EUGENE, Ore. Washington State’s Jeshua Anderson was not able to win his third consecutive title in the men’s 400m hurdles semifinals Friday night at the NCAA Track & Field Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene.
Anderson, a junior from Woodland Hills, Calif., ran a time of 49.31 seconds for second place as his long-time nemesis, Johnny Dutch of South Carolina, took the title with a time of 48.75. Anderson had run a semifinal time of 49.21 Wednesday while Dutch’s semifinal time was 49.23. Dutch had the fastest 2010 collegiate time of 48.12, run at the NCAA East Regional meet two weeks ago in Greensboro, surpassing Anderson, who had been the national leader through the season with a season-best time of 48.63. Anderson was the two-time NCAA intermediate hurdles champion and has captured three consecutive Pacific-10 Conference championships. He holds the WSU school record of 48.47 run at the 2009 NCAA Championships.
Dutch, also a junior, and Anderson are familiar foes. They have raced each other in USA junior and senior championships as well as at the two previous NCAA meets. Friday night, Anderson appeared to hesitate before going over the ninth hurdle, was passed by Dutch at the 10th hurdle and then struggled as Dutch ran ahead in the final 40 meters to the finish line. Stanford’s Amaechi Morton finished third in a time of 49.56.
After the race, Anderson said, “I felt good about my race. I did a lot of things right within it and was able to take control of the race but just came off balance a little off of my alternate leg that cost me the race. But other than that, I’m happy to come in second within a great field.”
“Jeshua was running an amazing race but a bit of a mental mistake with his running rhythm off of hurdle number eight cost him today,” Cougar hurdles coach Mark Macdonald said. “All year we’ve been working on an aggressive race plan that will get him to the next level in his career. He just has not had enough opportunity to work on it against any competition. He and I both feel proud about today’s effort and have no regrets.”
Trent Arrivey (senior, Woodinville, Wash.) finished 20th in the men’s high jump. The three-time All-American had a disappointing day, clearing the opening height of 6-feet, 8 3/4 inches (2.05m) and the next height of 6-10 3/4 (2.10m) on his second attempts. He miss all three attempts at 7-0 1/2 (2.14m). Arrivey had jumped a season-best 7-1 1/2 (2.17m) at the Pac-10 Championships. His personal-record high jump is 7-4 1/2 (2.25m), leaped in 2009, which is the fourth-best in WSU all-time, but he cleared an indoor PR height of 7-4 1/4i (2.24m) in January of this year.
“Trent never looked comfortable today and unfortunately was not able to reach the height or place we were hoping for,” Cougar jumps coach Matt McGee said. “He has had a great career winning many titles and earning multiple All-American awards. Personally, as my first recruit I signed at WSU, I couldn’t be more proud of what he accomplished in his four years. He took his high jumping to levels that very few reach.”
At the completion of the competition, Arrivey said, “I felt good coming in and had some good practices with Coach McGee lately. But just wasn’t feeling springy when it was called for. I’ve had a blast these last four years and I’m grateful I got a chance to be a part of it all.”
Javelin throwers Marissa Tschida and Courtney Kirkwood begin competition at 9:30 a.m. Saturday morning on the final day of the championships in Eugene. CBS will air a two-hour live broadcast beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday.