Ruiz, Jones & Nellum Lead Trojans On Day 2 Of The Mt. SAC Relays
April 19, 2013
WALNUT, CALIF. - Tyler Ruiz set a personal best in winning the men's high jump, Bryshon Nellum wins and posts his collegiate 200m PR and Vanessa Jones sets two PRs in leading the USC track and field team during the second day of action at the 55th Annual Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif. today (April 19).
The senior Ruiz won the men's Open high jump by setting a PR of 7-0.50 (2.15m), just one centimeter outside of the Trojans' all-time top 10. Trevor Evanson of Northern Colorado also cleared 7-0.50, but going back on misses Ruiz became the champion as he made 7-0.50 in his first attempt. Junior Herbert Dew cleared 6-10.75 (2.10m) to finish third and junior Viktor Fajoyomi also cleared 6-10.75, but finished ninth due to misses.
Jones got the day started on a bright note for the Trojans by winning the first heat of the women's Open 400m dash with a PR of 53.15. The sophomore's time was the fastest by a collegiate runner today and second overall in the eight heats to Keisha Baker of Saucony who ran 51.97, the ninth-fastest time so far in the world this season. Jones' time moves her to within .02 seconds of Myra Hasson who sits in 10th place on USC's all-time women's 400m list and cut .43 seconds off her previous best time. Jones now stands in 20th place nationally in the 400m race entering this weekend's action.
There were seven heats of the women's Open 200m dash and the Trojans faired quite well. First sophomore Akawkaw Ndipagbor ran in the second heat and placed second with a season-best time of 23.70 into a -0.5 headwind. That was good for sixth overall. Junior Loudia Laarman was in the fourth heat and she won with a season-best time of 24.10, good for 17th overall. In the seventh and final heat, Jones won with a PR of 23.80 and junior Ashley Liverpool took second with a season-best time of 24.00. Jones was seventh overall and Liverpool was 15th.
The men's 200m dash was next and despite a tough first-lane draw, redshirt senior Bryshon Nellum won the second heat with a collegiate wind-aided PR of 20.49 (+2.9). It was just the 400m-Olympian's third 200m race as a college athlete and his time moves him into second place on the NCAA descending order list. Sophomore Bryan Mercado placed seventh in section six with a time of 22.21.
Running in the Open 100m race for USC were juniors Jessica Davis and Laarman and senior Alitta Boyd. Davis took second in the first heat with a time of 11.54 into a -1.2 wind, Laarman placed second in the second heat with a season-best time of 11.76 (-0.4) and Boyd placed fourth in the final heat with a time of 12.19. Davis's time was second overall out of the eight heats and Laarman placed seventh. Former Trojan sprinting great Aareon Payne posted a time of 11.74 to finish sixth overall. Boyd also competed in the women's Open long jump and had a best leap of 19-7.0 (5.97m) to finish fourth.
Sophomore Bryan Mercado ran a season-best 10.88 in the sixth heat of the men's Open 100m dash to place sixth and 37th overall in the competition. Former Trojans sprinter Ahmad Rashad ran in the second heat and placed third with a time of 10.69, 21st overall. Freshman Jaide Stepter ran in the third heat of the women's Open 400m IH and placed sixth running in lane one with a time of 61.58. She placed 29th overall out of the five heats of competitors. Junior Greg Starkey placed fourth in the fourth heat of the men's Open 400m IH and had a PR of 54.29, which was 26th overall.
Stepter then came back to run in the women's Open 100m HH and posted a PR of 14.42 to finish seventh in the fifth heat and 38th overall. Sophomore Allen Williams was second in the fifth heat of the men's Open 110m HH and 27th overall with a season-best and collegiate PR-tying time of 14.76.
Former Trojans Joey Hughes ran in the men's Open 400m dash and won the third heat and posted the best time on the day of 46.68.
In other field events, junior Oluwakemi Olonade placed fourth and senior Candace Bailey placed 10th in the women's Open triple jump competition. Olonade had a best jump of 40-7.5 (12.38m) and Bailey a jump of 38-9.75 (11.83m). Redshirt senior Cooper Thompson placed sixth in the men's Open javelin throw with a season-best mark of 221-5 (67.48m). His throw was the fourth-best among collegians and moved him to 27th on the 2013 NCAA javelin best marks list. Thompson threw 211-10 in his only other competition this season, after redshirting last season.
Redshirt junior Lauren Chambers finished third in her flight and eighth overall in the women's Open Hammer with a best mark of 191-11 (58.49m). Redshirt senior Ashley Pyka had a throw of 167-9 (51.14m) after two fouls to finish sixth in flight three and 22nd overall.
The final Trojan to compete was freshman Tera Novy in the third flight of the women's Invite discus throw competition and she finished second with a best mark of 164-6 (50.15m) and 13th overall.