Track & Field
    Boyd Wins New Balance Long Jump Title

    Anniya Louis

    Feb. 7, 2012

    Alitta Boyd won the long jump competition to lead the USC's women's track and field team at the 2011 New Balance Collegiate Invitational which featured well over 100 schools and was held at the Armory in New York, N.Y. on Feb. 4-5. Dalilah Muhammad also set a 60m hurdles PR as did Anniya Louis in the 800m run.

    "This was a great competition meet for us," said USC assistant coach Tina Fernandes. "For most teams this was their 4th or 5th meet, but this was our 1st. The biggest win was with Alitta with her winning jump 20'9" 3/4, Dalilah with a PR of 8.33, Anniya with. PR of 2:15, and Jessica winning her heat in the 60m (7.40) and 200m (23.88). I believe our team is developing well and on their way to becoming one of USC best!"

    Boyd's winning jump in the women's championship long jump competition of 20-9.75 (6.33m) was .01 meters ahead of Francine Simpson of Kansas. It also was a PR for Boyd who's outdoor best is 20-6.5.

    "I felt good coming into this meet and relatively bouncy," said Boyd. "I knew I was ready for the long jump but not quite prepared for the triple jump. It was very exciting to set a new personal best, but i'm never satisfied, the next meet i want to go further and faster."

    "I think that we started out on a nice note," added USC jumps coach Mike Pullins. "Indoors is always a challenge for our program given the limited indoor opportunities to be this sharp this early. So, for Alitta to open the year with a PR means we are doing the right things."

    Muhammad reached the finals in the women's 60 HH and placed eighth with a time of 8.36. She reached the finals by posting a PR of 8.33 in the prelims. Lauren Blackburn ran an 8.41 in the prelims to qualify for the consolation finals, but did not complete due to soreness in her leg.



    "It was my last time competing at the new balance games so it's bittersweet," said Muhammad. "Everyone ran really well though. It's always difficult competing at such a high level for one of our first meets but I think everyone really stepped up to it. It's a little sad our 4 by 4 didn't get to run but these things happen. The team made sure to let Jenna know we don't blame her. There wasn't anything any of us could have done different.

    Muhammad was referring to the Trojans' 4x400m relay race which ended in the first lap when Jenna Puterbaugh took the lead, but was tripped from behind causing both runners to fall to the track.

    "All four of us on the 4x4 were ready for a great race this past Saturday, unfortunately it didn't end as we planned," noted Puterbaugh. "I ran the first leg & was in control of the lead until the girl behind me stepped on my leg and we both went down coming off of the last curve. Luckily there was a pad on the floor where I fell so I am fine. I was bummed that the rest of the team wasn't able to run their part of the race, but they were extremely supportive and came out I make sure I was alright after the fall. Obviously, the result wasn't what we hoped for but we are all extremely ready to show what were capable of at the next meet. We have a solid 4x4 this year (including alternates) & I can't wait to see what we can do."

    Louis took 16th in the women's college 800m race with an indoor PR of 2:15.92.

    Jessica Davis placed sixth in the women's 200m finals with a time of 23.88. Davis had a time of 24.09 to win her heat in the prelims and Aareon Payne had a time of 24.26 and Akawkaw Ndipagbor a time of 24.41 in the preliminary round.

    Davis also won her 60m dash heat in the prelims with a time of 7.40 and placed third in the consolation race with the exact same time.

    "It was my first 200 of the season and my first 200 indoor ever," said Davis. "At this time in my season I am working on making my starts better and more powerful, that is where most of my focus is right now. I think I ran a good 60 meter as well, being that it was also my first 60 meter ever in order to become better at what I'm doing, I plan on still keeping God first and listening to my coach and having faith in her like she has faith in me."

    For complete results of the Trojans' effort at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational, click on the following link: Results