Women take third, men 20th at NCAA Track and Field Championships

first_imgKatie Chin | Daily TrojanTrojan spirit · Freshman Kayla Richardson and the USC track team finished their season last weekend at the NCAA Championships. The men’s team came in 20th at the end of the four-day meet in Eugene, Ore., and the women’s squad boosted itself to third place with a strong final day.The USC track team finished its NCAA Championships on Saturday, as the six-month season culminated in last week’s meet against the nation’s elite programs at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. The men’s squad finished 20th overall and second among Pac-12 schools — behind only ninth-place host Oregon. The Trojans clinched a third overall finish on the women’s side, sliding in behind the champion Ducks and runner-up Georgia.The men kicked off the NCAA Championships on Wednesday, and USC scored six points to end the first day of the meet tied for 14th in a field of 78 teams. Redshirt juniors Eric Sloan and Nick Ponzio finished sixth in the long jump and shot put, respectively. Freshman Michael Norman punched a ticket to the 400m dash finals alongside redshirt sophomore Marquís Morris, who qualified for Friday’s 110m hurdles finals.USC’s women began their quest for a national title on Thursday, and the Trojans matched their male counterparts identically on the scoreboard, ending the day in 14th place with six points. Unlike the previous day, however, USC scored thanks to one third-place finish from redshirt senior Brittany Mann, and eight Trojans also advanced to Saturday’s event finals.Norman and Morris returned to action on Friday, as they looked to score points in the men’s event finals. Norman took home fourth in the 400m dash with a personal-best time of 44.88 seconds. The performance earned USC five points and also marked the fifth-fastest time ever run by a Trojan in the 400m final. Norman also improved on his program freshman record and earned a seventh-place standing on USC’s all-time list.Morris scored three points after finishing sixth in the 110m hurdles finals, becoming the first USC runner to score in the event since 2014. The Trojans finished the NCAA Championships with a total of 14 points, which tied them with Penn State for 20th overall.Finally, USC ended the weekend with a bang on Saturday, as the women’s event finals lifted the team to a third-place finish. The Trojans’ 43 points overall were the program’s most since a 57-point showing more than a decade ago (2002).Freshman Anna Cockrell and senior Amalie Iuel headlined USC’s final day at Hayward Field, as the pair clinched a 2-3 finish in the 400m hurdles to score 14 key points. Cockrell clocked a season-best time of 55.36 seconds, moving up to third on the program’s all-time list. Cockrell also scored a point for the Trojans with an eighth-place finish in the 100m hurdles alongside redshirt sophomore Dior Hall, who came in seventh.Junior Kendall Ellis earned USC’s final top-three finish of the weekend, as she took third in the 400m dash final with a time of 51.06 seconds. Senior Cameron Pettigrew trailed in seventh place (52.52) to combine with Ellis for eight points. Redshirt sophomore Ky Westbrook and junior Deanna Hill rounded out the individual Trojan scoring with eighth and sixth-place finishes in the 100m and 200m dash, respectively.The championships’ pivotal moment came in the final event, however, as USC’s 4x400m relay team claimed second to boost the Trojans from sixth to third place overall, leapfrogging Florida and Kentucky. Pettigrew, Ieul, Hill and Ellis’ combined time of 3:23.35 beat the previous collegiate record of 3:23.75, but Oregon still finished 0.22 seconds ahead of USC to set the new record and clinch a national title. With only eight seniors graduating from a deep roster before the start of next season, the Trojans now set their sights on next spring, when they will look to build on their strong showing in Eugene.last_img read more