Cunningham & Hall Win U.S. Junior Titles|
June 26, 2015
Randall Cunningham won the men's high jump title and Dior Hall the 100m HH title at the U.S. Juniors, while BeeJay Lee placed sixth in the men's 100m dash final at the U.S. Seniors to highlight the Trojans efforts during the second day of the USATF Outdoor Championships and USATF Junior Championships being held at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. today (June 26).
Cunningham, who tied for eighth at the 2015 NCAA Championships in the high jump at the same place, was determined to get an even better result this time out. He passed at the first height of 6-8.25 and then had a miss in his first attempt at 6-10.25 (2.09m). He then cleared that height in his second attempt and cleared 7-0.25 (2.14m) in his first attempt to tie for the lead. He then cleared 7-1.50 (2.17m) in his first attempt to take the overall lead, with only three competitors remaining in the competition. The bar was raised to 7-2.50 (2.20m) and he missed on his first two attempts, the second one just brushing the bar which took awhile to decide if it was going to fall. He then slightly brushed the bar again, but this time it did not fall and he was the first over the height. Neither of the other competitors could clear the height, so Cunningham became the 2015 USATF Junior high jump champion with a clearance of 7-2.50. He then moved the bar up to 7-5.25 (2.27m) to try an establish a new PR, but was unable to clear that height, despite coming agonizingly close on his first attempt.
"I felt great on the first attempt," said Cunningham. "I actually thought the bar was would stay on. I need experience jumping at the higher heights."
Cunningham will now represent the U.S. at the Pan Am Junior Championships in Edmonton, Canada from July 31-Aug. 2.
The freshman Hall won the Juniors 100m HH title with a time of 13.02 (+2.6w) in the finals, beating the second-place runner by .23 seconds. She will join Cunningham on the USA team at the Pan Am Junior Championships. She cruised into the finals earlier in the day by running the fastest qualifying time of 13.21 (+0.8).
About seven minutes later, the freshman Marquis Morris joined them on the USA team for the Pan Am Junior Championships by taking second in the men's Junior 110m HH finals with a time of 13.29 (+1.5), just .08 seconds behind the winner. That time was also better than the previous Junior Meet record of 13.33, which the winner also eclipsed. Morris won his semifinal heat and had the fastest qualifier of 13.40 (+2.5w).
The senior Lee placed sixth with a time of 10.08 (+0.0) in the men's 100m dash finals at the USATF Outdoor Championships. Lee is the first Trojan to reach the U.S. 100m finals since Darwin Cook also finished sixth in 1982. Lee reached the finals earlier in the day by taking fourth in his semifinal heat by .001, posting a wind-aided PR of 9.94 (+3.7w) to automatically advance as the top four from each heat moved on to the finals. Lee is now in the mix for the U.S. relay pool for the World Championships. He will compete tomorrow in the 200m dash.
Freshmen Ky Westbrook and Deanna Hill finished third and fourth respectively in the Juniors 100m final and will be available for the relay pool for the Pan Am Juniors. Westbrook had a time of 11.39 (+0.6) and Hill a legal PR of 11.41 (+0.6). Westbrook and Hill both earned their way into the finals earlier in the day by taking third in their morning semifinals. Westbrook had a time of 11.49 (+0.6) and Hill had a then-PR of 11.43 (+1.4) to automatically advance to the finals. They both will be back tomorrow in the Juniors 200m final, as the prelims were cancelled.
Other Trojans in competing in the USATF Juniors today included freshman Kendall Ellis who drew a tough lane two assignment in the 400m semifinals, but it proved no problem for her as she cruised to victory in her heat with a time of 53.69 to automatically advance to tomorrow's final. Ellis' time was second among the qualifiers.
Freshman Robert Ford took second in the first Juniors 800m semifinals to automatically advance to tomorrow's final. Ford took the lead early and was just nipped at the wire when his advancement was safe, finishing with a time of 1:51.24. He ended up with the second-fastest time among the qualifiers.
USC freshman Madisen Richards placed seventh in the USATF Junior long jump competition with a best leap of 18-11.25/5.77m (+1.3) which came in her third attempt. Incoming freshman Margaux Jones took third in the event with a best jump of 19-9.50/6.03m (+0.2), also in her third attempt.
It was quite a Juniors shot put competition with two competitors besting the previous American Junior record which had stood since 2002 and one tying the previous record. In fact, the winner John Maurins of Wake Forest broke the previous record by four feet with a mark of 71-10.25 (21.90m). Through all of that, incoming USC freshman Matt Katnik stayed in the hunt and finished fourth just behind that group with a best mark of 65-11.75 (20.11m), despite only two legal throws.
Incoming 2015-16 freshman Lyndsey Lopes placed sixth in the USATF Junior heptathlon with a seven-event score of 5,069. Lopes began the day with a long jump of 17-3.50/5.27m (+2.0) to place sixth in the event. She earned 634 points and was in fifth after five events in the women's junior heptathlon. The next event was the javelin throw and she had a best mark of 104-8 (31.91m) to place seventh in the event and earn 513 points. She closed the meet strongly by winning the 800m with a time of 2:19.69 to earn 828 points. Her total of 5,069 established a new personal best in the event.
In the USATF Outdoor Championships, junior Jaide Stepter finished fifth in her 400m IH prelim race with a time of 58.06 and did not advance. That time was actually 17th overall, with the top 16 advancing to tomorrow's semifinals, missing the cut by .08 seconds. Alumnus Dalilah Muhammad finished third in her heat and ninth overall to advance with a time of 56.70.
Former Trojan NCAA Champion (2005 & 2006) Jesse Williams qualified for the U.S. team in the high jump by placing third with a season-best clearance of 7-7.00 (2.31m), but he had to work for it. He had a miss at 7-2.50 and then two at 7-4.50, before clearing 7-5.50 on his first attempt. It took him two attempts to clear 7-7, but that jump clinched his spot at the World Championships.
Both Allyson Felix (50.62) and Bryshon Nellum (44.92) advanced to the women's and men's 400m finals respectively. Felix won her heat and was fourth overall and Nellum was second in his heat and third overall among the qualifiers.
Alumnus Duane Solomon also advanced to a final in the men's 800m by taking fourth in his heat with a time of 1:45.56. That time was also the fourth-fastest among qualifiers.
Ginnie Crawford was fifth in her 100m HH preliminary heat with a time of 12.90 (+2.6w) and advanced to tomorrow's semifinals. Her time was 13th among the qualifiers.
Also, alumnus Alitta Boyd placed 13th in the women's triple jump with a best leap of 41-1/12.52m (+1.5).