USC Begins Indoor Season In Style At UW Indoor Opener
Jan. 19, 2014
SEATTLE, WASH. - USC shot out of the blocks in spectacular fashion to kickoff the indoor track and field season by setting meet records, winning titles and setting many personal bests at the UW Indoor Opener in Seattle, Wash. on Jan. 18. Senior Aaron Brown led the way by winning both the 60m and 200m dashes, shattering the 200m meet record time and just missing establishing a new 60m standard for the meet. Both USC's men and women finished first-fourth in the 200m dash.
Brown won the 200m dash by posting a meet-record time of 20.88, destroying the old mark of 21.53 which was set in 2004. Brown's time was also just .04 seconds off setting the Dempsey track record. His time also ranks third among collegians. Brown was not the only one to break the old meet record as junior Davonte Stewart took second with a time of 21.19. The Trojans also took third and fourth in the race as junior BeeJay Lee and senior Aleec Harris had times of 21.82 and 21.98 respectively.
Earlier in the day, Brown took home the 60m title with a winning time of 6.59. That time was just .01 seconds off the meet record. His time ranks second among college runners in the early going. He also had the top qualifying time of 6.65. Lee placed second, first winning his preliminary heat with a time of 6.74 and then running 6.63 in the finals, fourth-best among college runners this season. Redshirt sophomore Jovante Slater won his preliminary heat and placed ninth overall with a time of 6.95. Davonte Stewart also won his prelim heat and placed 13th with a time of 7.01.
Harris set the meet 60m hurdles record, but he didn't have ownership of the standard for long. He ran a time of 7.84 in the prelims to win his heat and beat the old meet record of 7.84. Harris then placed second in the finals with a time of 7.99 as Oregon's Jonathan Cabral set a new meet record with a time of 7.77. Junior Allen Williams won his prelim heat with a time of 8.16 and then placed fourth in the finals with a time of 8.17.
The women's team had just as much success dominating in the sprints, led by senior Jenna Puterbaugh's win in the 200m dash with a PR of 23.88. She was followed closely by senior Jessica Davis who placed second with a time of 24.00, junior Akawkaw Ndipagbor who took third with a time of 24.27 and senior Loudia Laarman who captured fourth with a time of 24.60. Redshirt junior Charity Bruce finished 25th with a time of 26.42.
Also capturing a UW Indoor Opener title was senior Oluwakemi Olonade who won the women's triple jump with a leap of 40-00.50 (12.20m). There was only one other jumper in the competition of 34 athletes which even had a jump of 39 or more feet.
USC's women also showed well in the 400m race, taking four of the top six places. Junior Vanessa Jones placed second with a time of 55.99, sophomore Jaide Stepter was third with a time of 56.30, freshman Cameron Pettigrew was fifth with a time of 57.40 and freshman Amalie Iuel-Hammild was sixth with a time of 57.59.
In the women's 60m dash, redshirt sophomore Tynia Gaither, a transfer from Georgia, placed fifth with a time of 7.40. She established a PR of 7.39 in her prelim heat. Sophomore Alexis Faulknor, a transfer from UCF, took seventh with a PR of 7.41. She qualified for the finals by posting a time of 7.46 in the prelims. Davis won her prelim heat with a time of 7,47 to finish ninth, Ndipagbor won her prelim heat with a time of 7.50 to finish 10th, Laarman took second in her heat and finished 12th overall with a time of 7.55, Puterbaugh was second in her heat and 15th overall with a PR of 7.59 and Bruce was fourth in her heat and 53rd overall with a time of 8.12.
Junior Melia Cox posted a PR of 8.53 to take third in the women's 60m hurdles, an even won by former Trojan NCAA Champion Nia Ali who had a time of 8.18. Cox had a time of 8.67 in the preliminary rounds.
Sophomore Jenna Tong was 16th in her heat, but 18th overall in the women's 3000m run with a time of 10:12.62. Also, the women's 4x400m team of Jones, Stepter, Pettigrew and Iuel-Hammild took second with a time of 3:48.50.
In other men's events, junior Myles Andrews was seventh in his heat and eighth overall in the 800m race with a time of 1:55.58, Slater was ninth in the long jump with a leap of 22-0.25 (6.71m) and Williams was fifth in the triple jump with a mark of 47-11.75 (14.62m).