USC Women Place 7th At 2015 NCAA T&F Championships|
June 13, 2015
EUGENE, ORE. - USC's 4x400m relay placed second, the 4x100m relay third and Dior Hall finished third in the 100m HH with a world junior record to highlight the final day of women's action at the 2015 NCAA Track & Field Championships hosted by Oregon at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. today (June 13) before 11,734 fans. USC finished seventh overall with 34 points, its most scored at the NCAA Championships since scoring 38.5 points in 2006. The seventh-place finish was also USC's highest since taking sixth in 2011. The 49 points USC has registered at the national meet in Director of Track & Field Caryl Smith Gilbert's first two seasons is the most in a two-year span since totaling 65.5 points combined in 2006 and 2007. USC's men took fifth place in the men's championship making it the first top 10 finish for both squads since the women were eighth and the men 10th in 2009.
The first Trojans on the track on the final day were the 4x100m relay team of freshman Dior Hall, freshman Ky Westbrook, junior Alexis Faulknor and freshman Deanna Hill. They brought the stick around the track in a time of 43.27, good for third and earned USC its first six points in the meet. The time was USC's second-fastest this season and the fifth-fastest all-time by a Trojan quartet, not bad for three freshmen and a junior. It was the fifth consecutive season in which a USC's 4x100m relay team scored at the NCAA Championships and the fourth-fastest ever run by the Trojans in the NCAA finals.
Hall then competed in the women's 100m HH final and took third with a PR and world junior record of 12.74 (+1.7). That time also bettered her USC freshman record and is just .01 seconds out of second on USC's all-time list held by NCAA champion Nia Ali of 12.73. USC picked up another six points in the team competition. The only other Trojan freshman to score in the 100m HH was USC record-holder Virginia Powell in 2003 who ran 13.07. Ali was the last Trojan to score in the event when she won the NCAA title in 2011. The previous world junior record was 12.84 set by Aliuska Lopez of Cuba in 1987 and the previous U.S. junior record was 12.87 set by Kendell Williams in 2014.
Westbrook was next in the 100m dash and she placed fourth with a wind-aided PR of 11.11 (+3.1w) to earn USC five more points. She became the highest Trojan scorer in the 100m dash at the NCAA meet since Carol Rodriguez also finished fourth in 2007. Westbrook's time was the third-fastest ever in the finals by a USC runner, trailing only all-time great and school record-holder Angela Williams who ran 11.04 in 1999 and 11.05w in 2001.
The women's 400m IH was next for the Trojans and USC had the pair of junior Jaide Stepter and sophomore Amalie Iuel in the field. Stepter in lane two finished eighth with a time of 57.12 and Iuel in lane three placed seventh with a time of 56.99. They combined to score three points in the team competition. The pair became the fourth and fifth Trojans to score in the event, joining Leslie Maxie (1987), school record-holder Natasha Danvers (1998, 1999, 2000) and Dalilah Muhammad ( 2009, 2011, 2012).
The last Trojans to get to compete at the 2015 NCAA Championships were junior Tera Novy and senior Alexandra Collatz in the women's discus throw. After having to wait the entire week for their chance to throw, the first three days of the competition must have seemed like weeks. They finally began, following the conclusion of the 4x100m relay, but weren't done until everything was done on the day except for the 4x400m relay. Collatz was first and had a throw of 181-8 (55.37m). That temporarily placed her second midway through the first round of the second flight. She would foul in her next two attempts and go to the finals in sixth. Novy opened with a throw of 185-0 (56.39m), followed by 182-1 (55.50m) and then 178-7 (54.44m). She also advanced to the finals in fourth place, with three throws left for nine competitors. Novy improved in her fourth attempt to 191-3 (58.31m) to temporarily move into third, but after her last two throws of 186-4 and 179.2, she would finish fourth. Novy's fourth-place finish and 191-3 mark are the best ever at the NCAA Championships by a Trojan, bettering Collatz' fifth-place finish in 2013 with a throw of 181-11. Collatz had clean throws of 178-10 and 180-3 in her fourth and fifth attempts, but not an improvement. Two competitors passed her on their fifth throws and when Collatz had a foul in her final attempt she would finish eighth. Before Collatz arrived at USC only two other Trojans had scored in the event and Collatz today became a three-time All-American. Novy and Collatz earned USC six points.
USC entered the meet's final event tied for ninth with 26 points with several of the team in front of them in the 4x400m field. USC's team of Stepter, Iuel, freshman Kendall Ellis and senior Vanessa Jones looked to bounce back from their individual events and move the Trojans up in the team standings. Stepter handed off the baton in what looked like fifth place and Iuel finished her lap in third. Ellis moved the Trojans into second place, but over three seconds behind the leader. Jones ran an amazing 50.60 anchor lap to close the gap, but the Trojans had to settle for second with a time of 3:29.97 and earn eight points. Florida won with a time of 3:28.12 and Florida State's surprising third-place finish in the event was enough to hold off USC for sixth in the team standings.
USC first-team All-Americans: Alexandra Collatz (discus), Randall Cunningham (high jump), Andre De Grasse (100m, 200m, 4x100m), Kendall Ellis (4x400m), Alexis Faulknor (4x100m), Dior Hall (100m HH, 4x100m), Deanna Hill (4x100m), Amalie Iuel (400m IH, 4x400m), Adoree' Jackson (long jump, 4x100m), Vanessa Jones (4x400m), BeeJay Lee (4x100m), Conor McCullough (hammer), Tera Novy (discus), Nick Ponzio (shot put), Jaide Stepter (400m IH, 4x400m), Just'N Thymes (4x100m) and Ky Westbrook (100m, 4x100m).
Women's Top 10: 1.) Oregon (59), 2.) Kentucky (50), 3.) Texas A&M (47), 4.) Arkansas (43), 5.) Georgia (41), 6.) Florida State (35), 7.) USC (34), 8.) Florida (32), 9.) Kansas State and Texas (28).
Men's Top 10: 1.) Oregon (85), 2.) Florida (56), 3.) Arkansas (53), 4.) LSU (45), 5.) USC (40.5), 6.) Texas A&M (27), 7.) Texas (26), 8.) Mississippi State (20), 9.) Texas Tech (18), 10.) Penn State and Illinois (17).