Solomon Wins 800m Title At 2014 USA Track & Field Championships
June 29, 2014
Former USC athletes Duane Solomon won the 800m title, Ryan Wilson was second in the 110m HH, Reggie Wyatt was third in the 400m IH, Bryshon Nellum was sixth in the 200m and 2014 graduate Aleec Harris was fourth in the 110m HH to lead the Trojans on the final day of the USA Track & Field Championships held in Sacramento, Calif. today (June 29). USC also had four athletes compete in finals on Saturday, highlighted by Josh Mance taking second in the 400m dash. USC also had three athletes compete and reach finals at the 2014 Canadian Track & Field Championships from June 27-29 in Moncton, NB, Canada.
Solomon cruised to victory in the 800m final with a time of 1:44.30 to make it two consecutive USA national titles in the 800m for the Trojan alumnus (2005-08). Solomon began his quest by winning his heat and having the top time in the preliminaries of 1:47.19 and did the same in the semifinals on Friday with a time of 1:45.61.
The 110m HH closed the 2014 USA Track & Field Championships and it ended with Wilson (2000-03) falling .005 seconds short of defending his national title, taking second with a time of 13.16 just behind Devon Allen of Oregon (13.155). Harris (2012-14), who finished .02 seconds behind Allen at the 2014 NCAA Track & Field Championships, placed fourth with a time of 13.26 (+1.3). Harris had reached the finals earlier in the day with the third-fastest qualifier of 13.20 (+1.2) in the semifinals, while Wilson was sixth with a time of 13.31 (+2.6w). Logan Taylor (2005-08) also reached the semifinals, but did not finish the race after hitting an early hurdle.
Wyatt (2010-13) was third in the 400m IH with a time of 50.16. He won the 2013 NCAA 400m IH title, but was disqualified at the 2013 USA Track & Field Championships for a trail leg violation. Wyatt advanced out of the preliminary rounds Friday ninth with a time of 51.04 and out of the semifinals Saturday third with a time of 49.85.
Nellum (2010-13) was competing in his first championship races since the 2013 USA T&F Championships and placed sixth in the 200m dash with a time of 20.65 (+1.3). In the semifinals earlier in the day, Nellum ran 20.36 (+3.7w) to finish fourth. He opened with a time of 20.68 (+0.2) in the preliminary round on Saturday.
Mance (2011-12) finished second in the men's 400m dash with a time of 44.89 on Saturday. He and the winner Gil Roberts (44.53) were the only two runners to go sub-45 seconds. Mance was third in the preliminaries with a time of 45.35 and then was fifth in the semifinals with a time of 45.28. Earlier in the day on Saturday, USC volunteer assistant coach DeeDee Trotter placed fifth in the women's 400m final with a time of 51.04.
The other Trojans competing in finals on Saturday, June 28 were Jesse Williams (2004-06) in the men's high jump, Nia Ali (2008-09, 2011) in the women's 100m HH and Alitta Boyd (2010-13) in the women's long jump.
Williams placed fifth in the high jump with a clearance of 7-4.50 (2.25m). Williams was the only athlete clean over the first three bars in the competition, but then missed all three attempts at 7-5.75 (2.28m).
Ali, the 2014 world indoor 60m HH champion, placed eighth in the women's 100m HH with a time of 13.16 (-1.6). Ali ran 12.89 in the prelims on Friday to come out of the round with the ninth-fastest time. Also advancing out of the preliminary round in 13th was Candice (Davis) Price (2004-07) with a time of 13.08 and 2014 Pac-12 champion Lauren Blackburn (2011-14) in 16th with a time of 13.25. In the semifinals Saturday morning, Ali was fourth in her heat to qualify with a time of 13.00, while Price was 12th overall with a time of 13.20 and Blackburn was 16th overall with a time of 13.48 (+1.3).
Boyd placed eighth in the long jump with a best leap of 20-9.25/6.33m (+0.4). That jump came in her first attempt and she did not improve in her next two jumps, but advanced to the finals. In the finals she had three fouls and hung on to grab eighth place. Boyd also competed in the women's triple jump competition on Thursday and had a best jump of 42-0.00/12.80m (+2.8w) to place 13th.
Remington Conatser (2013-14) got the competition started for the Trojans when he placed 12th in the men's hammer throw on Thursday with a best mark of 219-11 (67.03m). For the 2014 Pac-12 champion Conatser, it was his first competition since undergoing an emergency appendectomy on May 26 which kept him out of the NCAA Championships.
USC junior Alexandra Collatz and sophomore Tera Novy competed in the women's discus throw competition on Sunday and placed 10th and 13th respectively. Collatz had a best throw of 177-11 (54.24m) and Novy's best mark was 168-10 (51.46m).
Shana Woods (2007-09, 11) competed in the heptathlon and placed 13th with a two-day (June 27-28) point total of 5,466. Woods was in the top eight competitors for most of the competition, but struggled in the last two events, the javelin throw and the 800m race.
Six-time Olympic medalist Allyson Felix ran in the 100m prelims on Thursday and had a time of 11.53 good for 14th, but she withdrew from the semifinal as she continues to battle back from a torn hamstring at the 2013 World Championships.
USC's recently graduated seniors Aaron Brown and Loudia Laarman competed in the 100m and incoming junior sprinter Andre De Grasse competed in the 100m and 200m dashes at the Canadian Track & Field Championships in Moncton, NB, Canada. All three athletes advanced to the finals.
On Saturday, Brown had a time of 10.31 (+0.4) to finish second in the men's 100m semifinals, while De Grasse was sixth with a time of 10.47 (-1.7). Later in the day, De Grasse took second with a time of 10.41 (-1.8) and Brown third with a time of 10.43 (-1.8). Brown was third at the 2014 NCAA Championships in the 100m and second in the 200m. Brown pulled out of the 200m finals, but set the Canadian record of 20.16 earlier in the year. De Grasse finished fourth in the 200m finals Sunday with a time of 21.05 (-2.3), after placing fifth in the semifinals with a time of 21.02 (+0.2).
Laarman placed sixth in the women's 100m final Saturday with a time of 11.72 (-0.7). She had the same time earlier in the day to advance out of the semifinals in fifth.