The USC Trojans Men’s Track and Field team saw another successful NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon at the historic Hayward Field this past weekend. They finished in 12th place with 16 points.
With only four athletes that qualified for nationals, the Trojans delivered an amazing effort which was highlighted by Randall Cunningham in the high jump. The sophomore won the NCAA championship with a clearance of 7-4.50(2.25m). He became the 11th high jump champion in school history and was the first since Jesse Williams in 2006. Cunningham’s performance was nearly flawless. He was 5 for 5 when clearing on the first attempt until he went up to 7-5.75 (2.28) and missed on his first attempt. He would eventually move the bar to 7-6.00 (2.29m) to try and reach the Olympic "A"standard but would barely miss on his attempts.
Two-Sport star athlete Adoree' Jackson earned his second career All-American honor with a fifth place finish in the long jump with a jump of 25-1.25(7.65m). He was in third place early in the competition but slipped into fifth place by the time the finals took place. Despite an improvement in the finals he remained in fifth. Jackson became the first Trojan since Ed Tave in 1983 and 1984 to score points in back to back seasons in the long jump.
In the 400m finals, freshman Ricky Morgan Jr earned All-American honors after placing seventh with a finish 46.63. He was able to squeak into the finals with a time of 45.67 during the prelims which gave him lane 8. He was able to get out well during the finals but could not finish strong. He was supposed to finish in eighth place but a lane violation against Florida’s Najee Glass pushed Morgan to seventh.
Nick Ponzio earned second-team All-American honors in the shot put with a throw of 61-8.25(18.80m). Ponzio started off the competition with a throw of 60-6.50/18.45m that put him in fourth place. He improved his performance in the second round which put him in 12th place. Ponzio was unable to improve on his last attempt.
This year’s team performance marks the 12th consecutive top-12 finish.