Brown Runs 4th-Fastest 100m Dash In Pac-12 History; Breaks Stadium Record
May 11, 2013
Aaron Brown set the stadium record in the 100m dash, Jenny Ozorai took second in the women's hammer throw and 16 Trojan athletes advanced to tomorrow's finals at the Pac-12 Track & Field Championships held at Loker Stadium today (May 11). USC's men's team scored 12 points today to finish the first day in ninth place, while the women's team scored nine points to enter Championship Sunday in 10th place.
The junior Brown wowed the crowd with a blazing PR of 10.07 in the second heat of the men's 100m dash to advance to the finals. His time is tied for fourth all-time in the conference and tied for third all-time by a Trojan with Clancy Edwards. It is the fastest wind-legal time run by a Trojan male since James Sanford set the school record with a time of 10.02 on May 11, 1980. It also established a new Loker Stadium record. The funny thing was in the first heat, sophomore teammate BeeJay Lee won with an amazing wind-aided time of 10.08 (+3.9) which had the crowd buzzing before Brown took the track. The pair advanced to the finals with the two top times on the day, while sophomore Bryan Mercado finished 16th overall with a PR of 10.73, but did not advance to the finals.
"Wow. I didn't know I broke that (stadium) record, but hearing that makes this day feel even better," said Brown. "I'm just happy to get it in 10.0 and I couldn't have done it in a better place."
In the first even of the day contested at Cal State Los Angeles, junior Jenny Ozorai placed second in the women's hammer throw for the second consecutive season with a best throw of 217-5 (66.26m). Ozorai earned the Trojans eight points in the team competition and teammate redshirt junior Lauren Chambers another by placing eighth in the hammer throw for the second consecutive season, this time with a season-best mark of 197-11 (60.33m). For Chambers, who has been improving steadily throughout the season, it marks a best throw since her freshman year. Sophomore Alexandra Collatz took 12th with a throw of 178-6 (54.41m), redshirt senior Ashley Pyka placed 13th with a season-best throw by .01 meters of 170-4 (51.93m) and redshirt senior Farren Benjamin took 15th with a throw of 147-1 (44.83m).
Senior Alitta Boyd started the action at Loker Stadium for USC by posting a season-best long jump of 19-11.00 (6.07m) to tie for eighth, but going back on the next best jump she placed ninth and out of the scoring. Senior Jennifer Jones had a best jump of 17-4.00 (5.28m) to finish 14th and sophomore Kiana Henry placed 15th with a jump of 17-3.25 (5.26m). Henry placed ninth at the Pac-12 Multi-Events Championships in the heptathlon last with with a PR of 4,507 points.
Next sophomore Erica Capellino placed 13th in her heat and 24th overall in the women's 1500m race with a time of 4:35.64, with the top 12 advancing to the finals. Just after that, senior Eric Battles took 21st place in the men's 1500m race with a time of 3:55.12. Also finishing around that time was the women's high jump with senior Jennifer Stutland clearing 5-5.00 (1.65m) to tie for 19th.
Sophomore Jemal Williams placed 15th in the men's pole vault with a PR of 14-7.50 (4.46m). That was a season-high jump by a Trojan this season. Last week at the Pac-12 Multi-Event Championships, Williams set a a PR with a total of 6,646 points to place 10th in the decathlon.
The hurdlers then took center stage. Sophomore Melia Cox ran a 13.39 to place second in the first heat of the women's 100m HH and fourth overall to advance to tomorrow's final. Junior Lauren Blackburn took second in the third heat and seventh overall with a time of 13.46 to advance. Henry placed seventh in the second heat and 21st overall with a time of 14.66. Freshman Jaide Stepter was seventh in the third heat and 20th overall with a time of 14.47.
The men's team suffered a big blow next when junior Aleec Harris false-started in the men's 110m HH and was disqualified. Harris came in ranked second in conference and seventh in the country with a time of 13.55. Sophomore Allen Williams placed fourth in the first heat and 12 overall with a time of 14.76 in to a -0.6 wind.
Junior Ashley Liverpool won the second heat of the women's 400m dash to automatically qualify to tomorrow's final and finished third overall with a time of 53.04. That time also moved her from 10th to tied for ninth on the USC all-time top 10 list with Kinshasa Davis. Sophomore Vanessa Jones also advanced by taking second in the third heat and seventh overall with a time of 53.63.
Redshirt senior Bryshon Nellum won the fourth heat and posted the top qualifying time of 46.41 in the men's 400m race to advance to tomorrow's final with a shot at defending his 2012 title in the event. Reggie Wyatt also advanced by winning the first heat with a time of 47.13 which tied for the fourth-fastest qualifying time.
"That was a good result," said Nellum. "The goal was to qualify and win my heat, which I did. Now I can take it easy." He added about performing at Loker Stadium, "It means a lot. It is nice to have your support system here. The fans were loud."
The women also had two sprinters advance to the finals in the 100m dash as sophomore Akawkaw Ndipagbor took second in the second heat and placed fifth overall with a time of 11.62 and junior Loudia Laarman took second in the first heat and sixth overall with a time of 11.66. Junior Jenna Puterbaugh just missed the cut finishing ninth with a time of 11.73, while redshirt sophomore Charity Bruce placed 18th with a season-best time of 12.07.
Sophomore Myles Andrews placed fourth in the first heat of the men's 800m race with a time of 1:50.99 and would have to await the results of the other two heats as the top two and the two remaining best times for the three heats would advance to tomorrow's final. After the final two heats were run, Andrews found himself in ninth with the eighth-place qualifier running 1:50.73 to edge Andrews out of the last spot in the finals. Freshman Kyle Iverson placed 18th with a time of 1:55.66.
Two weeks after posting impressive USC top-10 marks in the 3000m steeplechase, Trojan freshmen Jenna Tong and Katerina Berdousi had a slightly tougher go of things, as Tong placed 15th with a time of 11:10.25 and Berdousi 16th with a time of 11:31.21. It was just the third attempt at the race for Tong and second for Berdousi as Trojans.
The Trojan men scored seven points in the long jump competition, but maybe not from where it was expected. Junior Viktor Fajoyomi took fourth place to earn USC five points with a wind-aided jump of 24-4.25 (7.42m). Placing seventh and earning the Trojans two more points was redshirt junior David Selma with a PR of 23-10.75 (7.28m) which won the first flight. Senior Tyler Ruiz finished 11th with a best jump of 23-2.50 (7.07m), sophomore Marqise Lee was 12th with a jump of 23-1.25 (7.04m) and redshirt freshman Jovante Slater was 12th with a jump of 23-0.00 (7.01m). Lee finished fourth at the conference meet a season ago, and Slater was making his first jumps this season after battling injuries.
The women's 400m IH was next and Stepter placed 13th with a time of 62.04 and redshirt senior Kathryn Karkut took 16th with a time of 66.75.
Wyatt then cruised to a win in the final heat of the men's 400m IH and advance to tomorrow's final with the best time on the day of 51.63. Junior Greg Starkey was fourth in the third heat and 11th overall with a time of 54.43, missing by three spots of advancing to the finals.
USC had four women in the 200m semifinals and two of them advanced to tomorrow's final. Ndipagbor won the first heat and was fourth overall with a season-best time of 23.58 to advance, while Puterbaugh was second in the second heat and fifth overall with a time of 23.63 to move on to the finals. Laarman placed ninth overall with a PR of 23.91 and just missed advancing, while junior Jessica Davis was second in the first heat and 10th overall with a time of 23.97.
Brown continued his hot day by winning the first heat of the men's 200m dash with a wind-legal time and best qualifying time of 20.47 to advance to the finals. That time was just .05 seconds of his PR set at the 2012 London Olympics.
"I feel really good," said Brown. "Leading up to the Dual Meet I didn't get a lot of rest so leading up for this weekend they made sure I was rested. I have four events, the 4x100, 100, 200, and 4x400 so they made sure to taper me off and made sure I was ready. I feel the best I've felt out here. I feel great headed into tomorrow. My body's feeling really good and I don't think I pushed myself too hard. You want to run fast but you don't want to use it all in the prelims and have nothing for the final. I feel like, even though I ran fast, I ran pretty smart. I feel good heading into tomorrow and I definitely have more in me."
Not far behind Brown in qualifying was Nellum, who won the fourth heat and had the second-fastest time of 20.63. Sophomore Davonte Stewart took second in Nellum's heat and finished seventh overall with a season-best time of 20.98 to advance to the finals. Brown was second and Stewart third in the 200m dash at the Pac-12 Championships in 2012, but Washington's James Alaka who won the event the past two seasons, finished ninth and did not advance.
Redshirt senior Cooper Thompson scored for USC in the javelin at the Pac-12 meet for the third time in his career, today placing eighth with a best throw of 210-11 (64.29m). He earned USC its final point on the first day. Sophomore Diego Lopez competed in the javelin for the second time this season for USC and he placed 19th with a throw of 166-11 (50.87m).
Freshman Tera Novy competed in the women's shot put for USC and she took 14th with a best mark of 43-11.25 (13.39m).
The final Trojan to compete was senior Eric Kleinsasser in the men's 10,000m final and he placed 15th with a time of 31.54.18.