Busa Places 8th At The NCAA Championships|
June 6, 2012
DES MOINES, IA - Kristine Busa placed eighth in the women's javelin throw and three individual athletes and the women's 4x100m relay team advanced to NCAA finals during the first day of action (June 6) at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at historic Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Ia.
The redshirt senior Busa got things started on the right track for the Trojans as she took eighth place in the women's javelin throw to earn All-America status and give the Trojans their first point of the meet. Busa was in the second flight with the top nine finishers after three rounds advancing to the finals with three more throws per competition. Busa's first throw of 161-3 (49.13m) moved her into seventh place in the competition. She maintained her status through three throws, but did not have a better throw and entered the finals in seventh place. Nobody had a better throw in the fourth round, leaving the standings intact heading to the fifth round. In the fifth round one of the women trailing Busa landed a throw of 163-9 to drop Busa into eighth place. Busa's fifth throw was 158-2 and final toss 152-3 and she finished in eighth on the strength of her first throw. It turned out only two of the women posted their best throw in the finals, unfortunately one was by the thrower directly behind Busa.
Busa finished her USC career ranked second all-time by a Trojan in the women's javelin throw with a best of 179-1 (54.78m) at the 2009 European U23 Championships in Lithuania. Her best throw in a collegiate meet was 173-4 (52.84m) at the 2009 Mt. SAC Relays. She made an immediate impact on the program by moving into second place on the Trojans' all-time list midway through her first season, trailing only Inga Stasiulionyte's school record of 186-10 (56.95m).
Things then really go rolling for the Trojans then as freshman Alexandra Collatz was set to compete in the women's discus, freshman Marqise Lee in the men's long jump and the women's 4x100m was ready to roll.
The women's 4x100m of sophomore Loudia Laarman, senior Aareon Payne, freshman Akawkaw Ndipagbor and sophomore Jessica Davis posted a season-best time of 43.94 to place third in its heat, with the second-best time among the non-automatic qualifiers and would have to await the results of the third heat. As it turned out, USC was safe as second-place finisher in the third heat posted a time of 43.99, meaning the Trojans were into Saturday's finals with the seventh-fastest qualifying time.
Lee had a foul in his first attempt in the first flight of the men's long jump, then a clean jump of 24-2.25 (7.37m) in his second attempt to move him temporarily into fourth, but by the time he lined up for his third attempt he was in seventh place in the first flight. His third attempt was 23-11.50 and no improvement, so he was in a very tenuous position with another flight to go. When it was all said and done, Lee finished in 17th place and did not advance to the finals.
Lee was the first Trojan eliminated, but unfortunately not the last. The men's 400m dash was next on the track and the Trojans' three runners redshirt senior Bryshon Nellum, senior Joey Hughes and sophomore Josh Mance were in some very tough heats. Nellum was up in the second heat and he placed fifth in his heat with a time of 45.45 and was eliminated as only the top two in each heat plus the next two best times would advance to Friday's final. In the third heat, Mance used a strong stretch run to place second with a PR of 44.83 to take second and automatically advance to the finals. His time was the second-fastest on the day and the fourth-fastest ever by a Trojan. Hughes took fourth in the heat with a season-best time of 45.41, but ended up in 10th place, with Nellum's time good for 12th place. USC ended up with three of the top 12 runners in the championship field, but only Mance advancing. Hughes ends his 400m career at USC with the seventh-fastest 400m time of 45.05 on USC's all-time list and Nellum stands 10th on the Trojan list with a best time of 45.18. They all are expected back on the track tomorrow, though, as part of USC's NCAA-leading 4x400m relay team which will run in the semifinals.
Sophomore Aaron Brown was next in the men's 100m dash. He ran in the second lane of the second heat, with the first lane open as Texas' Marquise Goodwin was still competing in the long jump. Brown got out slow as he was shifting his weight backwards to avoid a false start when the gun went off and could never catch the field placing sixth in his heat and 16th overall with a time of 10.26. Brown had a legal best this season of 10.18 which ranks seventh all-time by a Trojan and ran a wind-aided 10.09 earlier this season. Brown will be back in action tomorrow in the 200m semifinals.
The freshman Collatz took 14th place in the women' discus throw with a best mark of 171-7 (52.31m) in her second throw. She had a strong series, throwing 166-2 in her first attempt and 168-11 in her third attempt. She was one of two freshmen that finished in the top 15 in the women's discus throw at the NCAA Championships this season.
Collatz finishes her outstanding first campaign for the Trojans as USC's freshman record-holder in the discus and second all-time by a Trojan with a best throw of 177-11 (54.24m) as well as taking sixth-place finish at the Pac-12 Championships.
The final event for the Trojans on the day was the men's and women's 400m IH. Junior Reggie Wyatt was up first in the men's 400m IH and he won his heat with a season-best time of 49.77 to advance to Friday's final. Wyatt finished the day with the third-fastest qualifying time. Senior Dalilah Muhammad was next in the women's 400m IH and she also left nothing to chance by taking second in her heat with a season-best time of 56.19, advancing to Friday's final. Her time was the fourth-fastest among the qualifiers.
USC will have seven athletes and the men's 4x400m relay team in action tomorrow competing in NCAA semifinal or final rounds: