Sandi Morris places third to make second U.S. Olympic Team
Eugene, Ore. – A third-place finish in the pole vault final with a 15-foot, 1 inch clearance at the U.S. Olympic Trials earned Arkansas alum Sandi Morris a second trip to the Olympics while a pair of current Razorbacks, Taylor Ewert and Nastassja Campbell, each placed sixth in their respective events on Saturday.
Through the first day of the heptathlon, Arkansas alum Taliyah Brooks is currently in second place with 3,946 points after topping the field in the 100m hurdles and 200m.
Morris, the 2016 Olympic silver medalist, locked in third place with a clean sheet through 15-1 (4.60). She passed the opening bar of 14-3 ¼ (4.35) and made the next two bars – 14-9 (4.50) and 15-1 on first attempts.
Winning the event with a meet record of 16-2 ¾ (4.95) was Katie Nageotte while Morgann LeLeux cleared 15-5 (4.70) as runner-up.
Campbell, the outdoor collegiate leader this season at 14-10 ¾ (4.54) and lone collegian to reach the final, cleared 14-9 to place sixth as she made the opening height and 15-1 on first attempts before missing at 15-5.
Megan Clark, a training partner of Morris, also cleared 14-9 in placing 10th as three attempts to make 14-9 placed her behind four other vaulters who made the same height on fewer misses.
Arkansas freshman Taylor Ewert finished sixth in the 20km racewalk at the U.S. Olympic Trials on Saturday, producing a time of 1 hour, 43 minutes, 41 seconds.
Starting the race at 7 a.m. PT in Springfield, Ore., due to concerns with temperatures reaching triple digits this weekend, Ewert’s time of 1:43:41 was just off her best of 1:41:08 she established in her debut at the distance in April when she raced in Philadelphia.
Through the opening 3km Ewert had a strong start, keeping up with eventual winner Robyn Stevens, who won in 1:35:13. Ewert matched Stevens opening 1k splits of 4:41, 4:33 (9:14), and 4:34 (13:48). Ewert remained in second place through 7km (33:17), and then maintained third place through 14km (1:09:36) after passing 10km in 48:26.
Brooks bettered the field of 18 entrants in the heptathlon 100m hurdles with a 12.85 to collect 1,147 points. An outdoor PR of 6-0 ½ (1.84) in the high jump earned 1,029 with Brooks in second place overall behind Erica Bougard (2,203) by 23 points.
In the shot put a mark of 41-4 ¼ (12.60) added 706 points, with Brooks slipping to fifth place. Then a 23.10 clocking in the 200m topped the field and generated 1,069 points, pushing Brooks into second place overall.
Annie Kunz is the first day leader at 4,042 points. Behind Brooks are Kendell Williams (3,924), Bougard (3,912), and Chari Hawkins (3,856).
Shamier Little, who trains in Fayetteville with Arkansas associate head coach Chris Johnson, produced the second fastest semifinal time in advance to Sunday’s final. Little won the second semifinal in 53.71 over Dalilah Muhammad (53.86) while Sydney McLaughlin claimed the first heat in 53.03.
Sunday’s final day of the Olympic Trials features the continuation of the heptathlon at 1 p.m. PT (3 p.m. CT) as well as the finals in the 400m hurdles at 4:20 p.m. PT (6:20 CT).
Razorback Daszay Freeman races in the 100m hurdles final in Jamaica, while in Canada, Razorback Kennedy Thomson competes in the 1,500m final.