The USC women’s finished No. 2 and the men 37th at the NCAA track and field championships in Austin, Texas.
USC and Arkansas were tied, 56-56, entering the 4 x 400 relay and whoever finished first would win the NCAA title. USC’s Anna Cockrell, who ran the third leg, stumbled, fell and dropped the baton with about 100 meters to go. She looked fatigued after winning the 400-meter hurdles about 40 minutes earlier.
Now, this is where USC football fans who know nothing about track and field will simply praise everyone on a great meet.
But readers of this blog will know that in April I pointed out USC coach Caryl Smith-Gilbert has not put together a balanced team and it caught up with the Trojans at the end.
How so? Arkansas had sprinters, distance runners and field specialists score points in the NCAA championships. USC scored all its points relying on sprinters to run multiple events. So everything has to go perfect. It did last year. It didn’t this year.
Right before the 4 x 400 relay, Arkansas won the 5,000-meter race. USC doesn’t even care about distance events.
Oh, and no one wants to talk about the state of the men’s program.
- St. Mary’s baseball coach Eric Valenzuela, who interviewed at USC on Friday, was hired by Long Beach State on Saturday night. The frontrunners remain Andy Stankiewicz (Grand Canyon) and Andrew Checketts (UC Santa Barbara). No one has been offered the job yet.