Brown & Gaither Earn 100m All-America Honors
June 13, 2014
EUGENE, ORE. - Aaron Brown in the men's 100m race and Tynia Gaither in the women's 100m dash both earned All-America honors during the third day of the 2014 NCAA Track & Field Championships hosted by Oregon at historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore today (June 13). Brown placed third in the men's race to earn six points for the team and Gaither placed eighth in the women's race to earn a point for the team and with one day remaining at the NCAA Championships, USC's men have eight points and the women's team has two points with both side having three chances to score big tomorrow.
"It was a good day today, we left with two All-Americans in the 100m," said USC Director of Track & Field Caryl Smith Gilbert. "Aaron Brown did an amazing job. Great start today, fell asleep a little bit from 30-40 meters, but was able to recover and execute the last part of the race and run in for third with a season-best 10.07 wind-legal, that's very good. Tynia (Gaither) didn't execute quite as well as she should have and she understands that. It was great for her to make the 100m final. She came in as the last qualifier out of the regionals and making the final in the 100m requires a lot of focus and concentration, so I'm proud of her, she's an All-American in the 100m, the first time in college being an outdoor All-American in an individual event. She worked hard."
The senior Brown placed third in the men's 100m finals with a season-best time of 10.07 (+1.8) to earn first-team All-America honors and earn the Trojans six points in the men's team competition. Freshman Trayvon Bromell of Baylor won the race with a junior record of 9.97, while last year's runner-up Dentarius Locke of Florida State placed second with a time of 10.02. Brown, who placed fifth in the 100m dash last season, becomes the first Trojan to score in the event in consecutive seasons since Jeff Laynes in 1992 and 1993.
The sophomore Gaither got out slowly in the women's 100m final and running into a -3.4 wind did not allow her to catch up and she placed eighth with a time of 11.73. She earned outdoor first-team All-America honors for the first time and tomorrow will be competing in the women's 200m final with an opportunity to do it again. She also will be running in the 4x100m relay and has run on the 4x400m relay before, so she could be looking at becoming a four-time All-American at the meet. The last USC woman to score at the NCAA Championships in the 100m dash was Jessica Onyepunuka who placed fifth in 2008. Gaither and Brown became the first men's and women's 100m All-Americans in the same season since 2005 (Alexis Weatherspoon and Wes Felix).
The Trojans began the day with senior Oluwakemi Olonade and junior Melia Cox competing in the women's triple jump. Olonade was the first jumper in the first flight and opened the competition with a jump of 39-6.75/12.06m (-1.8). She then fouled on her second attempt and stood in 10th place after two rounds with the top nine jumpers from both flights advancing to the final rounds. She fouled again in her final attempt to finish 12th in the first flight and out of the competition. Olonade had a good season setting a PR of 41-8.75 (12.72m) which is ninth on USC's all-time list and placed sixth at the 2014 Pac-12 Championships.
Cox was the seventh jumper in the second flight. After the first flight there were four jumpers over 43 feet and the rest under 42 feet. Cox fouled in her first attempt and after the first round of the second flight there were nine women who had jumped 42 feet or more. Cox had a jump of 41-7.25/12.68m (+1.6) in her second jump and 42-0.00/12.80 (+2.1w) in her third attempt. That moved her into 11th place, missing by two spots of advancing to the finals. For Cox it was her second consecutive 11th-place finish in the triple jump at the NCAA Championships. Cox, who ranks fifth on USC's all-time list, was also the 2014 Pac-12 Champion in the event.
"Kemi (Olonade) unfortunately had two fouls and wasn't able to get in with the mark she had. Melia (Cox) was there, right in All-American position, but just wasn't able to pull through on the last jump and ended up 11th. It was a great day, we have two All-Americans, we will get ready for tomorrow and get some more points on the board."
In tomorrow's NCAA Championship final day of action which will air on ESPNU beginning at 2 p.m., USC will have Aaron Brown competing in the men's 200m final, Tynia Gaither in the women's 200m final, Aleec Harris in the men's 110m HH final and teams in the men's and women's 4x100m final and the women's 4x400m final.