CJ Allen Claims Hurdles Title at Pac-12 Championships
PULLMAN, Wash. -- Washington State freshman CJ Allen was the upset winner in the men’s intermediate hurdles Sunday in the final day of the Pac-12 Track & Field Championships at Mooberry Track on the Washington State University Pullman campus.
Allen, from Allyn, Wash., ran a lifetime-best 400m hurdles time of 51.14 seconds to win the event. Allen, who had the top time in the prelims of 51.84, held off a surge by runner-up Devon Allen, a freshman from Oregon was ran a time of 51.19. WSU’s Daniel Zmuda finished eighth with a time of 55.04. This intermediate hurdles final featured five freshmen and three sophomores.
“Champion. That sounds perfect, that’s exactly what I have been working so hard for all year,” Allen said. “When you get to big meets its (fast race) going to happen. PRs are going to happen, just the competitive edge for this group of guys, I mean, coming in we are pretty much all freshmen, I think two sophomores in the bunch. To know those guys are going to be there for the next three years is just awesome.”
Charlotte Muschamp, a redshirt junior from Edendale, New Zealand, was the runner-up in the triple jump Sunday following her Saturday win in the high jump. Muschamp leaped a wind-aided PR distance of 42-1 1/4 (12.83m), and during the series also reached a non-wind-aided PR of 41-4 1/4 (12.60m). Shantae Young, a senior from Oak Harbor, Wash., finished eighth in the triple jump with a hyper-wind-aided leap of 40-2 (12.24m). Alissa Brooks-Johnson took 10th with a triple jump of 36-2 (11.02m).
“I don’t know if I had a lot (of expectations) because I haven’t done triple jump so much outdoors yet; it’s still a work in progress and there is a lot more there so I am excited,” Muschamps said. “I find the triple jump was a lot more relaxing (than the high jump) and a lot more fun. I had a good first jump and I thought things were going good. And then on my fourth or fifth I was able to do a little bit more and I really wanted to get the double win (along with high jump) so I was chasing that. So it was a bit unfortunate I got second but at the same time I’m really excited.”
Allen returned to the track to run the lead leg of the men’s 1600m relay with Jacob Sealby, Lucas Sealby and Jesse Jorgensen taking third place with a season-best time of 3 minutes 10.48 seconds. Earlier in the meet, Jorgensen, a redshirt junior from Puyallup, Wash., ran the men’s 800m final in a time of 1:51.01 for fourth place after his 2013 second-place finish. Redshirt junior Jacob Sealby (Wenatchee, Wash.) ran a PR time of 46.72 for fifth place in 400m dash.
Scoring from field events Sunday for the Cougars included Thane Pierson, a sophomore from Naches, Wash., who tied for fifth in the men’s high jump with a clearance at 6-9 (2.06m), while Cole Smith finished 11th with a height of 6-7 (2.01m). In the men’s triple jump, PJ Benedictus took sixth place with a leap of 48-11 1/2 (14.92m) and Tay’lor Eubanks took seventh place with a leap of 48-6 /4 (14.79m).
The WSU men’s 4x100m relay team of Rashaun Johnson, Andre McBride, Kyle Farmer, and Terrance Chambers clocked in a season-best time of 40.61 for fourth place after running a season-best time of 40.26 in the prelims.
Andre McBride, a sophomore from San Leandro, Calif., finished eighth in the 100m with a time of 10.72 after running 10.57 in the prelims. In the men’s 200m final, Terrance Chambers (sophomore, Federal Way, Wash.) took seventh in a time of 21.51 after running a PR time of 21.31 in the prelims while McBride struggled to finish his third race of the day, taking eighth place in a time of 32.58 after clocking in at 21.35 in the prelims.
In the men’s 110m hurdles final, senior Josiah Sims (senior, Tacoma) finished seventh in a time of 14.35 and Zmuda (freshman, DuPont, Wash.) took eighth in the time of 14.64.
Drew Jordan, a senior from Medford, Ore., placed seventh in the men’s 5000m with a time of 14:07.03.
Additional scoring Sunday for the WSU women included Abby Regan, a junior from Coonamble, NSW Australia, who ran the 800m in a time of 2:10.15 for fifth place in the final. Senior Ruby Roberts (Kingston, Wash.) finished seventh in the 1500m final with a time 4:24.90 and was 21st place in the 5000m with a time of 17:13.72.
Shaquana Logan finished fifth in the women’s 100m hurdles a lifetime-best (non-wind-aided) time of 13.58 which is fourth-best in WSU all-time records. Women’s 4x100m relay of Shaquana Logan, Dominique Keel, Candice McFarland, and Briauna Watley finished sixth in a time of 45.46. Keel also finished eighth in the 100m dash in a time of 11.81.
Kristine Felix (freshman, Wailuku, Hawai’i) tied for sixth place in the women’s pole vault with a height of 13-0 3/4 (3.98m) while Kelsey Bueno (senior, Kent, Wash.) tied for 13th with a clearance at 12-0 3/4 (3.68m).
The women’s 4x400m relay team of Erin Allen, Christiana Ekelem, Keel and Bree Winfrey ran a time of 3:43.55 for eighth place.
Oregon repeated as the women’s team winner with 176 points with USC second with 145 followed by Stanford (75), Arizona State (75), Arizona (74), UCLA (68), Washington (53), Washington State (46.5), California (44.5), Colorado (33), Utah (23), and Oregon State (2).
The Oregon men also repeated as team champions with 163.5 points and USC second with 99 points. Arizona was third with 83 points followed by Arizona State (80.75), Washington (75.25), Stanford (71), UCLA (68.25), California (67), WSU (66.5) and Colorado (44).
Cougar Head Coach Rick Sloan, who is retiring from WSU at the end of his 41st season, said, “I think for the most part we performed spectacular. We stepped up and competed with the very best in this conference. I have a disappointment that our efforts did not yield us more points and put us higher up in the standings. But I can’t fault our kids or our coaches or anybody. We prepared well, we worked hard and we competed hard. We had a little bad luck in a couple of places and a few injuries in a couple of places but for the most part we got some great things done today and yesterday and last weekend. I’m very pleased with the competitive effort we made but wish we could have had a better result. Throughout the year this team has shown their resilience and their competitiveness. We train them and coach them and try and get them to perform as best they can but the thing they have to bring to the table is that desire to be the best they can be and when we put them in competitive situations, to respond to the competition. I think we have done that all year long. That pleases me as a coach. I can forgive a lot of things but I cannot forgive a lack of competitive spirit. That’s what sport is about. I was very pleased with this team and how we competed all year long.”
The NCAA West Regional Preliminary Rounds are the next competition for Cougars who have qualified, May 29-31 in Fayetteville, Ark. The top 12 from that meet advance to the NCAA Championships, June 11-4 in Eugene.
More quotes from WSU Head Coach Rick Sloan:
About CJ Allen’s win in the 400m hurdles “For a freshman to climb up on the top step of the podium in this conference is a pretty special thing. And all three guys on the podium were freshmen so the intermediate hurdles in this conference is going to be tough for a while. And we got the best one. CJ did a remarkable job.
“I thought our triple jump guys competed hard and they were both disappointed with their performances and wanted to jump farther but they both competed hard. Also on the men’s side, Andre McBride got in the final in the 100 and the 200 and ran a great leg on the relay yesterday with a season-best time. Getting fourth in that relay final was good for us. I think Andre has turned the corner competitively and the next couple of years he’s going to be an outstanding sprinter for the Cougs.
“Yesterday Kyle Stevens hitting that big javelin throw on his final effort and getting third place and on the podium is a special thing. In a competitive conference, as tough as it is, I can’t believe we only give an award to the top three placers.
“Josiah Sims needs to be mentioned. Josiah was a walk-on and a marginal walk-on at that. There were times when we needed to cut the men’s roster and he was on the choppig block. He has scored three consecutive years in the conference championships in the high hurdles. That’s pretty good work for a walk-on. Josiah Sims is part of Mark Macdonald’s group along with CJ Allen and Daniel Zmuda. Mark had made a living at Washington State in taking hurdlers average high school guys and turned them into All-Americans. And the women too - Shaquana Logan and Erin Allen. The guy’s a magician when it comes to taking good athletes, not great athletes, and teaching them how to train and how to hurdle and those kids produce some great performances. I don’t know what’s going to happen at Washington State with a new coach but I think they’d be a fool to not include Mark Macdonald on their staff.
“Jesse Jorgensen ran a good effort today and took fourth in the 800m. I’m proud of Jesse and what he’s become as a racer. In the steeplechase, Andrew Gonzales with a third place and he ran a gutsy race. I was happy with Forrest Shaffer’s steeplechase too. Another walk-on guy who’s sixth in the conference and on the edge of getting into the NCAA preliminary contest. I thought Drew Jordan ran a gutsy race in the 5000m. He kept himself in the position to move in the end and wound up with seventh place. Coach Riley’s done a great job with that entire distance crew.
“When I looked throughout the meet at the efforts people made, like Austin Sordorff who got sixth in the pole vault with a lifetime best. I try to preach and have them understand that we train from August to this point for a reason. We are developing the mental persistence and tenacity to be competitive at this level.
“Ruby Roberts has been an ace for us her whole career. She’s willing to do whatever she can to help our team succeed. I’m looking forward to her finishing her career on a high note in a couple of weeks in Fayetteville. Abby Regan did a great job in the 800m.
“Charlotte Muschamp was the ace of the meet. She scored 18 of our points after battling a sprained ankle during the outdoor season, came back and then pulled a hamstring and after recovering then got strep throat. She has had to struggle to get through this season
for her to come out and high jump and lifetime best and be Pac-12 champion and then to reach a lifetime-best and get second in the triple jump. She’s such a sweetheart and has worked hard and managed things in her life and done a great job to get where she is.
“Kristine Felix doesn’t have her best meet but she battled in there after being Pac-12 pole vault champ last year. Kristine’s still learning but she’s a stick of dynamite out there and she’s going to be a great vaulter.
“Last weekend what Alissa Brooks-Johnson was able to accomplish was pretty special. She’s progressed so much from just the indoor season until now. Her level of expectation has gone up so much that she expects to PR every time she comes out. That’s a testament to her mental toughness. She’s going to be a marvelous heptathlete.
“It has been a special weekend for me with the reunion and with the competition here in Pullman. All the people who put in the time and effort and the money to make this a spectacular event, I couldn’t be more pleased. It exceeded my vision, and that’s hard because I have pretty high expectations. You go through and make decisions and some are good and some are bad. But the impact you’ve had on people’s lives and the direction that their lives take as a result of being around our department and certainly our track staff. We all want to win championships at Washington State but I’d trade all the championships in to have this kind of impact on people’s lives.”