Houston’s Jefferson Opens NCAA Outdoor Championships with National Runner-Up Finish in the Long Jump


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AUSTIN, Texas – Houston senior Trumaine Jefferson opened the 2019 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships with a runner-up finish in the long jump, as the men kicked off the action at the national meet at Mike A. Myers Stadium on Wednesday. The men secured 18 All-American finishes on the first day of the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Jefferson, who was also this year’s national long jump runner-up at the NCAA Indoor Championships, posted a lifetime best and all-time American record with a leap of 8.18 meters (26-10). Jefferson bettered former teammate Jared Kerr’s mark of 8.14 meters set at the 2018 American Championships in 2018. He picks up his second outdoor first team All-American nod after running as part of Houston’s fifth place 4x400-meter relay team at the NCAA Championships in Oregon a year ago. Jefferson became the 14th conference athlete to collect an NCAA Outdoor podium finish.
Jefferson’s second-place finish gave the Cougars eight points, as Houston tallied seven qualifying marks on the track for Friday’s finals. Senior All-America sprinter Mario Burke ran the fastest 100-meter dash in conference history after clocking a personal-record of 9.98 seconds for the third-best time in the prelims. It marks the third-straight year he will be running in the 100m finals after finishing eighth in 2018.  Returning to the track, Burke also punched a ticket to the finals in the 200-meter dash with his personal-best time of 20.08 seconds, which was good for placing second overall in the prelims.
Houston senior hurdler Amere Lattin joined Burke in qualifying for a pair of Friday finals. Lattin took first place in his heat in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 49.75 seconds to earn an automatic qualification for a shot at a national title. He also ran a personal-record time of 13.44 seconds in the 110-meter hurdles for the fifth-best mark in the prelims. Lattin, a seven-time American outdoor individual champion, qualified for both hurdles finals back in 2016 when he took fifth place in the 110mH.
Houston is the only team in the country to advance two sprinters in the 400-meter dash as Kahmari Montgomery and Obi Igbokwe earned bids to Friday’s finals. Montgomery, a four-time American 400 champion, ran the full lap around the track in 44.80 seconds for the best time in the field of 24 and returns to the finals for a second-straight year. He finished seventh at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in 2018. Igbokwe, a senior transfer from Arkansas, ran the fifth-fastest 400 in the prelims with his time of 45.35 seconds.
Houston wrapped up Wednesday’s action in the 4x400-meter relay—an event the Cougars placed fifth in at last year’s NCAA Outdoor Championships. With a time of 3:03.78, the quartet of Lattin, Frederick Lewis, Jermaine Holt and Igbokwe advanced to Friday’s final with the sixth-fastest time in the field of 24.
Wichita State senior Aaron True ended his historic collegiate career as The American’s all-time best javelin thrower. True picked up first team All-America honors for a second-consecutive year with a fifth-place finish after recording a distance of 73.11meters (239-10). He improved from an eighth-place finish at the national championships in 2018. True, a two-time American champion in the javelin throw, ends his career as the conference’s record holder, setting the mark at the 2018 championships with his first-place throw of 77.49 meters.
Memphis’ men’s relay squad of Davon DeMoss, Calvin Austin III, Andrew Bishop and Imri Persiado ran its second-fastest 4x100-meter time in program history, placing sixth in their heat and 15th overall with a time of 39.44 seconds. DeMoss made history in his return to the track later in the day in the 100m dash. The All-America senior sprinter ended his collegiate career, just missing the qualifying standards with a Memphis school record of 10.05 seconds, finishing ninth place overall in the field.
Tulane senior distance runner Emmanuel Rotich, a five-time American champion, saw his phenomenal career for the Green Wave come to an end. The senior stumbled and fell over another runner midway through the 3K steeplechase and finished in 9:18.20 for 20th place during the national semifinal race. Rotich won the conference’s individual cross country title twice and won the league’s steeplechase as a sophomore and senior and also claimed the 5K crown this season.
Memphis senior distance runner Julian Sanchez-Pinto also saw his career come to an end in the 3K steeplechase as well, finishing 16th with his time of 9:00.14. Pinto was a three-time podium finisher in this event at The American Outdoor Championships.

Through the first five events of the decathlon, Wichita State’s Ben Johnson has 3931 points in 11th place. His best finish of the day came in the shot put with his distance of 14.87m (48-9½) for second place. The competition wraps up on Thursday with the final five events. Johnson entered the national meet ranked 18th nationally in the men's decathlon with his first-place score of 7,413 points at The American Outdoor Championships.
Minus Johnson in the decathlon, the men take a break on Thursday and will resume their quests towards a national title on Friday for the final day of competition. The women get underway on Thursday with the start of their national championship. The ESPN family of networks will broadcast all parts of the competition and ceremonies for all four days of competition. All field events will have online broadcasts via ESPN3. The ESPN family of networks will broadcast all parts of the competition and ceremonies for all four days of competition. All field events will have online broadcasts via ESPN3Click here to view the ESPN NCAA Outdoor Championships broadcast schedule. Click here to follow the live results.
American Athletic Conference NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships Qualifiers
Mario Burke, Houston (100m, 200m)
Travis Collins, Houston (100m)
Jermaine Holt, Houston (4x400m)
Obi Igbokwe, Houston (400m, 4x400m)
Quivell Jordan, Houston (110mH)
Amere Lattin, Houston (110mH, 400mH, 4x400m)
Kahmari Montgomery, Houston (400m, 200m)
Trumaine Jefferson, Houston (LJ)
Tyrell Valentine, Houston (4x400m)
Davon DeMoss, Memphis (100m, 4x100m)
Calvin Austin III, Memphis (4x100m)
Andrew Bishop, Memphis (4x100m)
Imri Persiado, Memphis (4x100m)
Julian Sanchez-Pinto, Memphis (3,000m SC)
Adar Sheere, Memphis (DT)
Emmanuel Rotich, Tulane (3,000m SC)
Ben Johnson, Wichita State (Decathlon)
Aaron True, Wichita State (JT)
Loren Gallmon, UCF (4x100m)
Ciara Holback, UCF (4x100m)
Beyonce Defreitas, UCF (4x100m)
Shaniya Williams, UCF (4x100m)
Caisja Chandler, Cincinnati (200m, 4x100m)
Haisha Bisiolu, Cincinnati (4x100m)
Faith Banks, Cincinnati (4x100m)
Tiona Lattimore, Cincinnati (4x100m)
Annette Echikunwoke, Cincinnati (HT, SP)
Susan Aneno, UConn (800m)
Kat Surin, UConn (400m)
Essance Sample, Houston (4x100m)
Samiyah Samuels, Houston (LJ, 4x100m)
Ashley Seymour, Houston (100m, 4x100m)
Naomi Taylor, Houston (100mH, 4x100m)
Ashley Pryke, Memphis (JT)
Mona Jaidi, Memphis (JT)
Tanalya Gordon, Memphis (LJ)
Chelsea Francis, SMU (100m)
Nicole Iloanya, SMU (TJ)
Rebekah Markel, Tulane (PV)
Rebekah Topham, Wichita State (3,000m SC)