Sloan Reaches Olympic Trials TJ Final, 5 Trojans Advance To Semifinals|
July 7, 2016
Eric Sloan advanced to the triple jump finals, Nia Ali to the 100m HH semifinals, Michael Norman to the 200m semifinals and Dalilah Muhammad, Anna Cockrell and Jaide Stepter advanced to the 400m IH semifinals during a light rain at the USA Track & Field Olympic Trials at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. today (July 7).
Sloan (USC, 2017), who missed almost the entire 2016 outdoor season for the Trojans due to a hamstring strain and a pinched nerve in his back, captured the 12th and final spot in the men’s triple jump competition to advance to the finals on July 9. His first jump went for 53-3.50/16.24 (+1.4) to move him into second place early in the competition and sixth overall after the first round. That jump also moved him into seventh place on USC’s all-time triple jump list, the first Trojan to join the top 10 since 2003 when Allen Simms (56-4) and Julien Kapek (56-2) posted the school’s top two marks. His second jump was 52-6.00/16.00m (+0.1) and he stood in seventh after two rounds with the top 12 advancing to the finals. His final jump was a foul and he stood in 12th with six jumpers remaining which were behind him, but they could not catch him. Sloan, who placed fourth in the triple jump and sixth in the long jump at the 2016 NCAA Indoor Championships to earn All-America honors, will likely be granted a redshirt season and have the 2017 and 2018 outdoor season to compete for the Trojans.
Four of the 35 athletes competing in the women’s 100m HH were Trojans and that doesn’t include 2015 Pac-12 champion and world youth record-holder Dior Hall (USC, 2018), who had knee surgery in January and had to watch from the sidelines this season. Ali (USC, 2011) took second in the third heat with a time of 12.68 (+0.9) to automatically advance to the semifinal tomorrow. She ended up fourth among the qualifiers. Also in the same heat, Melia Cox (USC, 2015) who finished sixth with a time of 13.37 and 25th overall. Virginia Crawford (USC, 2006) was also in the third heat and hit the first hurdle and pulled up shortly afterwards and did not finish. Also having trouble with the first hurdle was Candice Price (USC, 2007) in the fifth heat, but she regrouped to finish with a time of 13.39 (+0.7) which was fifth in the heat and 27th overall.
BeeJay Lee (USC, 2015) was up first in the men’s 200m preliminary round, taking fourth with a time of 20.79, with the top three advancing automatically to tomorrow’s semifinals. He was already the fourth next best time with only the three next best times advancing and ended up finish 25th overall. Incoming freshman Michael Norman (USC, 2020) then cruised to victory in the fourth heat with a wind-aided time of 20.06 (+2.8w), destroying the field and shutting it down well before the finish line. He automatically advances to the semifinal tomorrow and had the second-fastest qualifying time.
The final event on the day for the Trojans was the women’s 400m IH and USC had three competitors in the five heats, with the top two and the next six fastest times advancing to the semifinal tomorrow. Incoming freshman Anna Cockrell (USC, 2020) was in the second of five heats and placed fifth with a time of 56.53. She had the third-fastest non-automatic qualifying time with three heat to go. When the heats were done she held the fourth-fastest non-automatic advancing time and the 12th-best overall to advance to the semifinals. Dalilah Muhammad (USC, 2012) then took care of business by cruising to victory in the third heat with a time of 55.33 to automatically advance. Her time ended up being the fastest of the qualifiers. Jaide Stepter (USC, 2016) was in the final 400m IH heat and she won her heat with a time of 55.64 to automatically advance. She also defeated three-time NCAA champion Shamier Little in the race, snapping her streak of 14 consecutive wins at Hayward Field. Stepter had the fifth-fastest time among the qualifiers for the semifinals.