June 6, 2012
Marcus Nilsson had a career day on day one of the decathlon at the NCAA Championships in Des Moines, IA, while Matthew Kosecki and the 4x100m relay team earned second-team All-American honors in their respective events.
Nilsson opened the competition on a high note as he ran a .23 second lifetime-best in the 100m, 11.12, to pick up 834 points. His time was 14th overall out of the 23 competitors. In the long jump, he posted the 10th-best mark of the day, 22-8, to pick up 792 points. He moved from 14th to 11th after the long jump.
In the shot put, which is normally one of his stronger events, Nilsson started off the competition with a foul. He then made sure to get a mark on his second attempt, posting a safety throw of 38-3.25. On his final throw, he improved to 41-10.50 to finish 15th overall and pick up 653 points. After three events, Nilsson stood in 12th-place. The coaching staff protested Nilsson's first throw foul, which would have been his best throw of the competition, but the appeal was denied.
In the high jump, Nilsson cleared the opening height of 5-11.75, and then passed the next bar of 6-00.50. He then went on to clear 6-2.75, 6-4 and 6-5 on first attempts at each bar. The bar then moved to 6-6.25, which would set a new lifetime-best for Nilsson, and the Swede sailed over on his first attempt. The bar then moved to 6-7.50 and Nilsson missed on his first two attempts. He then cleared on his third try and moved the bar to 6-8.75. Nilsson had three very strong attempts at the bar, but could not clear it. He ended the competition fifth in the high jump with a new PR of 6-7.50, picking up 822 points.
Nilsson then capped off day one with a season-best run in the 400m, clocking 49.69 for the 11th-fastest time of the day (829 points). It was the second-fastest 400m time in his career. The sophomore ended day one in ninth-place with a career-best of 3930 points.
"Marcus had a great start today, running a PR in the 100m," said Maynard. "He posted a solid long jump mark despite a big head wind. The shot put was a rough one for Marcus, but he rebounded in a huge way with a career day in the high jump helping make up for the points lost in the shot. His 400m run was a season-best and we are happy with where he stands. Marcus is on track to score at least 7800 points and score for the team and we are excited to see how day two goes."
In the discus, sophomore Matthew Kosecki opened up the competition with a throw of 187-7 in the first round to stand second in flight one. His second round throw was a foul and Kosecki stood in sixth-place after two rounds of competition. He improved his mark to 189-5, but not his place, on his third and final attempt and had to wait and see if he would get three more throws after the completion of flight two. Kosecki missed a spot in the finals by one place and finished 10th overall, earning second-team All-America honors.
The 4x100m relay team of Jamal Alston, Maxwell Dyce, R.J. Frasier and Laijon White finished seventh in heat one in a time of 40.01. Dyce ran a great leg, but something happened during the hand-off to Frasier and the Bruins fell behind. They finished 16th overall and the foursome will earn second-team All-America honors.
Tomorrow Nilsson will wrap up the decathlon competition with the 110m hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin and 1500m. Derek Eager will be in action in the javelin, while Dyce will be running in the 200m semifinals.