Track & Field
    USC Closes Trojan Invite By Posting World-Leading 4x400m Relay Time
    Sophomore Josh Mance shown bringing home the stick in first with the second-fastest time in USC history and a world-leading time of 3:02.24.  Mance also won the men's 400m race with a collegiate-leading time of 45.65.
    Sophomore Josh Mance shown bringing home the stick in first with the second-fastest time in USC history and a world-leading time of 3:02.24. Mance also won the men's 400m race with a collegiate-leading time of 45.65.

    March 24, 2012

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    USC closed out the 2012 Trojan Invitational in spectacular fashion by posting the second-fastest men's 4x400m relay time in school history today (March 24) in the final event of the two-day meet held on Cromwell Field at Loker Stadium. The Trojans won 12 events at the meet which included Texas A&M, Oregon, Michigan, BYU, Washington and Washington State and the seven schools teamed up to post a number of world-leading marks, collegiate-best times and personal-bests.

    The USC men's 4x400m relay team of redshirt senior Bryshon Nellum, senior Joey Hughes, junior Reggie Wyatt and sophomore Josh Mance stormed to victory over the defending NCAA champion in the event Texas A&M with a time of 3:02.24. The team's time is the second-fastest all-time by a Trojan quartet and is the current world-leading time early in the track season. Texas A&M was second with a time of 3:03.16.

    Freshman Erin Matranga got things started on the day for the Trojans running the first 3000m steeplechase of her career and she came through in fourth place in the small field with a time of 11:28.47. In just one race, she moved into ninth place on USC's all-time list in the event. Redshirt sophomore Adrian Rafiee then ran in the men's 3000m steeplechase, an event he ranks eighth all-time on the Trojans' list. He placed ninth today with a time of 9:35.84.

    USC's women's 4x100m relay team of sophomore Loudia Laarman, senior Aareon Payne, sophomore Jenna Puterbaugh and freshman Akawkaw Ndipagbor then placed second with a time of 44.64. Sophomore sprinter Jessica Davis who normally anchors USC's relay is not competing this weekend as a precaution due to tighness in her left leg. The men were next and the 4x100m relay team of freshman Jovante Slater, freshman Davonte Stewart, junior Terence Abram and sophomore Aaron Brown placed third with a time of 40.14. They were .01 seconds behind second-place Washington on the strength of strong legs from Slater and Brown. Texas A&M won the event with a time of 39.48.

    Freshman Erica Capellino,redshirt junior Shelby Buckley and freshman Kira Soderstrom then represented USC in the women's 1500m race and all three set PRs. Capellino had a time of 4:27.92 to place seventh, Buckley placed 11th with a time of 4:35.12 and Soderstrom 13th with a time of 4:39.49. Senior Blake Shaw then placed fifth in the men's 1500m race with a time of 3:50.06, reshirt junior Tony Martinez was 16th with a time of 4:07.93 and redshirt junior Greg Woodburn was 17th with a PR of 4:17.33.

    The women's 100m HH were next and sophomore Lauren Blackburn in her first outdoor race of the season placed second with a time of 13.86. Last season Blackburn set the USC freshman record with a time of 13.06. 2012 freshmen Melia Cox finished in third place with a season-best time of 13.94 and Kiana Henry was 20th with a time of 16.78. Senior All-American hurdler Dalilah Muhammad was held out of action this weekend as a precaution due to right quad tighness. In the men's 110m HH race, freshman Allen Williams was eighth with a time of 14.89 and freshman Jemal Williams was 15th with a time of 15.92.

    Freshmen Ndipagbor (54.41) and Jones (54.60) came in fourth and fifth respectively in the women's 400m dash. Also competing for USC in the race were freshman Malea Malik in 11th (59.24), junior Alexis Brown in 12th (60.55), freshman Tessa Granowski in 13th (60.76) and junior Caroline Lutzky in 14th (67.27).

    Mance won the men's 400m dash with a great early season time of 45.65 which is the current U.S.-leading time and third in the world. Hughes in his first 400m race of the season was not far behind in third with a time 46.24 and Nellum was fourth with a time of 46.45. Senior Scott DeYoung was 13th with a time of 48.64, redshirt senior Josh Tennesoss was 19th with a time of 49.45, redshirt sophomore Karan Kanchan was 19th with a PR of 49.79, junior Joseph Laetsch was 21st with a time of 50.73, freshman Khoren Lawson was 23rd with a season-best time of 51.72 and junior Michael Zuletta was 24th with a time of 55.22.

    The next race was the women's 100m dash and Laarman was second with a time of 11.83 run into a -2.5 wind. Redshirt freshman Charity Bruce came in 15th with a time of 12.66.

    Brown won the men's 100m dash against a strong field which included 2011 NCAA finalist Prezel Hardy, Jr. of Texas A&M. Brown's winning time of 10.25 was a PR and is currently the second-leading time among collegiate runners. That time is also just .02 seconds outside of the Trojans' all-time top 10 in the event. Abram was 11th with a time of 10.93 and freshman Bryan Mercado was 12th with a time of 10.99.

    In the women's 800m race, senior Anniya Louis was sixth with a time of 2:15.69, junior Kelly Owen was 13th with a time of 2:18.29, sophomore Natalia Williams was 16th with a time of 2:21.63, sophomore Anna Burger was 17th with a time of 2:22.75 and sophomore Jackie Dion was 18th with a time of 2:24.29. Freshman Myles Andrews placed seventh in the men's 800m race with a strong time of 1:51.14, just off his high school best. Also running the 800m race were senior James Leckie who placed 11th with a time of 1:52.77, junior Barry Wilkins was 14th with a time of 1:54.16, junior Ryan Thomas was 17th with a time of 1:56.92, junior Aaron Adkins was 18th with a time of 1:57.88 and redshirt junior Tim Kessler was 19th with a time of 1:59.45.

    USC did not have a runner in the women's 400m IH race, but Wyatt running in the men's 400m IH race sure made some noise for the Trojans. He won the event with an amazing early season and collegiate-leading time of 49.95. Senior Duane Walker also had a good time of 52.09 to finish fifth. Also sophomore Greg Starkey was 15th with a time of 55.92 and freshman Sam Barkley was 16th after stumbling on the final hurdle and finishing with a time of 59.14.

    Both the women's and men's 200m races featured very strong fields and the Trojans fared well. Payne had a good first 200m race of the season, finishing second with a time of 23.33, .05 seconds behind the winner Olivia Ekpone of Texas A&M. Puterbaugh tied for sixth with a time of 23.92, Laarman was 10th with a time of 24.11 and Bruce was 22nd with a time of 25.60.

    The freshman Stewart ran in the men's 200m dash and set a PR with time of 20.62 to place third. His time was the fastest by a Trojan freshman in the 200m race since Ahmad Rashad ran 20.56 in 2007. 2012 NCAA 200m indoor champion Ameer Webb of Texas A&M won the race with a time of 20.46. Mercado placed 16th with a time of 22.17 and Jemal Williams placed 20th with a time of 24.27.

    The women's 4x400m relay team of Puterbaugh, Ndipagbor, Jones and redshirt freshman Malea Malik came in third with a time of 3:44.97.

    The woman's shot put was the first field event to be completed and redshirt senior Marissa Minderler placed third with a mark of 49-1.00 (14.96m), redshirt senior Jade Niemeyer placed seventh with a mark of 43-4.50 (13.22m) and Henry 13th with a mark of 33-9.25 (10.29m).

    USC only had sophomore Thea Weiss entered in the women's pole vault competition and she placed eighth with a clearance of 10-8.75 (3.27m). In the men's pole vault, sophomore Ross McDonald finished fourth with a clearance of 15-7.75 (4.77m). Sophomore Kevin Schwindt was 11th with a clearance of 14-2.00 (4.32m), freshman Steven Cherry was 14th with a PR of 13-8.25 (4.17m) and senior Matthew McCormick was 15th with a clearance of 13-0.25 (3.97m).

    Junior Alitta Boyd won the women's long jump competition with a leap of 19-3.50 (5.88m). This was her first outdoor jumping competition of the season. Boyd placed 10th in the long jump at the 2012 NCAA Indoor Championships in early March. Junior Jennifer Jones placed fourth with a PR of 18-2.25 (5.54m), Henry was 12th with a leap of 16-11.25 (5.16m) and freshman Oluwakemi Olonade 14th with a jump of 16-8.75 (5.10m).

    Freshman Marqise Lee won the men's long jump competition with a jump of 23-11.50 (7.30m) into a -1.2 wind. The star receiver was allowed to skip the USC football scrimmage to compete. Fellow freshman Slater took just two jumps, but placed third with a jump of 23-4.50 (7.12). Junior Tyler Ruiz placed ninth with a jump of 22-0.25 (6.71m) into a -1.3 wind, sophomore Brett Linkletter was 12th with a jump of 20-9.25 (6.33m), redshirt sophomore David Selma was 13th with a jump of 20-6.50 (6.26m) and Jemal Williams was14th with a jump of 19-11.00 (6.07m). Sophomore Viktor Fajoyomi took one jump but his leg was bothering him so he pulled out of the meet and senior Tony Burnett fouled on all three attempts before heading over to the football scrimmage.

    Burnett returned following football practice to compete in the men's triple jump and he placed second with a leap of 49-0.75 (14.95m) into a -2.1 wind. Allen Williams placed seventh with a jump of 46-10.00 (14.27m) into a -1.7 wind.

    Cox won the women's triple jump and leaped into USC's all-time top 10 in the event at eighth with a winning mark of 41-8.50 (12.71m) into a -1.3 wind. Olonade, who was bumped out of USC's all-time top 10 in the triple jump by Cox's mark, placed third with a leap of 40-2.75 (12.26m). Olonade ealier in the season jumped into the Trojan top 10 with a leap of 40-9.50. Boyd, who won the long jump, placed fifth in the triple jump with a leap of 39-6.00 (12.04m). Redshirt junior Candace Bailey finished ninth with a jump of 37-3.00 (11.35m).

    Freshman Alexandra Collatz won the women's discus competiton by four inches with her winning fifth throw of 172-8 (52.62m), edging out sisters Emily Pendleton (172-4) and Erin Pendleton (168-10) of Michigan. Earlier in the season Collatz set the USC freshman record with a throw of 176-5.

    Sophomore Doug Bogie was eighth in the men's high jump with a clearance at 6-3.25 (1.91m) and Ruiz no heighted.

    Jemal Williams also placed third in the men's javelin section B with a throw of 144-3 (43.96m).

    In the first day of action held Friday, USC's Marissa Minderler and Daniel Szabo won the women's and men's hammer throw competitions respectively, Zsofia Erdelyi won the women's 3000m race and Cooper Thompson won the men's javelin A section competition.

    USC's track and field team will be in action next week at the Texas Relays (March 28-31) in Austin, Texas.