After setting a world record in the heptathlon high jump and having a great overall weekend in Idaho, Jeremy Taiwo was named the National Athlete of the Week by the USTFCCCA (United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association – there really isn’t a succinct abbreviation for it). Not only did Taiwo set a world record in the heptathlon high jump, he moved to No. 3 in NCAA history and No. 7 in U.S. history with a 6,156 point total over two days last weekend.
Some big news on The Farm broke yesterday when it was announced that running back Tyler Gaffney is returning for his football senior season. He left after the 2012 baseball season to pursue a Major League Baseball career (he was drafted in the 24th round by the Pittsburgh Pirates), but has decided to come back to Stanford to finish his degree and get back on the gridiron.
Guess who else is making a return to football? That would be Dennis Erickson, who was hired as Utah’s co-offensive coordinator. Erickson won two national championships at Miami (Fla.) and most recently coached at fellow Pac-12 South school Arizona State.
Some other offensive coordinator news around the Pac-12 South, as USC has officially announced the release of offensive coordinator Kennedy Polamalu. On the hardwood, USC’s coaching change from Kevin O’Neill to Bob Cantu has paid off. Jio Fontan and Friends are 6-5 in Pac-12 play and just two games out of first. Big game on The Farm for both teams Thursday night.
It’s a wild and crazy race for first place in the Pac-12, and the Pac-12 pecking order gets weirder by the week. That’s in large thanks to Cal beating Arizona in Tucson, which in turn was in large thanks to Allen Crabbe, who in turn was named Pac-12 Player of the Week for scoring 31 in that Arizona game. One thing I forgot to get to on Monday was that Talia Caldwell scored her 1,000th career point in a win against Arizona State on Friday, and there’s your video evidence thanks to Kevin Cohen, a Golden Bear alum himself.
So Crabbe is your men’s basketball player of the week, and Chucky Jeffery is your Pac-12 women’s basketball Player of the Week. Her 22 points in a win over Oregon State pushed her past the 1,500-point mark for her career. Washington’s Talia Walton was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Week.
It wasn’t the best weekend for Oregon athletics, as the Ducks men’s basketball team dropped four spots to 23rd in the AP Top 25 college basketball poll, and men’s track and field slid four spots to No. 8 in the new USTFCCCA (there’s that acronym again) rankings, but women’s track and field held true at No. 5 in the nation. I always seem to forget one of those C’s.
He doesn’t always play a whole lot, but Ruslan Pateev is the ultimate team player at Arizona State. He is also the last man standing out of a five-man 2009 recruiting class.
As he continues to recover from injury, Daniel Gomis feels the frustration of not playing, but doesn’t feel any more pain.
Let’s continue along this feature theme, shall we? Let’s next learn about Keyton Hayenga’s journey from professional baseball to the Palouse as a hooper for Ken Bone. Interesting story – with video too!
The Daily Bruin has a nice video piece on spearfishing with UCLA football player Carl Hulick. He’s more of a man than I, that’s for sure.
A bit of a sour note to end on, as Arizona softball was routed by Florida 14-3 at the Kajikawa Classic this past weekend. The Wildcats went 3-2 at the classic in Tempe. Outside of the MPSF sports dominated by Pac-12 schools (water polo in particular), the Pac-12 has a very strong softball conference.