Track & Field
    USC Wins 14 Events On Final Day Of Trojan Invitational

    Senior BeeJay Lee builds off a strong indoor season with an opening 200m time of 20.51 to win the Trojan Invitational race with a PR. Lee also was part of USC's winning 4x100m relay team, one of four Trojans to post two wins in the day.
    March 21, 2015

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    LOS ANGELES - The USC men's and women's teams combined to win 14 events, including Alexis Faulknor, Adoree' Jackson, BeeJay Lee and Just'N Thymes being part of two victories each to highlight the team's efforts on the final day of the 2015 Trojan Invitational held at Loker Stadium today (March 21).

    USC's women's 4x100m relay got the running portion of the meet started with the "A" team of freshman Deanna Hill, freshman Ky Westbrook, the junior Faulknor and redshirt junior Tynia Gaither placing second with a time of 43.41, fifth-fastest ever by a USC women's quartet. In what figures to be just the first of many clashes between 4x100m superpowers, Oregon won the race with a time of 43.31. Those two times were overall a second and a half faster than any other time in the early outdoor season. USC's "B" team of freshman Dior Hall, senior Akawkaw Ncha-Ndip, sophomore Destinee Brown and freshman Gabriella Cantrell took third with a time of 44.94. To put into perspective how fast those times were for an early season meet, USC did not post a faster time (43.21) until the Pac-12 Championships last season en route to a second-place finish at the NCAA Championships (43.00).

    The men's 4x100m relay was next with a team of the senior Lee, the freshman Jackson, the junior Thymes and senior Bryan Mercado and they stormed around the track to victory with an NCAA-leading time of 39.74. Oregon's team placed second with a time of 40.30. USC held the previous NCAA-leading time of 40.28, so they currently have the top two times in the country entering today's action.

    The next race was the women's 1500m and junior Katerina Berdousi placed sixth with a time of 4:40.24, followed by senior Kira Soderstrom (4:40.55), junior Jenna Tong (4:47.54), freshman Amber Bragdon (4:52.26) and junior Alyssa Reardon (5:12.30).

    In the men's 1500m race, redshirt junior Bryan Jordan placed fifth with a time of 3:56.54, followed by sophomore Clayton Rule in sixth with a time of 4:07.13 and freshman Gabriel Morin was seventh with a time of 4:25.25.

    Senior Melia Cox won the women's 100m hurdles with a strong early season time of 13.50 (+1.8) which is currently the second-fastest time in the country this season. Sophomore Amalie Iuel won the second heat with a PR of 14.00 (-0.3) which was good for third overall.

    Freshman Marquis Morris ran his first 110m HH as a collegian and had a time of 14.25 (+0.6) to place third. Finishing fourth in the event with a slight PR of 14.38 (+0.6) was senior Allen Williams, while senior Jemal Williams placed ninth with a time of 15.01 (+0.5).

    Freshman Kendall Ellis won the women's 400m race with a time of 53.49 in her first outdoor 400m race as a collegian. Gaither placed fifth in the race with a time of 54.68 in her first college 400m race.

    The 100m races were next and USC won both events with Brown taking the women's race with a time of 11.73 (+1.2), Cantrell taking second with a time of 11.83 (+1.2) and freshman Madisen Richards placing seventh with a time of 12.24 (-0.7). In the men's race, Thymes won with a time of 10.47 (-0.7) and Mercado took third with a time of 10.72 (-0.7).

    USC also won both of the 800m races. Junior Reika Kijima won the women's race with a PR of 2:11.78, followed closely by senior Erica Capellino with a time of 2:13.35. Sophomore Cameron Pettigrew had a time of 2:16.32 to take seventh, three seconds faster than her first career 800m race earlier this season. Also running for USC was junior Natasha Strickland in eighth with a time of 2:16.32, Berdousi in ninth with a time of 2:17.78 and freshman Emma Kao in 10th with a time of 2:18.19. Freshman Robert Ford also had a PR in winning the men's 800m race with a time of 1:49.21. Senior Myles Andrews was a close second in the race with a time of 1:49.69, his fastest time since setting his PR of 1:48.95 at the Stanford Invitational on March 30, 2013. Also running for USC in the 800m race was freshman David Manahan who placed fifth with a season-best time of 1:53.97 and junior William Robinson was eighth with a time of 2:05.52.

    Iuel came back to run an amazing 400m IH race, dueling 2012 silver medalist Lashinda Demus to the wire and taking second with a PR of 56.32, to Demus' 56.23. Iuel's time was a PR of nearly two seconds and moved her from ninth to fourth on USC's all-time list in the event.

    USC also had amazing results in the 200m races. First Hill took second with a PR of 23.37 (+0.9), just .01 seconds behind former Oregon All-American and indoor 400m record holder Phyllis Francis of Nike who ran 23.36. USC had nine runners compete and they all finished in the top 12 with junior Jaide Stepter third with a PR of 23.46 (+0.1), Faulknor fourth with a time of 23.53 (+0.1), Ellis fifth with a time of 23.55 (+0.1), Jones sixth with a time of 23.73 (+0.9), Brown seventh with a PR of 23.79 (+0.1), Hall eighth with a time of 23.90 (+0.1), Ncha-Ndip 10th with a time of 24.53 (+0.9) and Cox 12th with a time of 24.60 (-0.2). USC's top six finishers all posted times faster than the top time in the country entering this weekend's action.

    Lee won the men's 200m with a PR of 20.51 (+1.3), followed closely by Thymes with a PR of 20.55 (+1.3). Freshman Ricky Morgan placed fifth in the 200m with a time of 21.31 (+1.3) and Mercado won his heat and placed eighth with a time of 21.70 (+1.1).

    The running portion of the meet closed with the 4x400m relays, with the women up first. USC's "A" team in the women's race of Jones, Stepter, Ncha-Ndip and Cantrell won with a season-best time of 3:34.88, a good early season time. It is the national leading time and is just .16 seconds off what they ran in winning the Pac-12 title last season. The USC "B" team of Ellis, Iuel, Kao and Pettigrew took third with a time of 3:41.66.

    The men's 4x400m relay team of Morgan, Ford, De Grasse and Jackson placed second in a closely contested men's race with a time of 3:09.56. That was the fastest time by a USC men's 4x400m relay team since they placed second at the 2012 NCAA Championships with a time of 3:00.64. Long Beach State won with a time of 3:08.98 and Oregon was third with a time of 3:09.67. Those are the current three fastest times in the country.

    Junior Tera Novy got things started in the field events by placing second in the women's shot put with a PR of 50-0.50 (15.25m). That mark moved her into seventh place on USC's all-time list and was a PR over three feet. Novy already stands third on USC's all-time discus throw list with a PR yesterday of 186-0. Sophomore Tanya Sapa tied for fifth with a mark of 44-5.25 (13.54m).

    Jackson won the men's long jump competition in his final attempt with a leap of 24-4.25/7.42m (NWI). Also jumping for USC in the competition were freshman Dominic Smallwood who was sixth with a jump of 22-3.75/6.80m (-1.4), redshirt junior Jovonte Slater who took seventh with a jump of 21-10.00/6.65m (-1.7), senior Jabre Millon who placed ninth with a jump of 20-11.25/6.38m (+0.9) and Jemal Williams who placed 11th with a jump of 20-8.50/6.31m (+0.4).

    Faulknor won the women's long jump competition with a jump of 19-7.50/5.98m (-1.2), despite passing on her final three attempts. Richards placed fourth with a jump of 18-3.25/5.57m (-1.7) and Iuel placed ninth with a jump of 17-8.00/5.38m (+0.3).

    Freshman Randall Cunningham won the men's high jump with a college best clearance of 7-1.00 (2.16m). He was the only competitor to clear that height and narrowly missed at 7-3.00. Senior Michael Krone was fifth with a jump of 6-9.00 (2.06m). Alumnus Tyler Ruiz was second with a clearance at 6-11.00.

    Cox placed second in the women's triple jump with a leap of 39-7.00/12.06m (+0.3), but had to pass on her final attempt and lost by 2.75 inches. Allen Williams took fifth in the men's triple jump with a best leap of 48-6.25/14.79m (+1.0). That was his best triple jump since setting his PR of 49-8.25 at the 2013 USC-UCLA Dual Meet. Smallwood was sixth with a jump of 47-00.25/14.33m (+0.1) and Millon was eighth with a jump of 43-11.25/13.39m (+1.1).

    Redshirt freshman Nick Ponzio won the men's shot put today with a mark of 60-00.25 (18.29m) in his first outdoor shot put competition. His winning throw came in his final attempt to edge Ryan Hunter-Simms of Oregon by two and a half inches. Ponzio's throw is the farthest by a collegian entering action today.

    Junior Diego Lopez took 11th in the men's javelin throw with a PR of 177-6 (54.11m).

    Redshirt junior Malia Cravens placed fifth in the women's high jump with a clearance of 5-1.00 (1.55m).

    The final event to conclude the meet was the men's pole vault and sophomore Mikey Rozvar tied for eighth with a PR of 15-1.75 (4.62m) and Jemal Williams tied for eighth with a clearance of 14-8.00 (4.47m).