Former USF athlete Matthew O’Neal was able to reach the final round of the Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon on Thursday, but was unable to qualify for a spot on the 2016 Olympic team.
Beginning with a pool of 24 triple jumpers Thursday, O’Neal took the top qualifying spot for Saturday’s final round on his final attempt.
On Saturday, he finished in fifth place out of the final 12 jumpers with a jump of 55-feet, 6 1/4 inches, falling two places shy of earning a trip to Rio.
Beating out O’Neal for the Olympic team were 2012 gold medalist Christian Taylor, 2012 silver medalist Will Claye, and Arizona State alum Chris Bernard.
With his collegiate career now in the rearview, O’Neal said he plans to stay in the Tampa area, working in a job related to his degree of management information systems, with which he graduated in the spring.
Bulls make national watch lists
Following a turnaround season in 2015, USF football players are garnering national recognition heading into this season.
Junior running back Marlon Mack, who led the Bulls with 1,492 all-purpose yards and nine touchdowns, was nominated for the Maxwell Award watch list, which awards the best overall player in college football.
Joining Mack on the offensive side of the ball is sophomore tight end Elkanah Dillon.
Despite catching more than two passes in a game only once last season, Dillon will have the opportunity to contribute more with the departure of tight ends Sean Price and Marlon Pope.
The 6-foot-5, 245-pound Dillon was named to the Mackey Award watch list for the upcoming season. He displayed his potential in the 2015 season opener in which he caught four passes for 126 yards, including a 62-yard touchdown catch.
On defense, linebacker Auggie Sanchez (Butkus Award) and Deatrick Nichols (Bednarik and Thorpe Awards) were nominated to their respective watch lists after impressive seasons.
Nichols helped lead the Bulls’ defense in 2015 with 8.5 tackles for loss and also chipped in with four interceptions and two forced fumbles.
The Jim Thorpe Award is given to the best defensive back in college football and the Chuck Bednarik Award is reserved for the best overall defensive player.
Sanchez, who started 12 of the Bulls’ 13 games, also registered 8.5 tackles for loss.
The Butkus Award is presented annually to the nation’s best linebacker in college football.
USF baseball player makes All-Star team
USF baseball sophomore Joe Genord has been fine-tuning his skills in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League (PGCBL) and his play there has been rewarded with an All-Star team selection.
Genord, who hit .270 with six homers in 45 games as a freshman with the Bulls, is currently .288 with a PGCBL-leading five homers over the summer.
Playing for the Amsterdam Mohawks of Amsterdam, New York, Genord has led his team in runs, hits, doubles, homers, RBIs and walks.
The sophomore catcher will start behind the plate for the East Division when the PGCBL All-Star game takes place on July 20 at Bob Bellizzi Field in Albany, New York.