Report15 May 2017

Stevens equals 200m world lead in Eugene


Deajah Stevens en route to her 200m victory at the Pac-12 Championships in Eugene (© Kirby Lee)

Rio Olympic 200m finalist Deajah Stevens notched an impressive double sprint victory to highlight the two-day Pac-12 Championships in Eugene, Oregon, on Sunday (14).

The 21-year-old dominated the 200m in 22.09 to equal the world lead, a lifetime best that supplanted her previous 22.25 PB set at the US Olympic Trials on the same track last year.

Entering the straight with a clear advantage, Stevens extended her lead down the homestretch to smash the previous meet record of 22.49 and win by more than three-tenths of a second. Deanna Hill of the University of Southern California was second in 22.41 with Stevens' University of Oregon teammate Hannah Cunliffe, the previous meet record holder, third in 22.60.

Less than an hour earlier, Stevens clocked 11.05 (+1.4) to lead a 100m podium sweep for Oregon, with teammates Ariana Washington and Cunliffe second and third in 11.10 and 11.11 respectively.

Much of the key action came in the sprints.

Kendall Ellis of USC dominated the 400m in 50.66, a personal best that elevated the 21-year-old to the number six position on the 2017 world list. She returned to the track just over an hour later for the 200m where she finished fourth in 22.80.

Kyree King also took a convincing 100/200 double for Oregon, albeit a wind-assisted one. The 22-year-old took the 100m in 10.09 (+2.2), well clear of teammate Damarcus Simpson who clocked 10.27.

Fifty minutes later, King dominated the 200m in 20.27 (+2.8), ahead of another teammate, Marcus Chambers, who clocked 20.43.

Michael Norman, the 2016 world U20 champion in the 200m and a first year student at USC, won the 400m in 45.15, chiseling 0.07 from his previous best. Chambers was runner-up here as well, clocking 45.19, the second fastest performance on his career.

In a close 400m hurdles contest, Rai Benjamin clocked a 49.52 national record for Antigua and Barbuda, edging Washington State's CJ Allen by just 0.02.

Elsewhere, Alaysha Johnson of Oregon won the 100m hurdles in 12.90.

Oregon dominated the team competition, notching their ninth consecutive sweep. The men's squad won their 11th straight title, topping USC 175-115.5 while the women won their ninth straight, beating USC 189-135.

Bob Ramsak for the IAAF

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