May 6, 2012
Behind a career performance by Marcus Nilsson, the men's track and field stands in first-place at the Pac-12 Championship decathlon competition as three athletes finished in scoring position.
Nilsson keyed a big day for the multi-eventers as he placed second with a lifetime-best score of 7539 points. That mark ranks 16th in the NCAA and No. 6 all-time in UCLA history.
The Swede started off day two with a lifetime-best run in the high hurdles, placing fourth in a time of 14.89 (863 pts.). He then won the discus with a mark of 139-7 (716 pts.). He nearly no-heighted in the pole vault, but was able to clear 14-1.25 on his final attempt to tie for ninth in the event (702 pts.). Nilsson placed third in the javelin with a throw of 171-3 (621 pts>) and then finished the 10-event competition with the fourth-fastest time in the 1500m (4:29.20, 750 pts.).
Junior Dominic Giovannoni equaled his 2011 finish, placing fifth this weekend with a total of 6891 points. For the second straight meet, Giovannoni won the high hurdles competition, placing first on Sunday in a time of 14.66 (891). He then threw a season-best in the discus to finish fourth overall (123-5, 616 pts.) and placed eighth in the pole vault (14-5.25, 731 pts.). The junior rounded out the meet with season-best performances in the javelin (143-4, 496 pts.) and 1500m (4:49.70, 620 pts.), placing 13th in both events.
Competing in his final decathlon, senior David Thomas had a career day as he posted a lifetime-best total of 6889 points. Thomas opened the day with the 15th-fastest 110m hurdles time (16.31, 698 pts.). He then tallied season-best marks in the final four events of the competition. In the discus, he finished seventh with a throw of 121-10 (607 pts.) and then tied for first in the pole vault with a clearance of 16-00.75 (880 pts.). Thomas finished 12th in both the javelin (145-2, 504 pts.) and 1500m (4:48.68, 627 pts.).
Senior Trent Perez, who was also competing in his final decathlon, just missed scoring points for UCLA as he finished ninth overall with 6748 points. He was 11th in the high hurdles (15.98, 735 pts.), 15th in the discus with a seasonn-best throw of 105-1 (505 pts.), tied for sixth in the pole vault (14-9, 760 pts.) and was 14th in the javelin (136-9, 467 pts.). Perez then won the 1500m with a season-best time of 4:17.90 (826 pts.).
UCLA stands in first with 15 points, while Oregon is second with 11, Arizona State is third with seven and Colorado stands in fourth with six points.