TCU's Silmon takes 100 meter title; USC ties Texas for first with two event wins
EUGENE, Ore. -- Senior sprinter Charles Silmon cemented his place in TCU track and field history as he came from behind to take the NCAA outdoor championship in the 100-meter dash. Silmon, TCU's second 100-meter dash NCAA champion along with Raymond Stewart in 1987 and 1989, finished in a wind-aided time of 9.89 seconds.
"Charles Silmon is the NCAA champ," TCU head coach Darryl Anderson said. "At the end of the day, he is who he is. He has been doing this all year. However, this was not a typical race for him. He did not get the best start and had to battle back. He showed he can win any kind of race."
It took a time of 10.08 to even make the eight-man final against a field filled with the elite sprinters, along with two Olympians.
Waco native Silmon was the man to catch though as he blitzed the field in prelims with a wind-aided 9.92, giving him lane five.
"There is pressure when you come into a race as one of, if not the, favorite," Anderson said. "He expected to win, and I expected him to win. Charles handled himself very well in the buildup to the race."
The majority of the field got off to a strong start with Florida State's Dentarius Locke in lane four taking command of the race early. Once Silmon had gotten Ole Miss' Isaiah Young in lane six behind him, he set his sights on Seminoles junior Locke in front. It looked like Silmon was going to run out of real estate to make the pass.
However, Silmon was able to rise to the occasion and make the pass with only meters left to take the win and be able to wear the crown as the fastest man in the NCAA in 2013.
"This is a huge victory for TCU track and field," Anderson said. "The men's 100-meter dash is one of, if not the, toughest race to win here. There were five guys at or under 10.01 [on Friday]. His win continues the great tradition and history of sprinting at TCU."
Silmon finished in first in 9.89 seconds, with Locke of FSU second in 9.91, Young of Ole Miss in 9.96 and Diondre Batson of Alabama and Aaron Brown finishing fourth and fifth, respectively, with matching 10.01s. It was the first time in NCAA championships finals history that three runners had finished in less than 10 seconds at 100 meters and the first time it took 10.01 to get into the top five.
Oregon senior Elijah Greer won the 800 in 1:46.58, followed by Penn State senior Casimir Loxsom in 1:46.58. The title finishes an undefeated outdoor season for Greer, who also won the 800 at the indoor championships.
UTEP sophomore Anthony Rotich won the 3,000 steeplechase in 8:21.19.
Southern California senior Bryson Nellum won the 400, finishing in 44.73.
Nellum redshirted his 2009 season for the Trojans after he was shot in the legs at a party by gang members who thought he was someone else. Told he might not ever reach an elite level on the track again, Nellum beat the odds and finished third at the U.S. Olympic trials in Eugene last year, earning a spot on the team for the London Games. Nellum was part of the 1,600 relay team that won the silver medal.
Nellum also will run in the 200 final Saturday. USC senior Reggie Wyatt won the 400 hurdles in 48.58, breaking his own personal best. With the event wins, the Trojans are tied for first with Texas in the team standings with 32 points each. Arkansas is in third with 30.5, with Florida State and Texas A&M in fourth and fifth, respectively.