Sunday, May 10, 2015

Cougars' Alissa Brooks-Johnson wins Pac-12 heptathlon title...

LOS ANGELES—Washington State sophomore Alissa Brooks-Johnson (left/photo by Paul Merca) claimed the top spot on the podium, as she racked up personal bests in all seven events to claim the heptathlon title at the Pac-12 multi-events championships at Drake Stadium on the campus of UCLA.

Brooks-Johnson, from Doty, Wash., won with 5,803 points followed by UCLA’s Tatum Souza’s 5,636 points, and USC’s Amalie Iuel, the 2014 Pac-12 heptathlon champion, finished third with 5,610 points.

Brooks-Johnson opened the competition Saturday with a 100m hurdles PR time of 13.96 seconds which was third-fastest among the 14 participants. She high jumped a PR height of 5-feet, 7 inches (1.70m) which was the top bar clearance of the day, threw the shot put a PR distance of 37-5 1/4 (11.41m), and ran the 200m dash in a PR time of 24.91 to finish with a first day score of 3356, which put her in third.

Sunday, she followed it up by long jumping 18-feet 11 1/4 inches (5.77m), then threw the javelin 146-10 (44.75m), and ended the day with a 800m time of 2 minutes 13.94 seconds. She had PRs in all seven of the heptathlon events as well as her first-day and final point totals being PRs.

Brooks-Johnson’s 5,803 points is the fourth-best heptathlon mark in school history. She is the sixth Cougar woman to win the conference heptathlon title, and the 33rd WSU woman to win a conference individual event championship. Her score from the Pac-12 Championships is currently ninth-best nationally and should qualify her for the NCAA Championships, June 10-13, in Eugene.

“Alissa was amazing. Seven PRs and a 450-point overall PR is incredible but not overly surprising as she has really been feeling more and more comfortable with each event over the past few weeks,” WSU Director of Cross Country/Track & Field Wayne Phipps said. “The goal was to get an NCAA qualifier and to do that while winning the Pac-12 title is just awesome.”

The Huskies’ CJ Smith finished ninth with a score of 4,886 points, in only her second ever multi-event competition, after starting her career at Washington as a middle distance runner.

In the decathlon, the Cougars’ Dino Dodig finished fifth with a final two-day score of 7416 points.

This was the first decathlon Dodig has completed in his two seasons at WSU and is currently ranked 13th-best nationally and should qualify him to compete at the NCAA Championships next month.

Washington’s Nick Pfeiffer finished ninth with a personal best score of 6943 points, while teammates Cole Jensen was 13th with 6614 points, and Carson Murray was 14th with 5151 points, hampered by scoring no points in the long jump on Saturday, despite clearing 7-1.5 (2.17m) in the high jump.

Pau Tonnesen of Arizona won the decathlon title with a two-day score of 7823 points.

The Pac-12 championship meet resumes Saturday and Sunday at Drake Stadium.

NOTE:  The Pac-12,  Washington State University, and the University of Washington contributed to this report.

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