Ducks re­peat as men’s track champs; De Grasse sweeps sprints

The China Post - - SPORTS - BY BOB BAUM

Canadian An­dre De Grasse of USC swept the sprints with a pair of ex­ceed­ingly fast, if wind-aided, times and host Ore­gon won its sec­ond straight men’s team ti­tle Fri­day at the re­vamped NCAA out­door track and field cham­pi­onships.

In a span of 55 min­utes in the meet’s com­pacted sched­ule, De Grasse won the 100 in 9.75 sec­onds and the 200 in 19.58. His 200 time was the fastest ever by a col­le­giate run­ner un­der any con­di­tions.

Mar­quis Dendy of Florida dom­i­nated the triple jump, win­ning with a wind-aided 58 feet, 1 1/4 inches. He also won the long jump on Wed­nes­day, his sec­ond straight victory in the two events.

Ore­gon en­tered its fi­nal event, the 5,000, need­ing three points. The Ducks got 22 in a 1-2-4 fin­ish — Ed­ward Ch­e­serek and Eric Jenk­ins go­ing first and sec­ond, as they did in the 10,000 two days ear­lier.

Ore­gon scored 85 points. Florida was a dis­tant sec­ond with 56 and Arkansas third with 53.

It was the sec­ond time, and first in 50 years, that Ore­gon won the men’s crown two years in a row. The Ducks, de­spite their sto­ried track his­tory, hadn’t done it since 1964-65.

Un­der the new meet for­mat, the men and women are com­pet­ing on al­ter­nate days. The women will fin­ish on Satur­day. Ore­gon led the women’s team race af­ter Thurs­day’s com­pe­ti­tion.

The Ore­gon men and women never have won the NCAA cham­pi­onship in the same year. The Ducks haven’t won the women’s ti­tle since 1985.

The Ore­gon team to­tal was boosted by unan­tic­i­pated sec­ond­place fin­ishes by Mar­cus Cham­bers, be­hind win­ner Ver­non Nor­wood of LSU, in the 400 and Johnathan Cabral, be­hind Omar McLeod of Arkansas, in the 110-me­ter hur­dles.

De Grasse, who be­gan his day an­chor­ing the fourth-place USC 4 x 100 re­lay team, burst away from de­fend­ing cham­pion Trayvon Bromell of Baylor in the fi­nal 30 me­ters. Bromell was sec­ond at 9.88 and Lar­son third in 9.90.

The 200 was even more im­pres­sive for the young Canadian. He led al­most from the start and held a big lead at the end. Dedric Dukes from Florida was sec­ond and Bromell third, although both were clocked in 19.86.

“It was just an un­be­liev­able feel­ing,” De Grasse said. “I never thought that I could run that fast but I just have to be­lieve in my­self and, now that I’ve run that fast, it’s just changed my whole per­spec­tive on run­ning.”

He said he played bas­ket­ball un­til a friend and coach con­vinced him “I had a gift” of speed. De Grasse had a stop at Cof­feyville Com­mu­nity Col­lege be­fore go­ing to USC.

There hasn’t been a top Canadian sprinter on the world scene since Bruny Surin in the 1990s.

No one at Hay­ward Field dom­i­nated an event more than Dendy, who had five of the day’s best six triple jumps in what he called “by far” his best se­ries.

In his fi­nal col­le­giate com­pe­ti­tion, he opened with a wind-legal 57-5 and, with the ti­tle al­ready wrapped up, fin­ished with his big win­ning mark. The 57-5 was the best windle­gal mark by a col­le­gian in 30 years and third-best all-time.

An­thony Rotich of UTEP be­came the third per­son to win three NCAA steeple­chase ti­tles, hold­ing Stan­ley Kebenei of Arkansas in a re­peat of the 1-2 fin­ish by the Kenyans last year.

Ja­co­rian Duffield and Bradley Ad­kins gave Texas Tech a 1-2 fin­ish in the high jump.

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