Erica McLain was not picked to place in the Top 10 of the long jump this week by Track & Field News. She had the 12th best jump coming in, and she qualified Wednesday for the finals at eighth. McClain proved herself once again an outstanding competitor on Thursday when she jumped a near-PR of 21-5 1/4 to finish in third place at Hornet Stadium in Sacramento (Calif.).
The Stanford junior who is best known for the triple jump, an event in which she is seeded #1 this week, also finished third at the NCAAs a year ago in the long jump. Thursday's jump achieved the same bronze medal but was nearly five inches longer. The finish gives McLain her ninth All-American honor of her collegiate career.
The broadest-based event of success for Stanford on Day Two of these NCAA Championships was the 1500m, where no less than five Cardinal runners will compete in the finals following Thursday's semifinal results. Russell Brown (3:42.01) and Garrett Heath (3:44.30) were automatic qualifiers for the men, each placing in the top four of their heat. Arianna Lambie was also an automatic qualifier (4:16.04), while Alica Follmar (4:17.90) and Lauren Centrowitz (4:18.51) ran PR's and qualified with their times.
The thrill of victory also brings the agony of defeat. Decathlon contender Josh Hustedt saw his two-day journey end in disappointment when he failed to clear his opening pole vault height of 15-5. He failed to score any points in what is one of his stronger events and withdrew from the competition. His best pole vault is 16-9, so 15-5 seemed a very safe height. The decathlon winner for the second year in a row was Arizona former walk-on Jake Arnold, becoming one of few Americans to surpass 8200 points. Arnold is from Santa Rosa (Calif.) and has a large rooting section at Hornet Stadium, which is fun.
Brett Gother finished far back (25th) in the 10,000m at 30:22.48.
The weather was great - warm and no wind, cooling off at night. More of the same is expected today.
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