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WSU’s Anderson wins third NCAA hurdles crown

WSU’s Jeshua Anderson is a three-time national champion in 400 hurdles. (Associated Press)
WSU’s Jeshua Anderson is a three-time national champion in 400 hurdles. (Associated Press)

DES MOINES, Iowa – Washington State’s Jeshua Anderson won the men’s 400 hurdles at the NCAA outdoor track and field championships on Friday night for the third time in four years, capping his storied collegiate career by winning his last race on the same track where he won his first NCAA title in the 400 hurdles three years ago.

“The first one was probably the sweetest,” Anderson said. “Drake (Stadium) is a great place. This was a good place for me to finish.”

After an hour delay because of lightning in the area, Anderson won in a time of 48.56 seconds on a wet track with light rain falling.

Anderson, from Woodland Hills, Calif., came into the race with a national-leading time of 48.13 seconds, fifth best in the world in 2011.

Stanford’s Amaechi Morton was second in 49.08.

“The big thing was to stay focused. … the track was wet and there was the delay, but I’m blessed with the time and thankful for another title,” Anderson said. “I wanted to run faster but within the conditions, I’m thankful.”

Anderson also won the hurdles in 2008 and 2009 but was second to South Carolina’s Johnny Dutch last year.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to have Jeshua Anderson on our track and field team for the past four years,” WSU head coach Rick Sloan said. “I look forward to watching Jesh in the Olympic Games, hopefully.”

Anderson plans to compete in the national championships in Eugene, Ore., June 23-26.

Also Friday, Idaho senior Eugenio Mannucci finished his college career with a 15th-place finish in the shot put. He threw the shot 57 feet, 11 inches to improve on his 21st place from a year ago.

“I’m really proud of how Eugenio has competed all season,” Idaho coach Julie Taylor said. “I think that it probably wasn’t indicative of what he’s capable of throwing, but he improved on what he did last year and he just had a great season.”

Senior Jordan Roskelley, a Mt. Spokane graduate competing for Oregon, was among six women who cleared 13-1 1/2 in the pole vault, placing 17th based on attempts.

In other highlights:

• Florida State’s Ngonidzashe Makusha broke the national collegiate record in the 100 meters, winning in 9.89 to cap a stunning day.

It was the second dominant performance of the meet for Makusha, who won the long jump in 27-63/4 – the best mark at the NCAA meet in 18 years.

Running with a slight tailwind, Makusha broke the 100 mark of 9.90 set by Ato Boldon of UCLA in 1996. Makusha joined Michigan’s DeHart Hubbard (1925), Ohio State’s Jesse Owens (1935-36) and Houston’s Carl Lewis (1981) as the only athletes to sweep the 100 and long jump at an NCAA meet.

“It’s a blessing. I’m really thankful. I never planned to do this,” said Makusha, from Zimbabwe.

• The men’s 800 was also exciting, as Virginia’s Robby Andrews charged from the back and caught UC Irvine’s Charles Jock on the backstretch. Andrews finished in 1:44.71, just 0.04 seconds in front.

• Iona’s Leonard Korir took the men’s 10,000 with a stirring kick with about 200 meters to go and blew past Liberty’s Sam Chelanga, the 2010 champion. Though he kept looking back to see if Chelanga was charging, Korir cleared in 28:07.63 – 5 seconds ahead.

• California’s Michael Morrison won the decathlon in unorthodox fashion, pulling ahead of Clemson’s Miller Moss with a mark of 198-4 in the javelin and winning with 8,118 points spread out over three days instead of two because of weather delays.

• In the women’s 100, Oklahoma’s Candyce McGrone upset LSU’s Kimberlyn Duncan to win in 11.08.

• Miami (Fla.) hurdler Ti’erra Brown, twice an NCAA runner-up in the 400 women’s hurdles, plodded through a downpour to win in 55.65.Florida State leads the men’s team race with 29 points. Oregon leads the women’s race with 33.