Trojans Have A Strong First Day At The USATF Championships|
June 25, 2015
EUGENE, ORE. -- Conor McCullough qualified for the USA World Championships team and BeeJay Lee, Allyson Felix, Bryshon Nellum and Duane Solomon advanced to event semifinals during the first day of the USATF Outdoor Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. today (June 25). Also, the USATF Junior Championships began today and incoming freshman Lyndsey Lopes is in third place after the first day of the women's heptathlon.
McCullough placed second in the men's hammer throw with a best mark on the day of 249-7 (76.09m) to make the USA team which will compete in Beijing, China in late August. The top three finishers qualified for the team and McCullough ranked in the top two throughout the competition as his first throw of 246-0 (74.98m) took the early lead. Kibwe Johnson of Nike/NYAC took the lead in the second round with a throw of 250-1 and they remained 1-2 the rest of the way. Both competitors improved in their fifth-round throws, with McCullough getting his 249-7 mark and Johnson his winning throw of 252-5, which coincidentally was one inch farther than McCullough's winning throw at the NCAAs two weeks ago at the same field. Remy Conatser, who graduated from USC last season, placed 13th with a best throw of 221-1 (67.38m).
Senior BeeJay Lee automatically advanced to the men's 100m semifinals tomorrow by taking third in his heat with a PR of 9.99 (+1.7). Lee now ranks second on USC's all-time 100m dash list behind only Andre De Grasse's wind-legal 9.97 run at the 2015 Pac-12 Championships. Lee's previous legal best was 10.07 in winning the 2013 Pac-12 100m dash title. Lee was 10th among the qualifiers, fifth-best among the wind-legal times.
Junior Alexis Faulknor ran in the women's 100m dash and she was sixth in the fourth heat and 23rd overall with a PR of 11.26 (+1.8) and did not advance to the semifinals. Since she ran in the only wind-legal heat, her time moved her into 10th place on USC's all-time 100m dash list, dropping current teammate Tynia Gaither (11.27) to 11th.
Senior Vanessa Jones ran in the women's 400m dash and posted a time of 53.32 to finish fifth in the third heat and 21st overall, so she did not advance to the semifinals. Trojan Olympian Allyson Felix cruised to a win in her heat to automatically advance with a time of 51.40. Her time was third among the qualifiers and she moves onto tomorrow's semifinals.
In the men's 400m dash, Bryshon Nellum took second in his heat with a time of 45.12 to automatically advance to tomorrow's semifinals. Josh Mance finished fourth in the fifth heat and 18th overall with a time of 46.02. He was two spots away from advancing to the semifinals.
The Olympian Solomon easily advanced to the 800m semifinals by winning his heat today with a time of 1:47.39. His time was fifth among today's qualifiers.
Former Trojan javelin thrower Cooper Thompson placed 18th in the event with a best throw of 210-3 (64.08m).
Future Trojan Lyndsey Lopes competed today in the first four events of the heptathlon at the USATF Junior Championships and finished Day 1 in third place with 3,094 points, 82 points out of the lead. She took second in the 100m HH with a time of 14.29 (1.9) to earn 938 points, tied for third in the high jump with a clearance of 5-4.50 (1.64m) to earn 783 points, 10th in the shot put with a mark of 29-10.75 (9.11m) to earn 471 points and second in the 200m dash with a time of 24.84 (+2.3w) to earn 902 points.