Track & Field
    USC Set For First Pac-12 T&F Championships

    Bryshon Nellum

    May 8, 2012

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    The No. 7 ranked USC men's and No. 16 ranked Trojan women's track and field team will be competing at the inaugural Pac-12 Track & Field Championships hosted by Oregon on May 12-13 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. This is also the site for the U.S. Olympic T&F Trials which will be held June 21-July 1. FOX Sports Net will air a two-hour tape delayed show with air times announced at a later date. Paul Sunderland will call the action with color commentary by Joanna Hayes and Tom Feuer. Drea Avent will provide additional commentary from the infield.

    USC AT THE CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP - The USC men's team has won 10 Pac-10 team titles and finished tied for third last season with 99 points. USC's women's team has captured one team title (1996) and last season placed fourth with 103 points. In the last 15 seasons the Trojan men have claimed four Pac-10 titles, the last coming in 2006. They have scored 99 or more points in 13 of the last 15 seasons. The USC women have finished no lower than fourth since winning the title in 1996 and in 21 of the 25 seasons of women's competition. The Women of Troy have scored 99 or more points in 14 of the last 16 meets.

    RETURNING PAC-10 SCORERS - USC has eight men and nine women on this year's team which scored at the 2010 Pac-10 Championships. On the men's side they are: Terence Abram (6th-4x100m), Viktor Fajoyomi (7th-TJ), Joey Hughes (2nd-200m, 2nd-400m, 6th-4x100m, 1st-4x400m), Josh Mance (4th-400m, 1st-4x400m), Bryshon Nellum (3rd-400m, 1st-4x400m), Blake Shaw (5th-1500m), Cooper Thompson (1st-javelin) and Reggie Wyatt (3rd-400m IH, 1st-4x400m). On the women's side they are: Lauren Blackburn (2nd-100m HH), Alitta Boyd (4th-TJ, 5th-LJ), Jessica Davis (2nd-100m, 1st-200m, 1st-4x100m, 6th-4x400m), Loudia Laarman (1st-4x100m), Marissa Minderler (8th-shot put, 1st-hammer, 6th-javelin), Dalilah Muhammad (2nd-400m IH, 6th-4x400m), Jenny Ozorai (8th-discus, 3rd-hammer), Aareon Payne (6th-100m, 4th-200m, 1st-4x100m, 6th-4x400m) and Jenna Puterbaugh (1st-4x100m, 6th-4x400m).

    TOP 25 TROJANS - Currently 18 Trojans rank among the NCAA top 25 in an event. USC men ranking in the top 25 are: Aaron Brown (T-4th-100m, 12th-200m), Devonte Stewart (19th-200m), Josh Mance (T7th-400m, 1st-4x400m), Joey Hughes (16th-400m, 1st-4x400m), Bryshon Nellum (3rd-400m, 1st-4x400m), Reggie Wyatt (3rd-400m IH, 1st-4x400m), 4x400m (1st), Daniel Szabo (5th-Hammer), Cooper Thompson (18th-Javelin). Trojan women ranking in the top 25 are: Aareon Payne (T-15th-200m, 14th-4x100m), Jessica Davis (14th-4x100m), Loudia Laarman (14th-4x100m), Akawkaw Ndipagbor (14th-4x100m), Dalilah Muhammad (6th-400m IH), Alexandra Collatz (18th-Discus), Jenny Ozorai (3rd-Hammer), Marissa Minderler (7th-Hammer), Jade Niemeyer (17th-Hammer) and Kristine Busa (17th-Javelin).

    BROWN NOW AMONG NCAA's ELITE SPRINTERS - Sophomore Aaron Brown won the 100m dash at the Trojan Invitational on March 24 with a PR of 10.25, just .02 seconds outside of USC's all-time top 10. He then won the Invitational 100m dash at the Texas Relays with a wind-aided time of 10.09 (+3.1) on March 31 which currently ranks as tied for the fourth-fastest time in the country. Brown had a strong first season at USC, despite battling through a nagging hamstring injury. He won his 100m semifinals heat at the Pac-10 Championships, but reaggravated a hamstring injury suffered on May 1. He tried to run in the 200m semifinals, but had to pull out of the rest of the championships. He recovered enough to compete at the NCAA Preliminary Rounds and advanced to the NCAA semifinals in the 100m dash with a time of 10.42. He ran 10.55 in the semifinals to finish 20th at the NCAAs. Brown won the 100m (10.33) and the 200m (20.53w) at the USC-UCLA Dual Meet on April 29.

    MEN'S RELAY TEAM EYES 3-MINUTE MARK - A definite strength of the USC men's team is its quarter-milers who form quite a formidable 4x400m relay team. Five different runners (Joey Hughes, Bryshon Nellum, Josh Mance, Reggie Wyatt and Duane Walker) have teamed up to post parts of 3 of the top 10 1600m relay times in USC history. Nellum, Hughes, Wyatt and Mance posted a time of 3:02.24 on March 24, the second fastest 4x400m relay in USC history, the NCAA leading time and a new Loker Stadium record. They now trail only the NCAA champion team of Travis Hannah, Curtis Conway, Martin Cannady and Quincy Watts which set the school record with a time of 3:00.58 on June 6, 1992 in Austin, Texas.

    NELLUM PROVING HE IS BACK - Redshirt senior Bryshon Nellum posted the top collegiate time in the 400m dash this season when he ran a 45.18 in the Invite Elite race at the Mt. SAC Relays on April 21, finishing behind only former Olympic finalists Martyn Rooney (44.92) and Jeremy Wariner (44.96). Nellum's time was a PR and the ninth-fastest 400m dash ever by a Trojan. This past weekend he was passed by two runners and currently ranks third in the county. Nellum has been showing signs all season that he might finally be all the way back from the injuries which have held him back ever since he won the 2007 National Track Athlete of the Year Award while at Long Beach Poly. For the first time since Nellum arrived at USC he is running pain free. In his first collegiate race on March 1, 2008 he pulled a hamstring causing him to miss the rest of that season. He then suffered a gunshot injury to his legs in the Fall of 2008 which wiped away the entire 2009 campaign. He was able to return for the 2010 and 2011 seasons, but continued to run with pain as bullet fragments were touching nerves in his leg. Each of those seasons ended with surgery to try and remove the fragments. Still, Nellum was able to show his pedigree by placing third in the 400m at the 2010 Pac-10 Championships and running a season-best time of 45.94 in the 400m which was the 15th-fastest regular season time in the country. Both the 2010 and 2011 seasons came to an end at the NCAA Preliminary Rounds when he was forced to shut it down due to pain in his leg. In 2011 before the injury, he again was able to place third in the 400m dash at the Pac-10 Championships with a collegiate best time of 45.56. Also this season, Nellum has run a 20.76 to win the 200m dash at the Tiny Lister Invitational on April 7 and ran the leadoff leg for the 4x400m relay team which posted the second-fastest time in school history of 3:02.24 at the Trojan Invitational on March 24. Nellum's PR in the 200m dash is still the 20.43 he ran as a high school senior.