USC’s Andre De Grasse wins 100 and 200 in NCAA track championships
Canadian Andre De Grasse of USC swept the men’s 100 and 200 meters in the NCAA track and field championships Friday at Eugene, Ore.
De Grasse’s 100 wind-aided time of 9.75 was the fastest any-condition time ever run by a Canadian and the second-fastest under any conditions by a collegian. His 200 wind-aided time of 19.58 was the fastest time run under any conditions by a collegian and at Hayward Field.
Clancy Edwards, in 1978, was the last USC sprinter to win both the men’s 100 and 200 at the NCAA championships.
De Grasse, who began his day anchoring the fourth-place USC 4 x 100 relay team, burst away from defending champion Trayvon Bromell of Baylor in the final 30 meters. Bromell was second at 9.88 and Larson third in 9.90.
The 200 was even more impressive for the young Canadian. He led almost from the start and held a big lead at the end. Dedric Dukes of Florida was second and Bromell third, although both were clocked in 19.86.
“It was just an unbelievable feeling,” De Grasse said. “I never thought that I could run that fast but I just have to believe in myself and, now that I’ve run that fast, it’s just changed my whole perspective on running.”
He said he played basketball until a friend and coach convinced him “I had a gift” of speed. De Grasse had a stop at Coffeyville Community College before going to USC.
There hasn’t been a top Canadian sprinter on the world scene since Bruny Surin in the 1990s.
“I’m going to try to put Canada back on the map,” De Grasse said, “and compete with the U.S. and Jamaica.”
Marquis Dendy of Florida dominated the triple jump, winning with a wind-aided 58 feet 1 1/4 inches. He also won the long jump on Wednesday, his second straight victory in the two events.
Host Oregon won its second consecutive men’s team title with 85 points. The Trojans finished fifth with 40.5 points.
Oregon entered its final event, the 5,000, needing three points. The Ducks got 22 in a 1-2-4 finish — Edward Cheserek and Eric Jenkins going first and second, as they did in the 10,000 two days earlier.
Oregon scored 85 points. Florida was a distant second with 56 and Arkansas third with 53.
“We thought heading into the day that if we could get to 70-plus that would be kind of enough to make sure we were happy at the end,” Ducks Coach Robert Johnson said, “and we just got on a roll there.”
It was the second time, and first in 50 years, that Oregon won the men’s crown two years in a row. The Ducks, despite their storied track history, hadn’t done it since 1964-65.
“When you start to compare anything with what we’ve done in the past with what we’re doing in the present is pretty special,” Johnson said. “It’s a pretty special place as far as history and tradition and legacy goes.”
Under the new meet format, the men and women are competing on alternate days. The women will finish on Saturday. Oregon led the women’s team race after Thursday’s competition.
The Oregon men and women never have won the NCAA championship in the same year. The Ducks haven’t won the women’s title since 1985.
The Oregon team total was boosted by unanticipated second-place finishes by Marcus Chambers, behind winner Vernon Norwood of LSU, in the 400 and Johnathan Cabral, behind Omar McLeod of Arkansas, in the 110-meter hurdles.
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