June 10, 2011
Track and field is a game of inches and seconds and today was no different as sophomore Turquoise Thompson was edged out for the NCAA 400m hurdles crown by .004 seconds on day three of the NCAA Championships in Des Moines, IA.
Thompson and the rest of the 400m hurdles field were in their blocks and ready to race when another weather delay forced the postponement of the race for an hour. With the threat of lightning over, the race was set to go again. During a torrential downpour and hail storm, the 400m hurdles race got underway and Thompson, with her knee taped, battled to the finish line with Miami's Ti'erra Brown as both crossed the tape in a time of 55.65. The marks were extended to the thousandth of a second and results showed Brown edged Thompson by .004 to win in a time of 55.642, while Thompson clocked 55.646.
Thompson's time of 55.65 was a lifetime-best, bettering her previous top mark of 55.84, which she set at the Pac-10 Championships in May. That time keeps her at No. 6 all-time in Bruin history. That time also ties her for the third-best mark in the U.S. and tied for 14th-best in the world. She was also the only sophomore competing in the hurdles final.
Also on Friday, freshman Ida Storm finished 11th in the hammer competition and earns USTFCCCA All-America honorable mention honors. She entered the meet with the No. 10 mark in the NCAA (209-1). Storm opened up the competition with a solid toss of 200-8 for the seventh-best throw of the competition. She threw out of sector on her second attempt and then posted a final throw of 199-10, but dropped to 11th overall during the final round. Storm's season will continue as she heads to her native Sweden to compete in the Under-23 European Championships this summer.
The Bruin women ended their competition at the NCAA Championships on Friday, scoring eight team points. The meet concludes on Saturday, but UCLA has no competitors on the final day.