USC Men’s Track & Field Ends Regional With 6 More Individuals, 2 Relays Advancing To NCAA Championships
Six more Trojans and both relays punched their tickets to the NCAA Championships during the final day of the men's 2022 NCAA West Preliminary Rounds being held at John McDonnell Field in Fayetteville, Ark. today (May 27). The top 12 finishers in every event today earned a trip to the NCAA Championships to be held in Eugene, Ore. from June 8-11.
Trojans today joining Trey Knight (HT) who qualified on Wednesday for the NCAA Championships were Johnnie Blockburger (400m), Kasaun James (200m), Tade Ojora (110m H), Earnest Sears III (HJ), Brendon Stewart (100m) and Sam VanDorpe (800m). Also, the 4x100m relay and 4x400m relay teams advanced to nationals by posting Trojan all-time top 10 times.
- Sears began the day for the Trojans by qualifying for the NCAA Championships in the high jump. He cleared 7-1.75 (2.18m) to lock in his advancement. He was one of seven athletes to clear that bar. He also cleared 6-8.75 (2.05m), 6-10.75 (2.10m) and 7-0.50 (2.15m). Sears is a two-time NCAA indoor and outdoor All-American in the high jump, placing seventh at the 2021 NCAA Outdoor Championships.
- The men's 4x100m relay of James, Stewart, Ashton Allen and Blockburger got the running portion of the meet off in style by winning its heat with a time of 38.71, the third-fastest time in school history. USC's time was second overall, finishing .001 second behind Houston. USC's 4x100m relay punched its ticket to nationals. Including the East Preliminary Rounds, USC had the third-fastest qualifying time to the NCAA Championships.
- Ojora was in the first quarterfinal heat of the men's 110m hurdles and he was the first to advance to the NCAA Championships, winning the heat with a time of 13.50 (+0.4). His time ended up the second-fastest among the qualifiers. Ojora finished sixth in the 110m hurdles at NCAAs in 2021.
- Stewart had a PR of 10.16 (+0.6) to take third in his 100m quarterfinal heat to automatically advance to the NCAA Championships. Stewart's previous best was 10.25 and he now sits just outside of the Trojans' all-time top 10 in the event. Eric Allen Jr. also posted a wind-legal PR of 10.24 (+0.6), but did not advance, finishing 17th overall.
- Blockburger took second in his men's 400m quarterfinal heat with a season-best time of 45.14 to automatically advance to nationals. His time ended up fifth among the qualifiers.
- VanDorpe took second in his men's 800m quarterfinal with a PR of 1:47.48 to automatically advance to the NCAA Championships in the event. Bobby Poynter had a time of 1:48.62 to finish 18th overall.
- James qualified to the NCAA Championships by taking second in his 200m quarterfinal with a time of 20.49 (+0.1). His time was seventh overall. Zach Shinnick had a time of 20.65 (+0.1) to finish fourth in his heat and 14th overall. He owned the last qualifying position on time entering the final heat, but was knocked out by two runners. Ashton Allen had a slight PR of 20.71 (+0.9) to finish sixth in his heat and 16th overall. The sophomore posted two 200m PRs during the competition.
- Jalyn Jackson did not advance in the triple jump. After two fouls he landed his second-best jump of the season of 51-1.75/15.59m (+0.5) to finish 17th overall.
- USC's 4x400m relay team of Nicholas Ramey, Allen Jr., James and Blockburger closed out the meet for the Trojans by winning the heat with a season-best and fifth-fastest time in school history of 3:02.20. USC finished fourth overall as .03 seconds separated the second through fourth-place finishers.
Tomorrow will be the final day of the women's 2022 NCAA West Preliminary Rounds and it begins for the Trojans at 11:00 a.m. PT with the discus throw.
USC's women competing individually on Saturday with a chance to advance to the NCAA T&F Championships will be:Celera Barnes (100m), Jan'Taijah Ford (400m), Karlee Freeman (DT), Jasmine Jones (100m H), Bailey Lear (400m), Samirah Moody (100m, 200m), Summer Mosley (DT), Chioma Okonkwo (200m), Jalaysiya Smith (100m H). USC will also have both the 4x100m and 4x400m relays in action.
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