USC Women Place 4th, Men 7th At Pac-12 T&F Championships
May 13, 2012
EUGENE, ORE. - Bryshon Nellum won the 400m and Aaron Brown the 100m dash titles, while seniors Aareon Payne and Dalilah Muhammad scored in three events today (May 13) at the inaugural Pac-12 Track and Field Championshps being held at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. before 7,144 fans. The women's team finished the two-day competition in fourth place with 91 points, while the men finished in seventh place with 74 points.
"I'm disappointed," said USC Director of Track and Field Ron Allice. "I don't want to make any excuses with the injuries, but we didn't use all of our weapons that we have on scholarship. There were seven athletes (Jeffrey Churchman, Aleec Harris, Joey Hughes, Josh Mance, Nickell Robey, Jovante Slater and Cooper Thompson) that could have made a difference for us that were out with injuries or other commitments on the men's side, but hopefully we will have a few of them back at the Regional."
Bryshon Nellum took another step in proving to the world that he is once again healthy and a force to be reckoned with in the 400m dash as he claimed the Pac-12 title with a time of 45.20 to earn 10 points for the Trojans. Nellum passed the defending conference champion Mike Berry of Oregon down the stretch and pulled away for the victory. It was the fourth time in the past six seasons that a Trojan had claimed the conference 400m crown.
"It is such a blessing just to have this victory," said the redshirt senior Nellum. "I've been through a lot and was able to overcome. I just thank God."
The sophomore Brown won the men's 100m dash with a wind-legal PR of 10.18 to gain 10 more points for the Trojans. Brown ran a wind-aided time of 10.09 earlier this season. Brown's time moved him into seventh place on USC's all-time list. The defending champion James Alaka of Washington was second with a time of 10.22. For the sixth time in the last eight seasons a Trojan won the 100m dash title.
Payne began her day by running the second leg for USC's defending conference champion 4x100m relay team which this year also featured sophomore Loudia Laarman, freshman Akawkaw Ndipagbor and sophomore Jessica Davis. USC placed second in the event with a time of 44.16, as the Oregon women's team ran the second-fastest time in Duck history of 43.72. USC's relay team earned the first eight points of the day for USC.
Payne and Laarman then ran in the women's 100m dash and earned USC seven more points. Payne took fourth with a wind-aided time of 11.46 and Laarman was seventh with a time of 11.66.
Payne finally ran in the women's 200m dash and placed fourth with a time of 23.21 just off her season best to earn five more points. Oregon took the first three spots in the race with all three runners setting PRs.
Muhammad began her day by competing in the women's 100m HH, an event which saw the Trojan women pick up 12 points. Sophomore Lauren Blackburn took third with a season-best time of 13.23, Muhammad fifth with a legal PR of 13.46 and freshman Melia Cox seventh with a collegiate PR of 13.49.
Muhammed then came back to compete in her second of three finals on the day, taking third in the women's 400m IH with a time of 56.98. Muhammad picked up six more crucial points in the team standings.
Finally, Muhammad ran the second leg on the women's 4x400m relay team which placed fifth in its heat and sixth overall to earn three points with a time of 3:41.07. That was the final event of the meet.
Freshman Alexandra Collatz and sophomore Jenny Ozorai began the day's action for the Trojans competing in the women' s discus throw. Collatz placed sixth with a best throw of 162-3 (49.47m) to earn three points in the team competition. Ozorai threw 148-3 (45.20m) to finish in 11th place.
Freshman Daniel Szabo then placed third in the men's hammer throw with a best throw of 207-6 (63.26m) to earn the Trojans six points. Szabo moved from fourth to third on his fifth throw of the day. He was one of just two freshmen to reach the finals with the other first-year hammer thrower placing eighth. Redshirt junior Eric Stein placed 10th, just missing out on reaching the finals with a best throw of 169-3 (51.60m).
The men's 4x100m relay was the first running event and the Trojans had a team of freshman Marqise Lee, freshman Davonte Stewart, junior Terence Abram and Brown. They posted a time of 40.93 to place sixth and earn three points in the team competition.
Redshirt sophomore running back D.J. Morgan continued to impress in the 110m hurdles, placing fifth with a slightly wind-aided time of 14.21 (+2.5), dropping .27 seconds from yesterday's race, his first as a Trojan. He earned USC four points in the team competition and missed out by only .01 seconds on fourth and .08 seconds on third. It was just his second competitive hurdles race since his junior year of high school.
Ndipagbor represented USC in the women's 400m finals and she earned the Trojans two points by placing seventh with a time of 54.88.
Junior Reggie Wyatt took second in the men's 400m IH for the second straight season, finishing with a time of 50.35. Right behind him in third place was senior Duane Walker who posted his best time since his PR of 50.78 at the 2009 Pac-10 Championships. Together they teammed up to earn USC 14 points in the team competition.
Brown came back to take second to Alaka in the 200m, just ahead of teammate Stewart, with Brown running 20.543 to Stewart's 20.549. Together they earned the Trojans 14 more points in the team standings.
The men's team had four jumpers in the triple jump competition, but did not score any points. Freshman Allen Williams matched his PR with a wind-aided jump of 47-11 (14.60m) to place 13th. Senior Tony Burnett finished in 15th with a best jump of 47-8.50 (14.54m), while junior Tyler Ruiz was 18th with a jump of 46-5.50 (14.16m) and sophomore Viktor Fajoyomi did not record a clean jump.
The women's triple jump went much better as sophomore Alitta Boyd had a collegiate wind-aided PR of 42-5.25 (12.93m) to place fourth and earn the Trojan women five points. Boyd finished fourth in the triple jump at the conference meet last season, meaning she has placed the same in both the triple and long jumps in each of the past two seasons earning the Trojans nine points each season. Also reaching the finals was Cox who was tied for ninth after three jumps with a best of 40-7.75 (12.39m) and finished in 10th place with that mark. Freshman Oluwakemi Olanade finished 11th with a best jump of 40-6.75 (12.36m) and redshirt junior Candace Bailey finished 17th with a slight PR of 38-3.50 (11.67m),
Redshirt senior Zsofia Erdelyi, who placed fifth in the 10,000m race last night, returned to the track today to place 11th in the 5000m race with a time of 16:45.64. There were 33 runners in the 5K and out of the small group of athletes that tried to complete the double, only Erdelyi, Allison Woodward of Oregon, Elvin Kibet of Arizona and Jennifer Bergman of Arizona were able to finish in the top 11 in both races.
The final running event for the USC men was the 4x400m relay team of senior Scott DeYoung, Nellum, Walker and Wyatt which placed second with a time of 3:06.39 to earn eight points, just .39 seconds behind Arizona State. Walker had a split of 46.99 and Wyatt a split of 45.63 but the Sun Devils were able to hang on for the victory.
The following is a list of the events, the athlete and the points scored for the Trojans during the two days of the Pac-12 Track and Field Championships (Place, Points):
Women: Hammer Throw: Minderler (1st, 10 points), Ozorai (2nd, 8 points), Niemeyer (5th, 4 points), Chambers (8th, 1 point) Javelin Throw: Busa (4th, 5 points), Minderler (8th, 1 point) Shot Put: Minderler (6th, 3 points) Discus Throw: Collatz (6th, 3 points) Long Jump: Boyd (5th, 4 points) Triple Jump: Boyd (4th, 5 points) 100m: Payne (4th, 5 points), Laarman (7th, 2 points) 200m: Payne (4th, 5 points) 400m: Ndipagbor (7th, 2 points) 10,000m: Erdelyi (5th, 4 points) 100m HH: Blackburn (3rd, 6 points), Muhammad (5th, 4 points), Cox (7th, 2 points) 400m IH: Muhammad (3rd, 6 points) 4x100m: Laarman, Payne, Ndipagbor, Davis (2nd, 8 points) 4x400m: V.Jones, Muhammad, Laarman, Ndipagbor (6th, 3 points)
Long Jump: Lee (4th, 5 points)
Hammer Throw: Szabo (3rd, 6 points)
100m: Brown (1st, 10 points)
200m: Brown (2nd, 8 points), Stewart (3rd, 6 points)
400m: Nellum (1st, 10 points)
110m HH: Morgan (5th, 4 points)
400m IH: Wyatt (2nd, 8 points), Walker (3rd, 6 points)
4x100m: Lee, Stewart, Abram, Brown (6th, 3 points)
4x400m: DeYoung, Nellum, Walker, Wyatt (2nd, 8 points)