Williams Advances To Olympic Finals In Men's High Jump
Aug. 5, 2012
Jesse Williams easily advanced to the finals in the men's high jump, Bryshon Nellum narrowly missed advancing to the men's 400m final and Zsofia Erdelyi and Tina Kefalas competed in the women's marathon today (Aug. 5) at the 2012 London Olympics.
Williams, who competed for USC from 2004-06 and won the NCAA high jump title in 2005 and 2006, was one of six athletes to clear 7-6 (2.29m) today to advance to the final on Aug. 7 at 11 a.m. Williams was clean through his first three heights of 7-1, 7-3 and 7-5, before missing once at 7-6 and then clearing that height. Williams is the reigning world champion in the high jump and has personal best of 7-9.25 (2.37m) in winning the 2011 U.S. championship, helping him win the Jesse Owens Award as the top American track and field performer of the year.
Nellum, the 2012 Pac-12 400m dash champion who just completed his senior season at USC, narrowly missed out on advancing to the Olympic finals in the 400m race by placing third in his semifinal heat with a time of 45.02. He finished ninth overall, just .03 seconds out of the eighth and final spot in the finals. Still, he was the top American finisher and will represent USA along with Trojan teammate Josh Mance in the men's 4x400m relay with the first round being held on Aug. 9 at 3:35 a.m. Nellum will continue his remarkable comeback from being a random gunshot victim in the fall of 2008 and having initial surgery on his leg in 2008, with follow-ups after the 2010 and 2011 seasons (the last surgery finally removed bullet fragments from a nerve).
Zsofia Erdelyi who just graduated from USC as the school record-holder in four distance events and Tina Kefalas (1996-99) ran in the women's marathon today with Erdelyi placing 92nd and Kefalas 104th. Erdelyi, running for her native Hungary, finished the tough 26.2 mile course which featured undulating hills and tight turns while winding by historic landmarks like Big Ben, The Tower of London, Victoria Memorial and the Thames River in a time of 2:44.45. Kefalas, running for Greece, finished the race run in intermittent light and heavy rain with a time of 3:01.18. Erdelyi was running in her third career marathon against competition that typically has many years of marathon experience.