samuel (400m H), Jordan Scott (TJ), Earnest Sears III (HJ). Also, the men's 4x100m relay team (Burnett, Brendon Stewart, Kenan Christon, Eric Allen Jr.) and the 4x400m relay team (Ramey, Herron, Samuel, Jewett) advanced.
USC women advancing in individual events to the NCAA Championships are Angie Annelus (200m), Breanna Bernard-Joseph (400m H), Anna Cockrell (100m H, 400m H), Kyra Constantine (400m), Kimberly Harris (400m), Jasmine Jones (100m H), Bailey Lear (400m), Joy McArthur (HT), Mecca McGlaston (100m H), Temi Ojora (TJ), Kaelin Roberts (400m), Morgan Smalls (HJ), TeeTee Terry (100m, 200m), Lanae-Tava Thomas (100m, 200m), Nicole Yeargin (400m). Also, the women's 4x100m relay team (Jones, Annelus, Thomas, Terry) and 4x400m relay (Lear, Yeargin, Roberts, Constantine) advanced.
The 2021 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships will be held at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. from June 9-12.
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