Wyatt, Muhammad & Mance Earn All-America Honors At NCAA Championships
June 8, 2012
DES MOINES, IA - Reggie Wyatt placed third in the men's 400m IH, Dalilah Muhammad fifth in the women's 400m IH and Josh Mance fifth in the men's 400m dash to earned first-team All-American honors during the third day of action (June 8) at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at historic Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Ia. With one day left of competition in the championship, USC's women's team has scored 11 points and stands tied for 15th place, while the men's team has 10 points and is tied for 20th place.
The junior Wyatt became the first USC male to score at the NCAA Championships when he placed third in an exciting men's 400m IH race with a PR of 49.11 to earn the Trojans six points in the team competition. He battled closely down the stretch with Stanford's Amaechi Morton who won with a time of 48.79 and Jamele Mason of Texas Tech who took second with a time of 48.89. Both of those runners are seniors, with Wyatt having another season to try and capture the 400m IH title. Wyatt's time moved him from eighth place to fifth place on the Trojans' all-time list. It was also the second-fastest 400m IH time by a Trojan in the NCAA finals, trailing only Felix Sanchez' winning time of 48.41 in 2000. Wyatt made it 13 times that a Trojan has scored in the 400m IH at the NCAA Championships. He also placed eighth in the 2010 finals.
Muhammad was next in the women's 400m IH and she placed fifth with a time of 56.71 to earn the Trojans four more points in the team competition. It was the third time the senior Muhammad has scored at the NCAA Championships in the 400m IH, placing third in 2009 and sixth in 2011. She joins Natasha Danvers (1998-200) as a three-time All-American in the event and the only other Trojan to score in the event was Leslie Maxie in 1987. Muhammad finishes her USC hurdles career ranked third all-time with a best of 56.04 run last season. Her best time this season was the 56.19 which she ran in the semifinals.
Mance then placed fifth in the stacked men's 400m final with a time of 45.37 to earn USC's men four more points in the team competition. The winner was Tony McQuay of Florida who ran a blazing 44.58. Mance set a PR of 44.83 in the semifinals on Wednesday which is the fifth-fastest time in the U.S. this season. Mance made it the sixth time in the last seven seasons that the Trojans have had a male 400m runner score at the NCAA Championships, including Mance and Joey Hughes finishing sixth and fifth respectively in 2011.
Freshman Daniel Szabo was the first Trojan in action on the day when he competed in the men's hammer throw competition. He was in the first flight and would need to finish in the top nine after both flights to advance to the final round of three throws. Szabo uncharacteristically fouled in his first two attmepts, but with his season on the line he stuck a throw of 208-7 (63.56m) to end up in fifth place in his flight. After the first round of the second flight he had dropped to eighth place and things were starting to look bad. Following the second round of the second flight he occupied the final spot for the finals, but would need all seven throwers in the final round that were behind him not to improve. Well, Arizona State's Jordan Clarke took all the drama out of it with the first throw in the last round by throwing 208-11 and bumping Szabo out of the finals. By the time the third round of the second flight was over Szabo would end up placing 12th, 10 inches behind the ninth-place qualifier. USC has had a Trojan male score at the NCAA Championships 15 of the last 20 seasons, but the future looks bright for the Trojans in the event as Szabo was the top freshman finisher and the Trojans also have incoming junior college transfer Remy Conatser who has thrown 217-5 to set the American Junior College record. Earlier this season, Szabo had a best throw of 220-2 (67.10m) which ranks eighth on the Trojans' all-time list.
Competing for USC in finals tomorrow with a chance to move the Trojans up in the team standings are junior Alitta Boyd in the women's triple jump, sophomore Aaron Brown in the men's 200m dash, the women's 4x100m relay team of sophomore Loudia Laarman, senior Aareon Payne, freshman Akawkaw Ndipagbor and sophomore Jessica Davis and the men's 4x400m relay team of senior Joey Hughes, redshirt Bryshon Nellum, Mance and Wyatt.