Harris Set USC Hurdles Record At Mt. SAC Relays
April 19, 2014
WALNUT, CALIF. - Senior Aleec Harris set the school record with a world-leading time to win the men's 110m HH Invite Elite race and senior Aaron Brown won the men's 200m Invite Elite race to highlight USC's efforts on the final day of the Mt. SAC Relays held at Hilmer Lodge Stadium in Walnut, Calif. today (April 19).
Harris gave head coach Caryl Smith Gilbert something to celebrate on her birthday when he blazed to victory in a time of 13.32 (+0.1). It was truly a classic case of pupil besting his teacher as not only did Harris win with a world-leading time, but he defeated volunteer assistant coach Ryan Wilson who had a time of 13.47 to finish fifth. Harris also hurdled by Wilson (formerly 3rd at 13.34) to take the USC record with his time of 13.32. The previous record of 13.33 was held by Oscar Spurlock and Mark Crear. Harris' previous best time of 13.55 ranked ninth on USC's all-time list. Former Trojan athlete Logan Taylor finished sixth in the event with a time of 13.48.
Senior Lauren Blackburn also posted an impressive time by winning her heat of the women's 100m HH Invite Elite with a wind-aided best time of 12.99 (+2.7w). She finished fifth overall and moved to seventh on the 2014 NCAA descending order list. Also running in the women's 100m hurdles race was junior Melia Cox who finished sixth in her heat and 15th overall with a wind-aided season best time of 13.46 (+2.7w). Former Trojan All-American hurdler Candice (Davis) Price finished third with a time of 12.93.
Brown won the 200m Invite Elite race with a time of 20.26 (+1.6), just off his PR of 20.19 set at the Florida Relays. Brown won his heat by edging out 2012 Olympic fourth-place finisher Wallace Spearman who had a time of 20.45.
Redshirt sophomore Tynia Gaither and senior Jessica Davis finished second and the third in the women's 200m Invite Elite race. They ran in the second heat and Gaither had a wind-aided time of 22.80 (+3.0w) to edge Davis who had a time of 22.86. Those times currently move them into second and fourth on the NCAA descending order list. Former Trojan All-American Aareon Payne finished 11th with a time of 23.46.
The Trojans began the day in the men's 4x100m relay Invite Elite race and the team of senior Aleec Harris, Brown, junior BeeJay Lee and junior Bryan Mercado placed second in its heat and second overall with a time of 39.84. That time was its second-fastest this season and second-fastest since the 2009 season. The race had two false starts before it got underway, with the HSI and Houston teams being declared ineligible. USC had the top collegiate time on the day.
The women were next in the women's 4x100m Invite Elite race and the team of senior Loudia Laarman, Davis, sophomore Alexis Faulknor and Gaither finished fourth with a season-best time of 43.71, .02 seconds outside of USC's all-time top 10 in the event. It was the Trojans' best 4x100m time since running 43.42 at the 2011 NCAA Championships. USC now ranks sixth among college teams this season. Oregon took over the collegiate lead by winning the race with a world-tying best of 43.31. USC finished second among college teams today.
Junior Akawkaw Ndipagbor had a season and collegiate best time of 53.36 in the women's 400m Invite Elite race to finish eighth in her heat. USC volunteer assistant coach DeeDee Trotter took second in the event with a time of 52.42.
Brown then came back to finish third in the men's 100m Invite Elite race with a season-best time of 10.16 (+0.0) which is tied for fifth among collegiate runners this season. Lee finished seventh with a season-best time of 10.28 (+0.0).
Davis took second in her heat and fifth overall in the women's 100m Invite Elite race with a season-best time of 11.30 (+0.0). That was Davis' best time since running her PR of 11.19 at 2011 Pac-12 Championships.
Then former Trojan great Duane Solomon won the men's 800m Invite Elite race wire-to-wire with a world-leading time of 1:43.88. He also set the meet and stadium record in the event.
Former USC hurdler and 2013 NCAA champion Reggie Wyatt opened up his 400m IH season by taking sixth in the men's Ivite Elite race with a time of 50.72.
In the field events, senior Remington Conatser led off in the men's hammer throw Invite Elite and placed fifth with a best mark of 224-9 (68.51m). Competing unattached was teammate Conor McCullough who placed second with a best throw of 237-11 (72.53m) in his first meet of the year.
Redshirt senior Lauren Chambers placed 17th in the women's Invite Elite hammer throw competition. Chambers had a best throw on the day of 191-6 (68.36m).
All-American almnus Alitta Boyd placed fourth in the women's triple jump Invite Elite with a best jump of 43-5.25 (13.24m).
Former Trojan All-American and Olympian Jesse Williams tied for fourth in the men's high jump Invite Elite competition with a clearance of 7-3.75 (2.23m). He missed three times at 7-5.75 which was the winning height.
Former Trojan All-Americans Dalilah Muhammad and Joey Hughes really got things started on the track for USC when they each participated in the second-annual 100m-jump rope sprint. Hughes thrilled the crowd by dominating the men's field and the current world-record holder in the event with a time of 12.00 (+2.5). Due to wind, it is not a new world record, but it is the fastest time recorded under any condition...so that is something!.
Among the USC recruits competing today, Gabriella Cantrell won the girls 100m seeded race with a time of 11.94 (+2.4w), Madisen Richards placed third in the girls long jump Invite with a best leap of 19-7.50 (+1.6) and Randall Cunningham won the boy high jump Invite with a clearance of 7-2 (2.18m) which would rank sixth on USC's all-time list in the event. Cunningham also won the event last season at Mt. SAC when he set the high school meet record with a clearance of 7-3.