McMINNVILLE, Ore. -- Morgan Taylor took the lead on the back side of her final lap and outpaced a late push from Pacific Lutheran's Tabitha Messineo to win the 800 meters on Tuesday. The event win secured her a fifth-place finish in the Northwest Conference Championships heptathlon at Maxwell Field. Taylor, who was seventh in the multi-event entering the 800 meters, won the race with a time of 2:30.74.
The finish scores points for the Pioneers for the full NWC Championships meet, which begins on Apr. 26 in Tacoma, Wash. Freshman Jessica Cerne also scored a point for Lewis & Clark with an eighth-place finish in her first collegiate, postseason meet. Her point total of 3,447 is a new career high.
Sam Johnson competed at the NWC Championships in the men's decathlon for the first time and placed 11th.
Taylor placed fifth in the day's first event, the long jump, with a best mark of 15 feet, 4.75 inches (4.69m) on her final attempt. The finish temporarily moved her up to sixth. A throw of 99 feet, 4 inches (30.29m) in the javelin placed Taylor sixth and moved her down to seventh for the heptathlon, setting the stage for her win in the 800 meters.
Cerne had her best finish of the day when she took third in the javelin. Her first attempt went 107 feet (32.61m) and was two feet better than fourth, Alissa Swilley of George Fox. Cerne took seventh in the long jump and 800 meters, setting a personal best in the former at 15 feet, 2 inches (4.62m).
Johnson's best finish of the day was the javelin where he threw 166 feet, 1 inch (35.39m) and placed ninth. Johnson had 4,715 by the end of the decathlon, a new career best.
- Taylor has been highly consistent with her 800-meter time with her last seven times all within a second of 2:30
- Her time in the 100-meter hurdles (16.91) was her second time ever under 17 seconds, while Taylor's javelin throw was her second straight over 30 meters
- Taylor finished 10th at last year's heptathlon during the NWC Championships
- Cerne finished the 800 meters in 2:39.56, just over a second slower than her career best time set at the Boxer Combined Event last month
- Johnson cleared his best height in the pole vault on Tuesday with a vault of 9 feet, 2.25 inches (2.80m) after surpassing his all-time best in the shot put on Monday (29 feet, 6.5 inches; 9.00m)
The Lewis & Clark Pioneers have two in scoring position after the first of two days at the Northwest Conference Championships heptathlon and decathlon at Maxwell Field on Monday.
Morgan Taylor, who placed 10th at last year's event, is in seventh with freshman teammate Jessica Cerne in eighth. Taylor's best finish among the four events on Monday was sixth in the 100-meter hurdles, while Cerne set a personal best in the shot put to place fifth. The top-eight finishers score team points for the conference title.
Sam Johnson is in 10th place after five events of the decathlon. He was fifth in the 100 meters.
Cerne threw 28 feet, 3.5 inches (8.62m) on her final throw to eclipse her prior personal best by .01 meters and take fifth place in the shot put. She also set her best marks in the 100-meter hurdles (18.88) and was near her best all-time in the 200 meters (28.74). He best mark in the latter is 28.66.
Taylor's sixth-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles is her second sub-17-second time of her career. She finished in 16.91 on Monday after setting a personal best of 16.16 last month at the L&C Spring Break Open. Taylor entered Monday with the nation's 22nd-best performance in the heptathlon.
Johnson set a new personal best and placed seventh in the high jump with a mark of 5 feet, 6.5 inches (1.69m). His previous best was 5 feet, 3.75 inches (1.62m) at last month's Boxer Combined Event.
- Taylor was seventh in her other three events: high jump (4 feet, 8.25 inches; 1.43m), shot put (27 feet, 4 inches; 8.33m) and 200 meters (28.11)
- Johnson eighth in the long jump (19 feet, 2.5 inches; 5.85m), 11th in the shot put (29 feet, 6.5 inches; 9.00m) and 12th in the 400 meters (58.34)
- Cerne cleared 4 feet, 4.75 inches (1.34m) in the high jump
- Both Johnson and Cerne are competing in their second-ever collegiate multi-event
Lewis & Clark hosts the L&C Invite this weekend before the NWC Championships on Apr. 26-27.