Track & Field
    USC Posts Impressive Wins At Don Kirby Elite Invite

    Dior Hall set the American Junior 60m HH record today in winning with a PR of 8.07.
    Feb. 14, 2015

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    Dior Hall won the women's 60m HH, BeeJay Lee the men's 60m dash and the women's 4x400m relay cruised to a three-second victory to lead the Trojans on the final day of competition at the Don Kirby Elite Invitational at the Albuquerque Convention Center in Albuquerque, N.M. today (Feb. 14). Also, Robert Ford bettered his school indoor 800m record at the Husky Classic in Seattle, Washington today.

    "We had an excellent team performance this weekend," said USC Director of Track & Field Caryl Smith Gilbert. "We have been working very hard at overcoming distractions and competing at a high level at all times. This week I believe the entire team stepped up to the challenge and found a way to execute to the best of their abilities. I'm not sure how many PR's were earned because there were so many. I am very proud of our student-athletes and the effort they put forth. Also, our coaching staff is doing a wonderful job of preparing them to win championships. Several performances stand out in my mind such as Andre De Grasse, Tynia Gaither, Melia Cox, Jaide Stepter, Kendall Ellis, BeeJay Lee, Marquis Morris and Cameron Pettigrew. Dior Hall is an amazing young lady and phenomenal athlete and anytime a freshman runs an American Junior record that is quite a feat in any regard. We are heading back to Los Angeles to prepare for the MPSF Championships in two weeks and the NCAAs after that."

    Hall won the women's 60m HH finals with an American Junior record time of 8.07. Her time moved her into first place on the NCAA descending order list entering this week's action. It also improved her USC freshman record. Hall also had the fastest qualifying time in the prelims of 8.12 which at the time was a new PR. Also hurdling very well this weekend was senior Melia Cox who finished fifth with a PR of 8.25. Cox had a time of 8.34 in the prelims. Sophomore Amalie Iuel placed 20th with a time of 8.74.

    In the men's 60m HH, freshman Marquis Morris placed second with a PR of 7.87. He reached the finals by running 7.98 in the preliminary rounds, which at the time was a PR. Senior Allen Williams placed seventh with a time of 8.49 in the finals. He qualified sixth with a time of 8.17.

    The senior Lee won the men's 60m dash by running a season-best time of 6.64 which moved him into 12th on the NCAA list entering this week's action. Lee also had the top qualifying time of 6.68 which tied his previous season best.

    The Trojans had four runners reach the finals in the women's 60m dash. Freshman Ky Westbrook placed third with a time of 7.25, redshirt junior Tynia Gaither was fifth with a time of 7.33, freshman Deanna Hill was sixth with a time of 7.34 (7.331) and junior Alexis Faulknor was seventh with a time of 7.34 (7.339). In the prelims, Faulknor placed third with a time of 7.30, Gaither fifth with a PR of 7.32, Westbrook sixth with a time of 7.33, Hill seventh with a PR of 7.34 (which she matched in the finals) and sophomore Destinee Brown placed ninth by matching her PR of 7.38.

    The women also had a strong showing in the 400m race. Junior Jaide Stepter finished second (first among collegiate runners) with a PR of 53.13, nearly a half-second faster than her previous best. That time moved her to 11th on the NCAA list entering this week's action. Freshman Kendall Ellis placed sixth with a PR of 53.71, senior Vanessa Jones was seventh with a time of 54.31 and sophomore Cameron Pettigrew was ninth with a time of 54.74, a PR of more than a second.

    Freshman Ricky Morgan was the only male Trojan to run in the 400m race and he placed sixth with a time of 47.34.

    In the women's 800m race, junior Reika Kijima had a PR of more than a second to finish third with a time of 2:11.96. Senior Erica Capellino took fourth with a time of 2:12.60.

    USC's Williams came back to compete in the men's triple jump and placed 17th with a season-best leap of 47-7.75 (14.52m).

    USC closed out the action in New Mexico by placing first in the women's 4x400m relay and third in the men's 4x400m relay. The women's team of Jones, Iuel, Ellis and Stepter won with a time of 3:35.95, more than three seconds faster than the second place team. The men's team of Morgan, senior Davonte Stewart, junior Just'N Thymes and Morris placed third with a time of 3:11.44.

    USC sent only four runners to the Husky Classic in Seattle, Wash., but they made sure their trip was worthwhile. Freshman Robert Ford bettered his school record by running 1:49.21 to place 10th and senior Myles Andrews had a PR of 1:49.90 to place 19th. Also, freshman David Manahan ran a season-best 1:54.60 to finish 56th and freshman Jordon Wallin ran 1:56.49 to place 67th.

    The foursome teammed up to run a 4x400m relay and placed third with a time of 3:21.01. They ran Andrews on the first leg, Ford on the second leg, Wallin on the third leg and Manahan on the anchor leg.