Fajoyomi Places 5th At Pac-12 Multi-Events Championships
May 5, 2013
USC's Viktor Fajoyomi placed fifth in the decathlon with the fifth-highest point total ever by a Trojan on the final day of the Pac-12 Multi-Events Championships hosted by the Trojans at Loker Stadium today (May 5). Jemal Williams placed 10th in the decathlon and Kiana Henry ninth in the heptathlon with all three athletes setting their multi-events PR.
Fajoyomi ended the competition with a two-day total of 7299 points, earning USC four points in the team competition. His point total was not only a personal best, but moved him to fifth all-time by a Trojan in the event. Fajoyomi became the first Trojan to crack the school's all-time top 10 in the event since 2003, which is the last time USC had an athlete score at the conference championships in the decathlon (Shelton Davis, 3rd).
"Yesterday felt really good," said the Trojan junior Fajoyomi. "I was really happy with what I did yesterday and how I competed. Today I really struggled in these events and just kind of lost focus. In the 1500m I was just ready to be done with the decathlon and put everything I had out there in the last event. I'm happy to have made the list in something. I was recruited to USC as a high jumper and could never break the Top 10 in that. It's great to be in the Top 10 for decathlon."
Fajoyomi got things started for the Trojans in the men's 110m HH and he placed third in his heat and fifth overall with a time of 15.03 to earn 846 points. The sophomore Williams was third in his heat and 11th overall to earn 762 points. Following the first event, Fajoyomi dropped from third to fourth place with 4871 points as UCLA's Dominic Giovannoni, the event winner, moved into third place with 4912 points. Williams moved into 11th place.
The second event was the men's discus throw. Fajoyomi had a PR of 115-4 (35.15m) in the discus throw to finish 10th in the event and earn 567 points. After a first-round foul, Williams came back with two clean throws, his best being 125-8 (38.31m) to take sixth in the discus throw. Fajoyomi remained in fourth and Williams moved into 10th place.
The women then began the day with the long jump competition and sophomore Kiana Henry had a best jump of 17-8.25 (5.39m) to earn 668 points and move into eighth place.
The men then began a long pole vault competition, while the women competed in the javelin throw. Henry's best throw was 89-2 (27.18m) for 423 points. Arizona's Amber Passalaqua jumped ahead of Henry to take eighth place by 23 points with one event to go.
Fajoyomi cleared 12-9.50 (3.90m) in the pole vault for a PR, but that was good only for 11th in the event. He earned 590 points and dropped into fifth place, one point behind UCLA's Marcus Nilsson with two events left. WIlliams cleared 14-5.25 (4.40m) to finish fifth in the pole vault and earn 731 points. Again Williams moved up a postion in the standings to ninth, but he would have to make up 191 points on Keegan Cooke of Arizona during the final two events to score for the Trojans in the event.
Henry entered the final event with 4041 points, more that she scored in her previous heptathlon so he had already PR'd. Henry stuggled with the 800m race as she had some asthma issues and placed 9th in the event with a time of 2:49.76 to earn 466 points. Henry finished the two-day competition with an impressive PR of 4507. She posted four PRs on the first day and improved her points total 522 points from her first attempt at the heptathlon.
"I really wish I could have finished stronger," said Henry. "I have a lot of issues with athletic induced asthma so my pacing wasn't right and it messed with my lungs so I couldn't run that at all like I hoped. I was just trying to survive after the 450 mark because my lungs shut down. But overall it was still a really good heptathalon. It's a PR. My first day I couldn't have asked for anything better so I'm really happy about that. I wish my second day could have gone better but I was still competitive. I just wanted to finish strong. From here, now I know exactly what I need to work on. You learn from each one and now I know what I need work on and what I'm strong at. It's trial and error, but I know where I need to go from here."
The men were up to the final two events, with the javelin throw first and then the 1500m race to close out the grueling competition. In the javelin, Fajoyomi had a season-best throw of 150-0 (45.71m) to place ninth and earn 525 points. Williams had a best throw of 111-11 (34.11m) to take 12th in the javelin and score 357 points. As a result ot the javelin competiton, Fajoyomi remained fifth, but was now 197 points out of fourth place and Williams slid back into 10th place, 19 points out of ninth and 16 points ahead of 11th.
The 1500m race was an exciting conclusing to the two-days of action as it determined the winner as well as helped the Trojans add to their PRs. Washington's Jeremy Taiwo had to defeat Oregon's Dakotah Keys by eight seconds to win the championship and he won the event, but Keys made up some late ground and was only 7.53 seconds behind to win the Pac-12 decathlon championship with a career-high 8001 points, three more than Taiwo.
Fajoyomi had a PR of 4:29.80 to finish sixth and earn 746 points, while Williams had a season-best time of 4:30.27 to earn 743 points. This result left Fajoyomi with his 7299 point total, 199 out of fourth and 21 points ahead of sixth place. Williams ended the two days with 6646 points in the bank, a PR of 229 points. He also ended the competiton just 20 points out of ninth place.
The winner of the women's competition was Arizona State senior Keia Pinnick, after three top three finishes.
The Pac-12 Track & Field Championships will continue on May 11 and May 12 at Loker Stadium. Fans wishing to purchase tickets can go to gettrojantix.com/track.