Ellis & Hill Win Junior Titles; Felix A Senior Title At USATFs|
June 27, 2015
EUGENE, ORE. -- Kendall Ellis in the 400m and Deanna Hill in the 200m won U.S. Junior titles during the final day of the USATF Junior Championships and BeeJay Lee and Alexis Faulknor advanced to 200m semifinals during the third day of the USATF Outdoor Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. today (June 27). In addition, USC alumnus Allyson Felix won the U.S. women's 400m dash title and four USC athletes earned spots on the U.S. Juniors team which will compete at the Pan Am Juniors Championships in Edmonton, Canada from July 31-Aug. 2.
The freshman Ellis used a strong kick to take the lead with 100m left and won the USATF Junior 400m title with a PR of 52.32. Ellis bettered her freshman record and seventh-place standing on USC's all-time list. The second-place finisher in the event had a time of 53.12. She automatically qualifies for USA's Pan American junior team.
Freshmen Hill and Ky Westbrook made it a USC 1-2 finish in the Junior women's 200m final by running 23.03 (+0.8) and 23.22 (+0.8) respectively. Westbrook's time tied her legal PR in the event. Together they will represent the U.S. in the event at the Pan American Juniors. Earlier in the meet they qualified for the 100m relay pool as Westbrook was third and Hill fourth in the Junior women's 100m dash finals.
Freshman Robert Ford began USC's action in the USATF Junior today by placing second in the men's 800m final with a PR of 1:48.00. He was third at the break and remained third until there was 200m left, where he moved into second. He closed the gap on the winner Carlton Orange, but could not overtake him down the stretch. By finishing second, he will be part of USA's Junior team which will compete at the Pam American Juniors.
The senior BeeJay Lee continues to tear up the Hayward Field track at the USATF Outdoor Championships, this time winning his 200m first-round heat with a PR of 20.18 (+1.8) to automatically advance to tomorrow's semifinals. His time moves him from sixth to fifth on USC's all-time list in the event. Lee had the fifth-fastest time among the qualifiers for Sunday's semifinals.
Junior Alexis Faulknor followed by earning her way into the women's 200m semifinals, but it was not quite as easy despite a PR of 22.97 (+0.5). Faulknor was third in the fourth heat, with the top two automatically advancing. Her time was good for fourth among the next best times, with six advancing and one heat remaining. After the fifth and final heat was concluded, Faulknor had the fifth-fastest time among the non-automatic qualifiers and advanced to Sunday's semifinals. Faulknor's time of 22.97 moved her into 10th on USC's all-time 200m list. She registered the 10th-fastest USC 100m time during the first day of the USATF Championships.
USC discus throwers Alexandra Collatz and Tera Novy finished 12th and 13th overall in the women's discus throw at the USATF Championships. The senior Collatz opened with her best discus throw for the day of 180-8 (55.08m). She followed that up with throws of 178-3 and 171-11 and stood in fifth after the first flight of discus throwers, ultimately claiming 12th. The junior Novy's first throw was a mark of 179-7 (54.84m). Her second throw went for 180-3 which put her in 10th with one throw remaining to crack the top eight and earn three more throws. Novy fouled in her final attempt and would finish 13th overall.
Felix won the USATF women's 400m title with a stunning stretch run to finish with a time of 50.19. Felix was at best in fifth place entering the stretch and far behind the leader Natasha Hastings, but blew by the field and caught Hastings at the wire to win by .06 seconds. She will represent USA at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China from Aug. 22-30. It was the second U.S. 400m title for Felix who also took the crown in 2011 with a time of 50.40.
Bryshon Nellum took fourth place in the men's 400m dash finals with a time of 45.18. He still will make the team as one of the top three was LaShawn Merritt the reigning world champion in the event, who gets a bye to the 2015 World Championships. Nellum is also eligible for the relay pool.
The day began for the Trojans with alums Aleec Harris and Logan Taylor competing in the USATF men's 110m hurdles first round and they both took care of business to automatically advance to tomorrow's semifinals. Taylor took second in the first heat with a time of 13.59 (+0.9) and Harris won the second heat with a time of 13.33 (+0.8). Harris had the third-best qualifying time and Taylor the ninth.
USC alumnus Dalilah Muhammad took fourth in her 400m IH semifinal with a time of 56.15 to automatically advance to tomorrow's final in the event.
Ginnie Crawford competed in the women's 100m HH semifinals, but placed seventh in her heat with a time of 12.88 (+2.0) and did not advance. Crawford ended up with the 12th-fastest time in the semifinals.