Sandi Morris ranks third and is part of the United States’ second Olympic team
Eugene, Ore. – A third place finish in the pole vault final with 15-foot-1-inch clearance at the US Olympic Trials earned Arkansas alumnus 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.
On day one of the heptathlon, Arkansas alumnus Taliyah Brooks currently sits second with 3,946 points after leading the pack in the 100m hurdles and 200m.
Morris, the 2016 Olympic silver medalist, locked third place with a clean sheet by 15-1 (4.60). She passed the opening bar of 14-3 (4.35) and made the next two bars – 14-9 (4.50) and 15-1 on the first attempts.
Katie Nageotte won the event with a competition record of 16-2 ¾ (4.95) while Morgann LeLeux cleared 15-5 (4.70) as a runner-up.
Campbell, the outdoor collegiate leader this season at 14-10 (4.54) and the only collegiate to reach the final, cleared 14-9 to place sixth as she reached the opening height and 15- 1 in the first attempts before missing at 15-5.
Morris’s training partner Megan Clark also scored 14-9 placing 10e as three attempts to make 14-9 placed her behind four other vaulters who did the same height with fewer misfires.
Arkansas rookie Taylor Ewert was sixth in the 20km walk at the US Olympic trials on Saturday, clocking 1 hour, 43 minutes, 41 seconds.
Starting the race at 7 a.m. PT in Springfield, Oregon, due to concerns about temperatures reaching triple digits this weekend, Ewert’s time of 1:43:41 was just below his best of 1:41:08 which she set on her distance debut in April when she raced in Philadelphia.
During the 3km opening, Ewert got off to a good start, rivaling eventual winner Robyn Stevens, who won in 1:35:13. Ewert matched Stevens by opening 1km divisions of 4:41, 4:33 (9:14) and 4:34 (13:48). Ewert stayed in second place over 7 km (33:17), then held third place over 14 km (1:09:36) after completing 10 km in 48:26.
Brooks improved the field of 18 participants in the 100m hurdles heptathlon with a 12.85 to collect 1,147 points. A 6-0 ½ (1.84) outside PR in the high jump brought in 1,029 points with Brooks second overall behind Erica Bougard (2,203) by 23 points.
In the shot put, a mark of 41-4 ¼ (12.60) added 706 points as Brooks slipped to fifth. Then, a time of 23.10 in the 200m dominated the peloton and generated 1069 points, pushing Brooks to second place overall.
Annie Kunz is the leader of the first day with 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, set the second-fastest semifinal time ahead of Sunday’s final. Little won the second semi-final in 53.71 over Dalilah Muhammad (53.86) while Sydney McLaughlin won the first round in 53.03.
The final day of Sunday’s Olympic Trials features the heptathlon pursuit at 1 p.m. PT (3 p.m. CT) as well as the 400m hurdles finals at 4:20 p.m. PT (6:20 p.m. CT).
Razorback Daszay Freeman competes in the 100m hurdles final in Jamaica, while in Canada Razorback Kennedy Thomson competes in the 1500m final.