Track & Field
    USC Women Tied For 2nd, Men 10th At Pac-12 Championships

    Marissa Minderler and Jenny Ozorai celebrate their 1-2 finish in the women's hammer throw at the Pac-12 Track & Field Championships in Eugene, Ore. on May 12.

    May 12, 2012

    Day One Results Get Acrobat Reader

    Day One Team Scores Get Acrobat Reader

    EUGENE, ORE. - Marissa Minderler won her second consecutive conference hammer throw title and Marqise Lee placed fourth in the men's long jump to score the USC men's team's only points during the first day of action (May 12) at the inaugural Pac-12 Track and Field Championshps behing held at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., home of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials. The Trojan women picked up 40 points and are tied for second place and the men's team is in 10th place with its five points. USC's women's team advanced eight athletes to tomorrow's finals, while the men's team advanced seven runners and the 4x100m relay team to finals.

    Minderler led the Trojans' amazing effort in the hammer throw competition as USC took first (10 points), second (8), fifth (4) and eighth (1) place to earn 23 points in the event. Minderler took over the lead in the competition with her third throw of 219-11 (67.03m) which was a PR and moved her into third place on USC's all-time hammer list. She remained in first the rest of the way and with the final throw of the competition bettered her PR and third-place standing on USC's list with a throw of 220-11 (67.35m). That throw also ranks fifth on the conference all-time list and was just seven inches off former Trojan Eva Orban's meet record of 221-6 (67.53m). Minderler became the first female athlete to win two Pac-12 hammer titles since Orban won in 2006 and 2009 and became the first to win the hammer title in consecutive seasons since Jessica Cosby of UCLA in 2004 and 2005.

    Sophomore Jenny Ozorai had the lead with her second throw of 213-11 (65.20m) before Minderler passed her, but remained in second and had a best throw of 215-1 (65.56m) in her third throw to secure second place. Redshirt senior Jade Niemeyer finished in fifth place with a best throw of 196-11 (60.04m) and redshirt sophomore Lauren Chambers took eighth place with a best mark of 192-2 (58-59m). Also competing in the hammer throw for USC were freshman Alexandra Collatz (12th, 173-2, just 2 inches off matching her PR) and redshirt senior Tamara Baumann (13th, 171-5).

    The men's 4x100m relay race was the first running event on the day and the Trojans' quartet of freshman Marqise Lee, freshman Davonte Stewart, junior Terence Abram and sophomore Aaron Brown advanced to tomorrow's final thanks to a strong final leg. USC placed third in its heat with a time of 40.71, the sixth-fastest qualifying time.

    Senior Blake Shaw was next in the men's 1500m race and he placed ninth in his heat and 19th overall with a time of 3:56.19 and did not advance to the finals.

    Freshman Eric Capellino was next in the women's 1500m race and she placed seventh in her heat with a time of 4:29.75. The top four from each heat would advance plus the next four best times so she was going to need to beat the sixth-place runner in the second heat. Unfortunately, that did not happen as the sixth and seventh place runners in the second heat had faster times, leaving Capellino in 14th place with just .72 second separating the 12th through 14th place finishers.

    The men's 110m HH was next and USC had freshman Allen Williams and redshirt sophomore D.J. Morgan entered. In his first hurdles race for the Trojans, Morgan placed second in the first heat with a time of 14.48 and Williams was fourth with a time of 15.09. They would have to await the results of two more heats as the winner of each heat and the next five best times would advance. After the three heats, Morgan finished seventh to advance to tomorrow's finals, while Williams finished 16th.

    USC then qualified all three women's hurdlers for Sunday's final as sophomore Lauren Blackburn placed second in her heat and third overall with a wind-aided season-best time of 13.27, senior Dalilah Muhammad won her heat with a wind-aided time of 13.45 and the fifth-fastest time on the day and freshman Melia Cox placed second to Muhammad in the third heat and seventh overall with a wind-aided season-best of 13.53.

    USC redshirt senior Kristine Busa placed fourth in the women's javelin with a throw of 156-10 (47.80m) to earn the Trojans five points in the team competition. Minderler needed a big throw in her final attmept of the first round to make the finals and she moved from 14th to seventh with a throw of 146-11 (44.78m) to make the finals. She fouled on her final three attmepts, but placed eighth to earn the Trojans a point.

    The men's 400m dash is certainly a strength for the Trojans but with Joey Hughes out with a hamstring injury and Josh Mance scratched due to tightness in his hamstring, that left the Trojans with just redshirt senior Bryshon Nellum and senior Scott DeYoung entered. Nellum advanced to the finals by cruising to victory in his heat with the best time on the day of 45.98. DeYoung placed fourth in the same heat with a time of 48.49 and finished 11th overall, three spots out of advancing to Sunday's final.

    Freshman Akawkaw Ndipagbor placed second in the first 400m heat with a time of 54.14 and would have to await the final three heats as the winner and the top four next best times from four heats would advance. After the second heat and third heats she still had the best non-automatic qualilfying time. Fellow freshman Vanessa Jones was in the fourth and final heat and she placed second with a time of 55.12, but 14th overall. That result meant Ndipagbor advanced to tomorrow's final with the fifth-best time of the day.

    Redshirt junior Abe Markowitz was the only Trojan in the men's shot put competition and he fouled on all three attempts to tie for 10th.

    Minderler then competed in and scored in her third event of the day placing sixth in the women's shot put with a mark of 48-1.75 (14.67m). She picked up three points in the team competition making it a haul of 14 points for Minderler in the three events. It was the second consecutive season she scored in all three events as she won the 2011 hammer throw, placed sixth in the javelin throw and eighth in the shot put.

    Brown, Stewart and Abram then came back to compete in the open 100m race. Brown won his 100m heat with a time of 10.27 to automatically advance to Sunday's finals with the fastest time of the day. Stewart came in fourth in his heat and 12th overall with a wind-aided season-best time of 11.52. Abram came in fifth in his heat and 25th overall with a time of 11.01.

    The women's 100m dash was next. Senior Aareon Payne automatically qualified by winning the first heat with a season-best time of 11.52. Sophomore Jessica Davis was second with a time of 11.69. That time held up until the final heat which was the fastest by far. Sophomore Loudia Laarman placed fourth in the third heat with a wind-aided time of 11.62 to advance with the sixth spot in the finals. The sixth-place finisher in the third heat had a time of 11.67 to take the eighth and final spot in the finals and nudge Davis into ninth, one spot out of tomorrow's final.

    USC had freshman Myles Andrews and senior James Leckie in the men's 800m race and Andrews placed 15th with a time of 1:53.17 and Leckie was 17th with a time of 1:54.53. Redshirt junior Shelby Buckley then placed 20th in the women's 800m race with a time of 2:12.85.

    Lee then competed in the men's long jump and took fourth place with a PR of 25-1.25 (7.65m) to earn the USC men's team its first five points in the meet. Junior Tyler Ruiz placed 18th with a best jump of 22-8 (6.91m) and sophomore Viktor Fajoyomi placed 21st with a jump of 22-4.25 (6.81m).

    Ruiz and Fajoyomi then competed in the men's high jump with Ruiz tying for 14th with a season-best clearance of 6-9 (2.06m) and Fajoyimi tying for 16th with a jump of 6-7 (2.01m).

    Junior Allita Boyd had a season-best wind-aided jump of 20-4.50 (6.21m) to place fifth in the women's long jump competition. It was her third consecutive fifth-place finish in the long jump at the conference meet. Boyd also had a season-best legal jump of 20-3.50 (6.18m). Junior Jennifer Jones placed 18th with a best jump of 17-2.75 (5.25m).

    Junior Reggie Wyatt won his 400m IH heat with a time of 51.22 to automatically qualify for tomorrow's finals and senior Duane Walker was second in that heat and sixth overall with a time of 52.11 to advance. Wyatt's time was the second-fastest qualifier.

    Muhammad then came back to run in the women's 400m IH and she won her heat with a time of 57.54 to automatically advance to Sunday's final. Muhammad's time was the third-fastest qualifier.

    Brown and Stewart then won their men's 200m heats with the fastest two times of the day to advance to the finals, with Brown clocking a legal PR of 20.55 and Stewart running 20.64.

    In the women's 200m dash, Payne won the first heat with a time of 23.28 to automatically advance to the finals. Jessica Davis ran a season-best 23.80 to place fourth in that heat and ninth overall, just as in the 100m dash leaving her one spot out of a finals appearance. Ndipagbor ran in the second of three heats and she placed fourth and 11th overall with a time of 24.01. Laarman ran in the final 200m heat and matched her season-best time of 24.11 to finish fifth and 14th overall.

    The final event for the Trojans on the day was the women's 10,000m race featuring 23 runners with redshirt senior Zsofia Erdelyi needing to post a time to qualify for the NCAA Regionals. It was a slow-paced race and Erdelyi stayed pretty much within the top six runners the whole way, finishing fifth with a time of 34:53.25 to earn the USC women's team four more points in the team standings.