UC Irvine's Jock National Champion In 800 Meters
UC Irvine senior Charles Jock won the 800 meter title at the NCAA Division I Track and Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, Friday.
Jock was victorious in 1:45.59 as he led nearly from start to finish and used a late kick to burst away from Erik Sowinski of Iowa and Elijah Greer of Oregon in the final 100 meters. Jock, who was the NCAA runner-up a year ago by four-hundredths of a second, became UC Irvine's first individual NCAA champion in 34 years. Steve Scott (1500 meters) and Mauricio Bardales (decathlon) won their respective events at the 1978 NCAA Track and Field Championships.
He ended his collegiate career at Drake Stadium as a three-time All-American and three-time Big West Track Athlete of the Year. Jock also claimed the Big West's 13th NCAA individual men's track title and 27th individual title overall. Cal State Northridge's Dashalle Andrews was the last Big West athlete to do so, winning the long jump competition in 2007.
Jock will turn his focus to the U.S. Olympic Trials beginning June 22 in Eugene, Ore. as the top three finishers in the 800 meters will qualify for the 2012 London Olympics.
Jock's rival in the 800 meters, UC Santa Barbara's Ryan Martin, finished in fourth place at 1:46:20 in the final.
Day three of the four-day competition featured six Big West representatives competing in five events.
On the second day of the women’s heptathlon, Gaucho senior Barbara Nwaba finished second with 5,927 points. She won the women’s javelin but placed second behind champion Brianne Theisen of Oregon, who amassed 6,440 points.
Nwaba garnered All-American recognition and continues onto the Olympic Trials in her event.
In the field events, UC Riverside’s Ryan Swafford competed in the men’s triple jump to finish 16th overall, marking 15.56 meters on his first attempt. Cal Poly junior John Prader finished 14th in the men’s pole vault after clearing 17 feet, 4.5 inches on his second attempt.
Closing out the field events was Long Beach State’s Kristina Graves-Johnson in the women’s high jump. The senior cleared 5 feet, 8.75 inches on her first attempt to finish 21st overall. Graves-Johnson received honorable mention All-American status to add to her second-team All-American recognition for the indoor season.
Competition will wrap up Saturday at Drake Stadium with UC Riverside’s Travis Smith set to compete in the men’s shot put.