USC Women's Track & Field Wins Second NCAA Outdoor Championship In Three Seasons
Anna Cockrell broke her 400m hurdles school record and became the second person to ever win the 100m hurdles and 400m hurdles in the same season and the Trojans amassed all 74 of their school-record points to win the 2021 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships women's team title at the meet held at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. today (June 12). USC had 11 athletes combine to earn 19 first-team All-America honors during the two days of competition. The national championship is USC's 133rd among all sports, 35th by a women's team, third by the women's track and field program.and third by a USC team this school year, joining women's beach volleyball and women's water polo. The USC women's track program also won team titles in 2001 and 2018.
USC began the day with no points, but had 13 scoring opportunities today and more than took advantage of them. USC's 74 points were its most ever in the current scoring format which began in 1985 and are the most by any team since Texas A&M scored 75 to win the 2014 title. USC is the only program to finish in the top three in each of the last four championship meets, has finished in the top 10 six consecutive seasons and in 16 of the last 23 completed seasons. USC's 289 combined points scored at the last six NCAA Championships under USC Director of Track & Field Caryl Smith Gilbert are the most ever by the Trojans in a six-year stretch in the current scoring format.
"I'm very excited about the performances that we had today. Our team was absolutely amazing," said Smith Gilbert. "This is the toughest, most resilient team that I have ever coached in my entire coaching career. It was a long season due to Covid-19 in California and L.A. County specifically. We had a lot of restraints, but we made the best of what we had. Injuries tried to take us out, but the women learned how to take care of their bodies without a lot of extras. They were disciplined, they were motivated and they never complained. We talked a lot about what they could and couldn't do and they made sacrifices to be the champions. This championship was earned. I was very excited to see Anna Cockrell come into her own. TeeTee Terry had an amazing 4x1 and her 100m was superb. She executed perfectly, it just wasn't her day to be first. Angie Annelus came back after injury, and a really tough season and was able to score for us and come almost back into true form. Kyra Constantine in the mile relay and Nicole Yeargin and everyone did such a fine job of executing and their effort they gave is what led them to the title. This championship is about the team and the program in general. We are excited to be in this great facility here in Eugene, doing what we do best. I've never been more proud to be a Trojan than today."
🏆 𝐍𝐀𝐓𝐈𝐎𝐍𝐀𝐋 𝐂𝐇𝐀𝐌𝐏𝐒! 🏆
— USC Trojans (@USC_Athletics) June 13, 2021
- USC's 4x100m relay team of Jasmine Jones, Angie Annelus, Lanae-Tava Thomas and TeeTee Terry got the Trojans' scoring started by winning the title with a time of 42.82. USC became the first team to repeat in the event since Texas A&M in 2013-14. For the Trojans, it was their third title in the event, also winning in 2019 and 2000. USC's 4x100m relay has now earned All-America status in the event 21 times.
- Next, Cockrell won her first event of the day by taking the women's 100m hurdles title with a time of 12.58 (+0.4) to earn USC 10 points. She becomes USC's first champion in the event since Nia Ali in 2011 and sixth overall. She also becomes the second USC three-time All-American in the event, joining Virginia Crawford (Powell).
- The women's 100m final was next and Terry took second with a wind-aided PR of 10.79 (+2.2w) and Thomas was seventh with a time of 11.24 (+2.2w). The pair earned the Trojans another 10 points in the team competition. Terry becomes USC's highest finisher in the 100m since Angela Williams and Natasha Mayer went 1-2 in 2002. Terry also joins Williams as the school's only three-time All-American in the event. Williams was a four-time All-American as she won four consecutive titles from 1999-2002.
- The Trojans then had Kyra Constantine finish third, Nicole Yeargin fourth and Bailey Lear seventh in the women's 400m final. Constantine had a PR of 50.87 to move to third on USC's all-time list, Yeargin a time of 51.02 and Lear a time of 51.36. Constantine becomes the fourth Trojan to score in the event twice and USC had three runners score in the event for the first time ever. The trio earned the Trojans 13 points in the team competition.
- Cockrell then defended her 2019 400m hurdles title by bettering her school record and winning with a time of 54.68. She became only the second woman athlete to win both the 100m hurdles and 400m hurdles in the same NCAA Championship, joining Queen Harrison of Virginia Tech who did it in 2010. Cockrell earned the Trojans 10 more points. Cockrell becomes USC's only four-time All-American in the 400m hurdles, breaking a tie with Olympians Natasha Danvers and Dalilah Muhammad who were three-time All-Americans in the event. Danvers in 2000 is USC's only other NCAA champion in the event. Cockrell finished second twice and first twice in the 400m hurdles at the NCAA Championships in her career.
- Terry then placed fifth in the women's 200m final with a time of 22.69 (+0.2) and Annelus took sixth with a time of 22.72 (+0.2) to earn USC seven more points. It was the third time in the last four NCAA Championships that the Trojans had two athletes score in the women's 200m final. Despite battling injuries all season, Annelus became the third Trojan (Kinshasa Davis and Deanna Hill) to become a three-time All-American in the 200m, but fell short of becoming the second three-time champion in the event.
- Morgan Smalls placed fourth in the women's high jump with a collegiate best clearance of 6-0.50 (1.84m). That moved her from tied for sixth to tied for fourth on USC's all-time list. The clearance of 6-0.50 ties for the highest clearance by a Trojan in the finals (school record-holder Emelie Fardigh, also as a freshman in 1997) and her fourth-place finish is the highest ever by a Trojan in the event. The last Trojan to score in the high jump was Nia Ali in 2011. She earned USC five points in the team competition.
- Temi Ojora placed eighth in the women's triple jump with a best leap of 44-4/13.51 (+1.00) which she did in her first attempt and matched in her third-round jump. She earned the Trojans a point in the team competition and becomes USC's first outdoor All-American in the event since Alitta Boyd in 2013. She also became only the second USC freshman All-American in the outdoor triple jump, joining Wendy Brown was achieved the honor in 1985.
- The Trojans had clinched the NCAA title by the time the 4x400m relay came around, but still ran the second-fastest time in school history of 3:24.54 to earn eight more points. USC ran a team of Lear, Kaelin Roberts, Yeargin and Constantine.
Trojans earning first-team All-America honors were: Angie Annelus (200m, 4x100m), Anna Cockrell (100m H, 400m H), Kyra Constantine (400m, 4x400m), Jasmine Jones (4x100m), Bailey Lear (400m, 4x400m), Temi Ojora (TJ), Kaelin Roberts (4x400m), Morgan Smalls (HJ), Terry (100m, 200m, 4x100m), Lanae-Tava Thomas (100m, 4x100m), Nicole Yeargin (400m, 4x400m)
— USC Trojans (@USC_Athletics) June 12, 2021
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