Track & Field
    USC Splits Annual T&F Dual Meet With UCLA
    Senior Aaron Brown won the 100m, 200m and ran the second leg on the winning USC men's 4x100m relay.  Brown won the Dual Meet 100m dash all four seasons at USC.
    Senior Aaron Brown won the 100m, 200m and ran the second leg on the winning USC men's 4x100m relay. Brown won the Dual Meet 100m dash all four seasons at USC.

    May 4, 2014

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    HREF="http://www.usctrojans.com/sports/c-track/mtt/tynia_gaither_862625.html">Tynia Gaither on the women's side and Aaron Brown on the men's side won the 100m and 200m dashes as well as ran a leg on winning 4x100m relays to lead the USC track & field team to a split in the annual USC-UCLA Dual Meet held at Drake Stadium in Westwood, Calif. today (May 4). The USC women's team won 95-68 to make it six victories in the last seven seasons, while the men's team fell 89-74. USC's men lead the all-time series 42-39, while the women trail in the series 22-9.

    "The team performed well," said USC Director of Track & Field Caryl Smith Gilbert. "I was very proud of everybody's performance. I think the women went according to plan and then some, and the men stepped up and did even more than they are capable of with the amount of bodies we have. We did all we could with what we have."

    "I was happy to see Kat Berdousi (winner of the 1500m), I was happy to see Chase Peterson (win the 400m IH), I was happy to see Kira Soderstrom (second in the steeplechase) and Jeff Churchman (winner of the javelin throw)" added Smith Gilbert. "The performances in a Dual Meet situation that I remember are the ones that a person shows up for the team. It is not necessarily the time, its the people that show up and compete with a passion and with their heart."

    The women's hammer throw competition got the action going at the Dual Meet and Trojans jumped to an 8-1 lead after redshirt senior Lauren Chambers took first and junior Alexandra Collatz placed second. Chambers had a best throw of 193-10 (59.09m), but really won the competition on her first throw which went 191-5 (58.34m), as Collatz's mark of 177-9 took second. UCLA's Jaycee Olsen got the final point by taking third with a throw of 165-4. Freshman Tanya Sapa was fourth with a throw of 161-6 (49.23m) and sophomore Tera Novy was fifth with a season-best throw of 150-0 (45.73m).

    Senior Remington Conatser made quick work of the competition in the men's hammer throw to pick up the first five points for the USC men's team. His first throw of 221-9 (67.58m) would have won the competition by 42 feet, but he had a best mark of 228-3 (69.58m) in his fifth throw. No other Trojans competed in this event.

    The next event for the women was the pole vault and the Bruins swept the event to earn all nine points and take a 10-8 lead in the meet. Sophomore Felicia Horvath took fourth with a clearance of 12-0.50 (3.67m), while senior Thea Weiss no-heighted.

    The women's long jump was next and sophomore Alexis Faulknor placed second with a jump of 20-2.25/6.15m (+1.7) and junior Melia Cox placed third with a wind-aided jump of 19-4.00/5.98m (+2.4w). Senior Oluwakemi Olonade was fifth with a jump of 18-6.50/5.65m (+2.4w). After three events, the USC women trailed 15-12.

    The women's 5000m race was next and senior Lindsay Enright took fifth with a time of 19.57.57. She was the only Trojan in the race, so after four events, USC trailed 24-12.

    The next event on the men's side was the shot put and the Trojans had nobody entered, so that moved UCLA into the lead with a score of 13-5.

    The women's 3000m steeplechase was next and USC earned four points as junior Kira Soderstrom took second with a PR of 10:56.22 and sophomore Jenna Tong placed third with a time of 11:01.65. Soderstrom improved her fifth-place standing on USC's all-time list in the event. After five events, the score was USC 16, UCLA 29.

    The men's steeplechase was next and redshirt Bryan Jordan, running his first steeplechase, was the only Trojan entered among seven contestants. Jordan placed sixth with a time of 9:50.85. That made the score 22-5 UCLA on the men's side.

    The women's javelin throw was another sweep for UCLA, so after six events the Bruins led 38-16. Redshirt sophomore Julia Tseng placed fifth with a PR of 90-1 (27.47m), while freshman Amalie Iuel had three fouls.

    The men's high jump finished next and senior Viktor Fajoyomi placed second and senior Herb Dew was third to earn four points for the Trojans. That brought the score to 27-9 UCLA. Fajoyomi and Dew and the winner Cody Crampton of UCLA all cleared 6-11.00/2.11m, but on misses at earlier heights Fajoyomi finished second and Dew third. Senior Doug Bogie was sixth with a clearance of 6-5.00/1.96m and sophomore Errin Baynes was seventh with a jump of 6-3.25/1.91m.

    After UCLA swept and uncontested shot put competition the lead for the Bruin men had swelled to 36-9.

    The women's 4x100m relay team of senior Loudia Laarman, junior Akawkaw Ndipagbor, Faulknor and sophomore Tynia Gaither then got things rolling for the Trojans. They picked up the five points with a winning time of 43.88 to make the score of 38-21 UCLA after seven scored events.

    The men's 4x100m relay team of senior Aleec Harris, senior Aaron Brown, junior BeeJay Lee and junior Bryan Mercado then won with a time of 39.76 to gain five points. After five events, the Trojan men trailed 36-14.

    The Bruin men then swept the 1500m race to take a 45-14 lead. Jordan placed fifth in the event with a time of 4:02.16.

    The men's long jump results came in next and Fajoyomi grabbed second with a best jump of 24-1.75/7.36m (+0.2). He got that mark in his final jump as did the winner Michael Perry who went 24-3.00/7.39m (+1.5) in his final attempt. Sophomore Jovonte Slater placed fifth with a jump of 22-7.00/6.88 (+1.3). That made the men's score 42-17 UCLA, before the Trojans mounted a comeback which fell just short.

    The women's shot put competition was a sweep for USC to cut the Bruin women's lead to 38-30. Sapa won with a mark of 48-4/14.73m, Novy took second with a PR of 46-8.25/14.23m and Chambers placed third with a throw of 37-8.00/11.48m.

    The women kept rolling in the 100m HH with senior Lauren Blackburn winning with a time of 13.13 (+0.2). That was her best wind-legal time since the 2011 NCAA West Preliminary Rounds. Junior Melia Cox placed fourth with a time of 13.77 and Iuel placed sixth with a PR of 14.36. The result of that event cut the Bruins lead to 42-35.

    USC's men's hurdlers then swept the 110m HH with Harris winning with a time of 13.55 (+0.6). Junior Allen Williams took second with a PR of 14.39 and Fajoyomi was third with a time of 14.87. There was only one Bruin in the race and after hitting a few early hurdles he stopped. USC's men's team had closed the gap to 42-26.

    The momentum continued when senior Jeff Churchman set a PR on his first throw in the men's javelin competition with a mark of 218-1/66.48m. His throw moved him from seventh to fifth on USC's all-time javelin throw list. That throw stood up as the competition winner giving the Trojans five points and making it 46-31 UCLA in the team competition.

    Junior Vanessa Jones led the Trojans to a sweep in the women's 400m race and into the lead in the team competition at 44-42. Jones won with a PR of 52.63 which moved her from seventh to sixth on USC's all-time list. It is also the 16th-fastest time by a college woman this season. Ndipagbor placed second with a time of 53.50, senior Ashley Liverpool third with a time of 53.76 and freshman Cameron Pettigrew was seventh with a time of 55.72.

    The Trojan men then went 1-2 in the men's 400m to inch closer at 47-39 UCLA after 10 events. Junior Davonte Stewart won with a PR of 46.90 and freshman Alex Rohani was second with a collegiate-best of 46.98. Freshman Armon Owens placed fifth with a time of 50.52.

    USC's women's team then extended its lead to 52-43 by finishing 1-2 in the 100m dash. Gaither won with a time of 11.45 (11.441) (-0.9) and Faulknor was second also with a time of 11.45 (11.445). Loudia Laarman finished fourth with a time of 11.60 (.001 out of third) and Charity Bruce was ninth with a time of 12.33.

    The men's 100m dash was a sweep for the Trojans to take over the team lead briefly at 48-47. Brown won with a time of 10.18 (-0.7), followed by Lee (10.25) and senior Terence Abram was third with a PR of 10.60. Also running for USC was Mercado with a time of 10.62 for fourth and Slater with a time of 10.77 for sixth.

    Following a UCLA sweep in the women's 800m race the teams were deadlocked at 52 after 12 events. Sophomore Natasha Strickland led the Trojan women with a time of 2:14.78 to take fourth place. Redshirt freshman Lauren Grego was sixth with a time of 2:19.26 and sophomore Alyssa Reardon was seventh with a time of 2:33.10.

    Junior Myles Andrews placed second in the men's 800m race with a time of 1:52.04 to earn USC three points and following 12 events the Trojans now trailed 53-51. Sophomore Will Robinson placed seventh with a PR of 2:04.95.

    UCLA then swept an uncontested men's discus throw competition to take a 62-51 lead after 13 events, just as the pole vault results came in, also a Bruin sweep to make it 71-51 UCLA. In the pole vault, Jemal Williams cleared 14-10.25/4.53 to finish fourth. Freshman Khalil Jackson no-heighted.

    Cox then won the women's triple jump and Olonade placed second to open up a 60-53 lead in the team competition after 13 events. Cox won with a season-best jump of 41-8.00/12.70m (-0.3) and Olonade had a best triple jump of 40-7.50/12.38m (+1.3). Junior Samantha Ojo placed fourth with a best jump of 36-6.75/11.14m (+1.0).

    The Bruins then swept the women's high jump to take the lead at 62-60 after 14 events. Iuel was fourth with a clearance of 5-5.25/1.66m and Cravens was fifth clearing the same height which was a PR for her.

    The Trojan women then took the lead back for good when sophomore Jaide Stepter won and Iuel placed second in the 400m IH to earn USC eight points and a 68-63 lead. Stepter won with a time a time of 58.62 while Iuel took second with a PR of 58.70. That time bettered her 10th-place standing on USC's all-time list in the event.

    Freshman Chase Peterson and Jemal Williams then both posted big PRs to finish first and third in the men's 400m IH. Peterson won with a time of 52.04, nearly two seconds better than his previous best. Williams claimed third with a time of 53.68, more than three seconds better than his previous best time. The six points earned in the 400m IH made it 74-57 UCLA.

    After several delays due to the official questioning the blocks placements, the Trojan women swept the 200m race to earn nine points and take a 77-63 lead in the team competition. Gaither won with a time of 23.34 (+2.0), Faulknor was second with a PR of 23.48 and Jones was third with a time of 23.58. Laarman finished fifth with a time of 24.51.

    Brown then came back to win his third race, taking the 200m dash with a time of 20.46 (+1.3). Lee was second with a PR of 20.83 (+1.3) to give the Trojans eight points and cut the lead to 75-65 UCLA. Abram ran in the second heat and placed fourth overall with a wind-aided time of 21.61 (2.8w), while Mercado was sixth with a time of 21.66 (+1.3), Stewart was seventh with a time of 22.27 (+1.3) and Owens was eighth at 22.43 (+2.8w).

    Sophomore Katerina Berdousi won the women's 1500m race to clinch the meet for the Trojans at 82-67. Berdousi had a winning time of 4:38.28, while Tong was fifth (4:48.62), Soderstrom was sixth (4:55.15), Enright was seventh (4:55.25), Grego was eighth (4:57.62) and Strickland was ninth (5:13.23).

    USC's lead then bulged to 90-68 after Collatz and Novy placed 1-2 in the women's discus throw competition with just the 4x400m relay race remaining. Collatz won with a best mark of 179-0/54.57m and Novy was second with a throw of 162-5/49.50m. Sapa finished in fourth with a season-best mark of 140-7/42.86.

    The men's team then got a peak at the lead, cutting UCLA's lead to 75-74 by sweeping the triple jump, but the next event would put an end to the Trojan hopes. Allen Williams won the triple jump at the Dual Meet for the second time (also in 2012) with a jump of 46-4.00/14.12m (+0.5), while Fajoyomi was second at 45-9.25/13.95 (+0.3) and Slater was third at 45-8.00/13.92 (+1.3). It was Fajoyomi's first triple jump competition this season and it was Slater's first as a Trojan.

    Jordan was outnumbered 15-1 at the start of the men's 5000m race, but he gave it a go in his first 5000m race of the season. He had a time of 15:58.17 and despite his heroic effort in three long distance races on the day, he placed sixth, meaning the Bruins had a sweep to clinch the team title at 84-74.

    The USC women closed out the meet and victory by winning the 4x400m race with a time of 3:41.11 for a final team score of 95-68. The Trojans ran a quartet of Liverpool, Stepter, Ndipagbor and Pettigrew.

    With the meet decided the Trojan men ran a 4x400m relay team of Rohani, Andrews, Peterson and Lee and they finished second with a time of 3:20.88, giving the Bruins the final margin of victory at 89-74.

    Coach Smith Gilbert reflected on leading the Trojans at UCLA, a place where she earned All-America honors as a sprinter. "It feels good. I had fun, saw some old friends, but it is nice to be a Trojan and I look forward to them coming over to us next year."

    The Trojans are now 2-1-5 in the last eight Dual Meets with the Bruins.

    USC women's sprinter Jessica Davis was unavailable due to a violation of team rules.