Ali Wins Gold In Hurdles At World University Games In China
Aug. 23, 2011
2011 graduate Nia Ali won the 100m HH title, former Trojan Eva Orban placed second in the women's hammer throw and senior Joey Hughes placed sixth in the men's 400m race at the World University Games in Shenzhen, China, which ran from Aug. 12-23.
Ali cruised to the title by winning all three of her races and posting the only two sub-13.0 second times. First Ali won in the preliminary round with a time of 13.08, followed by a 12.79 in the semifinals and finally, a 12.85 to capture the title. Ali finished her career at USC by winning the 2011 NCAA 100m HH championship in June with a wind-aided time of 12.63 and second all-time on the USC charts with a best legal time of 12.73.
Hunger could not stop Ali from claiming victory in the women's 100m Hurdles. A practising Muslim, she observed the Ramadan holiday before her semifinal and final by fasting through the daylight hours, but she showed no sign of weakness as she took the gold in 12.85. "I am so happy," Ali said. "I'm starving but will be able to eat tonight." Silver was for Natalya Ivoninskaya (KAZ) in 13.16 and Christina Manning (USA) took bronze in 13.17.
Orban, a native of Hungary who won the 2008 NCAA hammer title while at USC, placed second in the women's hammer throw competition with a PR and Hungarian record of 234-0 (71.33m). Orban's previous best established the USC record at 230-2 (70.18m) on March 15, 2008. Fellow Hungary native Jenny Ozorai, entering her sophomore season at USC, had a best throw of 205-6 (62.65m) to finish seventh in her flight and did not advance to the final round. Ozorai had a best throw as a freshman of 212-3 (64.70m) to move into third place on USC's all-time women's hammer throw list. Ozorai placed sixth at the 2011 NCAA Championships with a throw of 208-9 (63.64m).
Hughes placed sixth in the men's 400m finals with a time of 45.99. He advanced to the finals by winning his preliminary heat with a time of 46.37 and placing third in his semifinal heat with a time of 46.06. Hughes earned All-America honors in the 400m dash at the 2011 NCAA Championships by placing fifth with a time of 45.64. Hughes' PR of 45.05, set at the 2011 Pac-10 Championships, ranks sixth all-time on the USC 400m list.
Aareon Payne, entering her senior season at USC, advanced to the semifinals in the women's 200m dash, but placed seventh in her heat with a time of 23.85 and did not advance to the finals. She won her preliminary round heat with a time of 23.94 and placed fourth in the second round heat with a time of 23.89 to advance to the semis. Payne also ran a leg on USA's 4x100m relay in the preliminary rounds which advanced, but she did not run in the finals when the USA team placed second. Payne earned 2011 All-America honors in both the 200m dash and as a member of USC's 4x100m relay team.
2011 graduate Brendan Ames placed 10th in the 110m HH semifinals with a time of 13.91 and did not advance to the finals. He advanced to the semifinals with a time of 14.10 in the preliminary round. Ames was a 2011 All-American as he took third place at the NCAA Championships with a wind-aided PR of 13.34. He finished his USC career fourth on the Trojans' all-time 110m HH list with a time of 13.39.