USC Advances To Six Finals At The NCAA Track & Field Championships
The Trojans advanced to six event finals and Nathan Bultman in the men's hammer throw and Matthew Katnik and McKay Johnson in the men's shot put earned second-team All-America honors during the first day of the 2021 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships held at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. today (June 9) before 5,060 fans.
The first day of the NCAA T&F Championships featured finals in five field events and the 10,000m race, as well as 10 track semifinals with the top two in each heat plus the next three fastest times advancing to NCAA finals on Friday. With six out of 21 events scored, the No. 3-ranked USC men's team has yet to score but will now have nine good scoring opportunities on Friday. The No. 2-ranked USC women's team will begin action tomorrow with six finals and 10 semifinals.
- Nathan Bultman opened the action for the Trojans in the men's hammer throw and finished 11th with a best mark of 229-11 (70.09m). That throw moved him into eighth after two rounds, but by the time his final attempt came around he was in 10th place and did not improve with a mark of 229-2 (69.87m). It took a mark of 230-7 (70.28m) just to reach the final, so Bultman was just eight inches away from qualifying. Seven of the last eight USC All-Americans in the hammer throw had marks of 225-0 or less. A total of four feet separated the third-place finisher from the 13th-place finisher in today's competition. Bultman becomes a second-team hammer throw All-American.
- Matthew Katnik finished 9th and McKay Johnson 11th in the men's shot put. Katnik rode the emotional rollercoaster, needing his third-round mark of 63-6.75 (19.37m) to reach the final in ninth place, grabbing the last spot. In the fifth round he improved to 64-1.75 (19.55m) to move into 8th and the final scoring spot. He did not improve in the sixth round and the one thrower who could pass him edged him out in his final throw, so Katnik finished ninth. Johnson's best mark was 62-7.75 (19.09m) which was good for 11th. The pair earned second-team All-America status in the event.
- USC's men's 4x100m relay team of Davonte Burnett, Brendon Stewart, Kenan Christon and Eric Allen Jr. placed fourth in the first semifinal with a time of 39.23. That time held up until the final semifinal which bumped them to 10th, the first team out. There was a review of the third semifinal heat, but the team disqualified did not affect USC's standing. USC"s time was also just 0.003 seconds behind one of the automatic qualifiers form the second heat.
- The first Trojan to advance to an event final was Tade Ojora who advanced seventh to the men's 110m hurdles final on Friday with a time of 13.61 (+0.3). He was fourth in the second semifinal, but that time held up for second among the non-automatic qualifiers.
- Burnett took care of business in his 100m semifinal by taking second with a time of 10.12 (+1.3), 0.005 seconds behind the heat winner, to automatically advance to Friday's final in the event. His time ended up third-fastest among the qualifiers.
- Brian Herron finished fifth in his 400m semifinal heat and 13th overall with a time of 46.41.
- Isaiah Jewett was third in his men's 800m semifinal and finished fifth overall with a time of 1:47.43. He had the top non-automatic qualifying time to the final on Friday.
- Cameron Samuel won his men's 400m hurdles semifinal with a time of 49.37 to automatically advance to Friday's final. His time ended up being third among the qualifiers.
- Burnett came back to take third in his men's 200m semifinal with a time of 20.41 and had to sweat it out. After all three semifinals were complete, he grabbed the last non-automatic qualifying spot and advanced ninth to the final.
- The final event of the day was the men's 4x400m relay semifinals. USC's team of Nicholas Ramey, Herron, Samuel and Jewett won its semifinal heat with a time of 3:04.00 to automatically advance to the final. USC's time ended up being second among the qualifiers.
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