USC Men Place Third And Women Fourth At Pac-10 Track And Field Championships
May 13, 2007
The USC men's track and field team scored 92 points and the women's team 107 points on the final day of the Pac-10 Track and Field Championships today (May 13) held at Stanford to place third and fourth respectively.
The Trojan men's team began the day in eighth place, 29 points behind Oregon and the deficit grew to 39 points after the first event of the day as Oregon won the men's javelin throw competion to gain 10 more points and USC's sophomore Stenn Parton placed 11th in the javelin with a throw of 171-7 (52.31m). At that point, USC was trailing first-place Oregon by a score of 57-18.
Next up for the men was the 4x100m relay team of sophomore Matthew Palmer, freshman Ahmad Rashad, junior Roy Alugbue and junior Lionel Larry and they ran a season-best 39.66 to win the sprint relay and gain the Trojans 10 points. It was USC's first win in the 4x100m relay at the conference tournament since 2002, but the 13th time USC has captured the sprint relay crown, six more than any other conference school.
Larry returned to the track for the men's 400m dash and posted the fourth-fastest time in the world this year and the third-fastest time ever by a Trojan with a winning time of 44.73 to earn 10 points. Freshman Nate Anderson earned four points in the event by placing fifth with a time of 47.07. Freshman Jason Price placed ninth with a time of 48.34 in the 400m race.
Rashad blazed to victory in the men's 100m dash with a wind-aided time of 10.20. Rashad earned the Trojans 10 points and Alugbue gained two points, finishing seventh with a time of 10.63. It was the third straight season a USC runner won the Pac-10 100m dash title, the most times they have won the event consecutively since winning five-straight from 1976-80.
Junior Duane Solomon placed second in the men's 800m race with a time of 1:47.94 to earn eight points, falling short of defending his title in the event, as 2005 Pac-10 champion Ryan Brown of Washington was able to edge passed him down the stretch. Junior Raphael Asafo-Agyei placed sixth with a time of 1:50.83 to earn the Trojans three points.
The next event for the men was the 400m IH and junior Kai Kelley ran a new PR of 50.64 to place third and earn six points.
In the men's 200m dash, Rashad completed the sprint double by posting a new PR of 20.56 to win the event and earn 10 points. It was the second straight season that a Trojan male had won both the 100m and 200m races, as Philip Francis accomplished the feat in 2006.
Sophomore Donovan Lim was USC's only participant in the men's high jump, but he no-heighted and did not score.
Senior Adam Midles earned USC six points with a third-place finish in the men's hammer with a throw of 217-0 (66.15). Also competing in the hammer, but not scoring were sophomore Brian Wilhelm (14th - 179-7), sophomore Mike Curiel (15th - 170-8) and redshirt senior Noah Bryant (yesterday's shot put winner) who had fouls in all three attempts.
The men's 5000m race did in the Trojans as they had no runners entered and ASU scored nine points and Oregon 12, dropping USC nine points behind Oregon and five beind ASU entering the final event. USC would need to win the 4x400m relay and have Oregon finish no higher than eighth and ASU finish no better than fourth.
The Trojans 4x400m relay team Anderson, Solomon, senior DaSean Cunningham and Larry ran a 3:07.36 to win the final event and earn 10 points, but the Ducks placed fourth and the Sun Devils third to edge out the Trojans in the final standings: 1.) Oregon - 114, 2.) ASU - 111 and 3.) USC -110. The four point differrential between the top three teams made it the closest Pac-10 Track and Field Championships dating back to 1960.
On the women's side, USC began its climb from ninth to fourth on the final with the women's hammer competition where sophomore Eva Orban placed second with a throw of 217-8 (66.36) to gain eight points and senior Julia Rozenfeld placed sixth with a throw of 195-10 (59.69m) to gain three points. Orban was beaten in the hammer by Oregon's Briney Henry by two inches.
Then the USC women's 4x100m relay of junior Jessica Onyepunuka, senior Candice Davis, freshman Shana Woods and junior Carol Rodgriguez team took the track and came away with a victory with a time of 44.20. It was the third straight victory in the event for the Women of Troy and the seventh time in eight seasons.
The next time the Trojan women took to the track was for the 100m HH and they gained 19 points as Davis won with a time of 13.04, freshman Shalina Clarke came in fourth with a time of 13.70 and junior Talia Stewart placed fifth with a time of 13.83.
Freshman Myra Hasson was the only USC female in the 400m race and she placed fifth to earn four points with a time of 53.99.
USC had four finalists in the women's 100m dash and scored 22 points as Rodriguez won with a time of 11.29 to earn 10 points, Onyepunuka placed second with a time of 11.37 to gain eight points, Davis placed sixth with a time of 11.59 to gain three points and Clarke placed eighth with her best time as a Trojan of 11.66 to earn a point. For the USC women, it was the sixth straight season they won the 100m dash at the conference championships and the 10th time in the last 12 years.
In the women's 400m IH, Clarke placed third (six points) with a time of 59.05, Stewart placed fourth (five points) with a time of 59.11 and sophomore Katie Kirst had a new PR of 1:00.16 to place sixth (three points).
Rodriguez and Onyepunuka pulled the daily double, finishing one-two in the women's 200m race, just as they had in the 100m dash to earn the Trojan women 18 more points. Rodriguez ran a 23.33 to win and Onyepunuka a 23.49 to take second in the 200m dash.
Senior Michelle Sanford earned USC three points with a sixth-place finish in the triple jump with a mark of 41-7 1/4 (12.68m). Freshman Marylin Anene placed 15th (38-0) and sophomore Myeshia Gibson 19th (36-5 1/2).
Senior Chun Mei Nickles was the only Trojan in the women's pole vault and she cleared 11-5 3/4 (3.50m) to place 15th.
The Trojan women ended up with 113 points to place fourth, scoring 107 points on the final day, even more than the 104 points the scored last season on the second day.