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Trojan track enjoys productive weekend at USATF Championships

first_imgKatie Chin | Daily TrojanFlying high · Redshirt sophomore Marquís Morris was one of many USC student-athletes and graduates competing at last week’s USATF Championships in Sacramento, Calif. Morris was a semifinalist in the 110m hurdles, while Trojan alumnus Aleec Harris triumphed in the finals to claim the national title.The USC track program shone at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships last week, with both alumni and collegiate stars impressing during the four-day competition in Sacramento, Calif. Former Trojans Dalilah Muhammad and Aleec Harris earned titles in the 400m hurdles and 110m hurdles, respectively, and current Trojans smashed multiple team records.At the meet, five USC runners — four graduates and junior Kendall Ellis — qualified to represent the United States at the IAAF World Championships in August. Ellis will team up with Trojan track greats Muhammad, Harris, Allyson Felix and Nia Ali as they gun for glory in London. Ellis and Felix will both run the 400m, Harris will enter the 110m hurdles and Muhammad will compete in the 400m hurdles.Muhammad earned her second career USA title in the women’s 400m hurdles on the last day of action at Hornet Stadium. The 2016 Olympic gold medalist recorded a personal-best time of 52.64 to win the finals, while Harris topped the men’s 110m hurdles with a time of 13.24.For the current Trojans, Anna Cockrell competed in the women’s 400m hurdles finals and finished eighth overall (55.14), breaking her USC freshman record in the process. Junior Deanna Hill recorded a time of 23.04 to come in sixth in the women’s 200m finals.Numerous USC athletes also starred in the competition’s earlier days. Ellis broke her own all-time school record in the 400m on Friday and repeated the feat Saturday. She trimmed her first time of 50.24 down to 50.00 flat to take third overall and earn a spot on the USA roster. Michael Norman bettered his USC freshman record in the 400m on Saturday, running to finals qualification in 44.60 seconds. The time also elevated Norman to third place on the program’s all-time 400m list.Senior Cameron Pettigrew qualified for the 400m semifinals with a time of 51.74, and junior Ricky Morgan Jr. also advanced on the men’s side after recording a time of 45.47 — just .03 seconds from his personal best.Redshirt sophomore Marquís Morris ran in Harris’ heat in the first round of the 110m hurdles, and he qualified for the semifinals with a 13.73 mark while Harris won the heat. Morris did not advance to the finals, however, settling for 14th overall.After the end of the USATF Championships, Trojan athletes will look forward to rooting on Cockrell at the biennial World Championships, which features more than 200 countries. The United States is the winningest nation in the competition’s history.The IAAF World Championships kick off on Aug. 4 at London Stadium.last_img read more

As Klay Thompson thrives for Golden State ahead of free agency, his father is a vocal, yet hands-off supporter

first_img Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook and other NBA stars pay tribute to Kobe Bryant For Lakers’ LeBron James, Jacob Blake’s shooting is bigger issue than a big Game 4 victory But that’s all the advice Mychal has for anyone on the Warriors. He trusts Klay to make the right decision this summer, and in all likelihood that won’t involve the Lakers. Mychal thinks the Lakers will be back in the postseason anyway, which could put his two allegiances on a crash course.Ever a diplomat, Mychal doesn’t really buy into the conflict.“If the Warriors have to lose, I hope it’s the Lakers: I could live with that,” he quipped. “I always cheer for him to do well. As long as he plays well I’m happy.” Video: What LeBron James said about Jacob Blake … ‘Black people in America are scared’ When Klay comes down to Orange County to visit family, he’s the consummate SoCal outdoorsman: He golfs, not quite with the polish of Steph Curry’s overall game, but boasting 330-yard drives that Mychal called “intimidating.” He also likes to drop shots on the tennis court, catch rays at the beach or roll down the street on a skateboard (nothing too risky, Mychal clarified).But over the years, Mychal has also seen how Klay has taken to the Bay Area, where he lives with his older brother Mychel and his bulldog Rocco. Mychal will stay with him in his house up in the hills south of Berkeley for a few days at a time to soak in the company. He can see that Klay likes living there, likes playing with his Golden State teammates, likes spreading the floor with Curry.Mychal finds no suspense in Klay’s free agency this summer. He’s already suggested that his son move to the other side of the bay to better access the Chase Center, the Warriors’ new arena which will open next season. Mychal’s own allegiance to the Lakers doesn’t really enter the equation. Even on nights like when Klay scored 44 points against the Lakers in three quarters in January, Mychal doesn’t dream about him lighting up Staples Center for the home team.That doesn’t mean he doesn’t get bugged around his neighborhood, where strangers approach him in the grocery store or at the coffee shop and ask if Klay is coming back to Los Angeles to team up with LeBron James and lead the franchise back into the postseason.“I can’t go anywhere,” Mychal said. “Ultimately it’s a compliment: Lakers fans want him to play here. But I don’t think that way. I think the Lakers are gonna be fine. I don’t see Klay coming out here as a savior.”Mychal has never been shy about having high bars for his kids, including Mychel who played professionally in the G League and Trayce, who plays pro baseball. It’s common for him to critique, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, Klay’s big games and add that he should have made more shots. He also expects Klay to win at least six championships to his two rings he won with the Lakers, otherwise, “they will have underachieved.”But on many of Klay’s basketball decisions, Mychal prefers to let his son go his own way. He deferred to Klay’s coaches growing up, as he became a razor-sharp shooter at Santa Margarita High (a 6-foot-10 forward, Mychal made just one 3-pointer in his NBA career). When Klay was 18, Mychal saw how committed he was to playing in the then-Pac-10, and when he chose Washington State – a school that had little basketball history to speak of to that point – he supported the decision.Klay does things his way, which not every son of a longtime NBA pro can claim.“He’s been real good about that,” Klay said. “Just always let me choose my own destiny while supporting me. He’s been a great dad.”During Game 2 against the Clippers, Mychal was supporting Klay from his couch: After a season of traveling with the Lakers, he prefers to take a break from the rigors of frequent plane travel. His jangly nerves had subsided in the third quarter when the Warriors had amassed a 31-point lead.Whoops.“I was sitting there stunned,” Mychal said. “I was pretty frustrated after Game 2.”The follow-up effort in Game 3 appeared to soothe him at least for a while. He’s anticipating another championship run, and he knows the Warriors have the talent to do it. His suggestion from afar for Kerr: Play the starters 40 minutes, because “tomorrow you can rest” – it’s the only “back in my day” bit Mychal would share.Related Articles That’s been their dynamic for years, Klay Thompson’s dad likes to be hands-off if possible, supportive and worried, but from a distance. And even though Klay, 29, is scheduled to be a free agent this summer and could be chased by the likes of the Lakers, the very team Mychal does radio color commentary for, he fully expects that he still will be cheering from afar next season, and that his five-time All-Star son will remain with the Golden State Warriors.Make no mistake, Mychal would love for Klay to come home to Southern California – someday after his playing career is over.“He’ll be happy here, he loves the good weather,” Mychal said. “I always tell him when he’s retired, he’ll have another 40 years to spend here. He’s in no rush to get back.”The Warriors, who hold a 2-1 series lead over the Clippers, enjoy their visits to Los Angeles particularly because of their roots. Coach Steve Kerr grew up in the area, and General Manager Bob Myers attended UCLA.Even midway through a playoff series, Klay said, “You can always make time for family.”center_img LOS ANGELES — It’s not that Mychal Thompson doesn’t have a seat. It’s just hard to stay in it.When he’s attending one of his son’s games, the 64-year-old tends to wander up into the concourse, by the concessions. He’s been through this a lot: Klay Thompson has played in 105 playoff games now, one more than Mychal ever played in, and he’s got one more championship ring, too.Still, something about the experience frays at Mychal’s nerves.“I give him his space,” he said. “Let him focus in. I don’t like to sit still.” On Mamba Night, the Lakers make short work of Blazers to take 3-1 series lead Portland star Damian Lillard (knee) to miss Game 5 vs. Lakers Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more