Track & Field
    Bryant Leads Trojans At First Day Of The Pac-10 Championships With Win In The Shot
    William Denbo had a career-best shot put to take third at the Pac-10s; teammate Noah Bryant won
    William Denbo had a career-best shot put to take third at the Pac-10s; teammate Noah Bryant won

    May 13, 2006

    Noah Bryant saved his best throw for last to win the men's shot put competition today (May 13) in the first day of the Pac-10 Track and Field Championships presented by ProClean 76 Gasolines and hosted by Oregon at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.

    With a career-best throw of 64-6 1/2 (19.67m) in his last attempt, Bryant earned the win by edging Sean Shields of Arizona and picked up 10 points for USC in the team competition. Bryant's throw was the fourth farthest in school history and the first Pac-10 title by a USC men's shot putter since Doug Lane won in 1972. Shields, who had a very slight lead over Bryant before his winning throw, had one last attempt, but fouled and took second at a distance of 63-11 3/4 (19.50m). William Denbo also had a career-best throw of 62-6 3/4 (19.07m) to place third and earn USC six points. His throw was the seventh best in USC history.

    After the first eight events in the men's competition, USC sits in sixth place with 34 points. Arizona is in first with 56 points. In the women's competition, seven events have been completed and USC is tied for eighth with eight points. Arizona State had a big day to take the first-day lead with 82.5 points.

    Karen Freberg earned the USC women's eight points as she took second place in the women's shot put with a throw of 55-6 1/2 (16.93m), finishing behind Arizona State's Sarah Stevens who had a throw of 57-2 (17.42m). Freberg, who set the school record with a throw of 57-7 1/2 (17.56m) on April 29, came into the event as the second seed behind Stevens.

    Adam Midles placed second in the hammer competition to earn USC eight points and Bryant finished fifth to earn the Trojans four points in the team competition. Midles, the defending Pac-10 hammer champion, had a throw of 217-3 (66.21m) and Bryant threw the hammer 202-6 (61.73m). Kevin Swartz placed 11th in the hammer with a career-best throw of 176-8 (53.86m).

     

     

    Jesse Williams had a career-best wind-aided long jump of 24-9 1/4 (7.55m) to finish third and earn the Trojans six points. Tomorrow he will compete in his signature event the men's high jump, where he is the defending Pac-10 and NCAA champion, as well as the school record-holder at 7-6 1/2 (2.30m).

    The Trojans were shut out in the men's pole vault, but Brad Slinkard and Daniel Corrigan matched their career bests by clearing a height of 16-6 3/4 (5.05m) to finish tied for ninth and 10th respectively. Derek Scott placed tied for 15th at a height of 16-0 3/4 (4.90m) and Graham Bockmiller cleared 15-7 (4.75m) to place 22nd.

    The Trojans had a good day on the track as many athletes posted qualifying times for tomorrow's finals.

    In the men's 100m dash, Garry Jones won his heat with a time of 10.40 and Philip Francis placed second in his heat with a time of 10.36 to post the second and third fastest times on the day and qualify for tomorrow's finals. Roy Alugbue ran a 10.67 100m time to place 10th, but did not qualify for the finals.

    Virginia Powell tied her career-best legal 100m time of 11.26 to win her heat and qualify for tomorrow's finals. She will attempt to be just the second Pac-10 female to win the event three consecutive years. Carol Rodriguez won her preliminary heat with a wind-aided time of 11.39 to move on to the finals, as did Jessica Onyepunuka, who ran an 11.61.

    Rodriguez won her 200m heat with a time of 23.10 and Onyepunuka finished second in the same heat with a time of 23.82 to automatically qualify for tomorrow's finals. Rodriguez' time was the fastest on the day and Onyepunuka's the fifth-fastest. Whitney Graham (24.76) and Tara Davis-Quarrie (25.10) did not qualify for the finals.

    Francis was the only USC men's 200m runner to qualify for tomorrow's finals, as he won his heat with the day's best time of 20.74. Jeff Garrrison placed 10th with a time of 21.28, Garry Jones placed 11th with a time of 21.32 and Roy Alugbue finished 15th with a time of 21.84 to just miss the cut. There was only a 1.1 second differential between all of the runners in the men's race, compared to about two and a half seconds between the women's field.

    In the women's 100m hurdles, defending Pac-10 and NCAA champion Powell won her heat with a time of 13.19 and Candice Davis won her heat with the day's best time of 13.15 to move on to tomorrow's finals.

    In the men's 110m high hurdles, Kai Kelley won his heat with a wind-aided time of 14.12 and Blake Frazier placed second in his heat with a wind-aided time of 14.32 to qualify for tomorrow's finals. Logan Taylor ran a 14.61 to finish 12th, but did not qualify for the finals.

    Tunisia Johnson qualified for the 400m intermediate hurdles finals with a time of 1:01.78, but Talia Stewart (1:01.85) and Katie Kirst (with a career-best 1:04.00) did not qualify.

    Kelley was the only USC male 400m hurdler and he won his heat and had the second-fastest time on the day of 51.84 to qualify for the finals.

    Jeff Garrison and Lionel Larry both cruised into tomorrow's 400m finals by placing second in their respective heats, Garrison with a time of 46.94 and Larry with a time of 46.30. The women's 400m runners, Graham (56.96) and Davis-Quarrie (58.38) did not qualify for the finals.

    All three USC men's 800m runners qualified for the finals, with Duane Solomon posting the fastest time on the day (1:49.74), Raphael Asafo-Agyei the sixth-fastest in winning his heat (1:51.06) and De'Sean Cunningham the third-fastest time (1:50.37).

    Tomasz Babiszkiewicz had the fourth-fastest time in the men's 1500m run (3:47.78) to qualify for tomorrow's finals.

    The USC women's 4x100m relay team easily won their heat with the day's best time of 44.16 to move into tomorrow's finals.

    Kate Neeper was the lone Trojan to run in the women's 10000m race and finished 14th with a time of 37:22.40.

    Michelle Sanford placed 10th in the women's long jump at 19-0 (5.79m) and Katarzyna Klisowska 14th with a jump of 18-0 1/2 (5.50m). Also, Dennis Rice threw the javelin 195-6 (59.60) to place 13th in the men's javelin.