June 5, 2013
EUGENE, Ore. - Lorraine Ugen became TCU's second consecutive NCAA Outdoor Champion in the women's long jump Wednesday evening at Hayward Field. A huge third jump of 22-2 1/2 (6.77m) was needed to even make the final, but in the end proved to be the difference on the first day of the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Former Frog Whitney Gipson won the 2012 Outdoor long jump crown in Des Moines, Iowa last year.
"It is great that Lorraine won the NCAA title," TCU head coach Darryl Anderson said. "She had her best mark of the season, and was able to find her rhythm on the third jump. No one was able to respond to that jump. She is very talented and well-deserving of the NCAA title."
Standing on the runway for her third jump of the trials round, Ugen was in 23rd place overall, only centimeters out of last place. Needing a jump of at least 20-7 to make the nine-woman final, the Londoner had her work cut out for her.
What came next was amazing. Ugen went down the runway and recorded that huge third jump of 22-2 1/2 (6.77m). She knew she had a big jump on her hands as it turned out to be her new legal PR and put her in the lead at the break. The mark also ranks her eighth in the world this year for the women's long jump.
"The one thing we tell her is that she is talented enough," Anderson noted. "You only need one jump. If you're first two jumps are not good, you move on to the next one. It is like a shooter in basketball, they have to think every shot is going in and if it doesn't they have to move on."
After a foul on her fourth jump and passing on her fifth, Ugen had to wait out the field taking their chances at the crown. The closest anyone came was Kansas' Andrea Geubelle posting a wind-aided 21-4 (6.50m). With a big smile on her face knowing the crown was clinched, she gave the crowd one final jump to cheer about.
Ugen joins Gipson as the Horned Frogs women's programs second individual national champion. TCU joins Auburn in 2003-04 as the only schools to defend an NCAA outdoor women's long jump title.
"We are very pleased to call Lorraine an NCAA Champion," Anderson said. "It is not often when you can win back-to-back. Coach (Shawn) Jackson was able to get the job done with Lorraine. He did a great job this year with her. The sky is the limit for her in the future and we get her back for another season. Hopefully she will continue to work hard and be a good example for our newcomers.
There will be other chances for TCU student-athletes to add to the trophy collection this week as Charles Silmon made another huge statement in the 100-meter dash semifinals. The senior will go into Friday's 100-meter dash final as the top seed after posting a wind-aided 9.92 seconds mark in the semifinal round.
"I thought it was an easy run for him," Anderson said. "His first 30 meters were near perfect, and he went through his phases well. His races have been looking the same, which is a very good sign."
The invitation to go fast was presented in the two heats leading up to Silmon as Florida State's Dentarius Locke ran a legal 9.97 seconds in the first heat and Isaiah Young of Ole Miss posted a 10.00 in the second. That left the stage for Silmon, and the Waco native did not disappoint as he was the first off the blocks and the first across the line in his heat.
"The field started with 24 really fast guys and it is down to the fastest eight," Anderson noted. "It took 10.08 to make the final. A guy ran 10.11 and he is going to be sitting in the stands on Friday. This is going to be a very fast final."
The TCU men's 4x100 relay team did its job by securing an advancement to the finals that will take place on Saturday. The quartet of Harvey McSwain, Silmon, Ronnie Baker and Raymond Bozmans finished second in their heat, securing an automatic qualifying slot in a season-best time of 39.15. This is the 23rd time in program history that TCU will be represented in the 4x100 final and the first time since 2009.
"The 4x1 final is going to be exceptional," Anderson stated. "There were four teams under 39 seconds, and two with us being one of them on the doorstep. Our first leg was not very good, but we ran well throughout the rest of the race to pick Harvey up. He knows that, and he is going to do a better job on Saturday. He will put us in the mix."
The women's 4x100 relay came agonizingly close to joining the men's squad on Saturday. The squad of Veronica Jones, Chaniqua Corinealdi, Larissa Matthews and Ugen finished fourth in the first heat in a season-best 44.62. That would mean a wait to look for two slow heats for help. However, the second heat provided the blow as Texas finished third in the heat, but in a slightly faster 44.54 to move into the wild card slot. A slow third heat confirmed TCU's slot as the first team out of the Saturday final.
However, the Frogs' effort was still an improvement as the TCU women's relay entered Eugene as the No. 14 seed out of the regional meets and having the 17th-fastest time among the teams competing at Hayward Field.
"They performed better than we expected," Anderson said. "We are pleased that they posted a season-best time and were in ninth, but when you are that close you want to get into the eight-team final. However, we represented ourselves well."
Day two of action for the Horned Frogs tomorrow begins at 6:15 p.m. Central (4:15 p.m. Pacific) with Silmon competing in the semifinals of the 200-meter dash. The men's 4x400-meter relay will have their semifinal at 8:40 p.m. Central.
"The first day of the meet is critical," Anderson concluded. "Silmon has two tough days in today and Saturday, and now he has that out of the way. He can concentrate on one thing at a time tomorrow and Friday. As for the men's 4x400, we want to score points on Saturday and them getting to the final is required."