Event Recaps From Day One Of The NCAA Track And Field Championships

June 11, 2003

Sacramento, Calif. - 2003 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field ChampionshipsSacramento State's Alex Spanos Sports Complex,June 11-14

Day One USC Results-All Preliminaries (except for Decathlon)

USC Men

The Trojans are a dark-horse candidate for the NCAA men's title, but they must get by Auburn and Arkansas, the prohibitive favorites. USC has lots of potential points stored up in the triple jump, long jump, high jump and 110m HH, but everything must go well for Troy to have a shot. After day one, USC has done nothing to hurt its chances for a high finish, as its big guns have so far advanced into the next round of competition. The last time the USC men finished in the top five was in 1999 (fifth). Its last top three finish was in 1997 (third). It's last NCAA Championship was in 1976. The last time the meet was held in California prior to 2003 was in 1968 in Berkeley and USC was the team champion that year.

USC Men's First Day Prelim Results

110m HH-Senior Ryan Wilson cleared the first barrier in his quest to become the first Trojan since Olympic silver-medalist Mark Crear to win the NCAA 110m HH title. He ran 13.73 to win heat three and automatically qualify for Thursday's semifinals. The two-time All-American ran into a negative 2.5 mps headwind but still had the third-best time of the day.

Long Jump-Sophomore Allen Simms is the key to USC's long-shot title hopes and he did his part on the first day of competition, bounding 25-9 1/2 to advance to Friday's long jump final. The mark was the third-best of the day behind South Carolina's Tony Allmond (brother of USC football cornerback Marcell Allmond), who jumped a windy 26-1 1/2 and Auburn's Leevan Sands, who jumped 26-0 1/4.

Pole Vault-Senior Jeff Ryan, who entered the meet with the nation's seventh-best vault at 17-10 1/2, moved into the finals along with 14 other competitors who all cleared the required height of 16-10 3/4 in Wednesday's prelim. Swirling winds were a factor as Ryan cleared 16-4 3/4 on a nail-biting third attempt, then cleared 16-10 3/4 on his second try. He will next compete in the finals of the pole vault on Friday at 6 p.m., as he will try to earn the 66th All-American honor for USC in the pole vault.

Decathlon-After four events, senior Shelton Davis is 17th with 3,689 points. Davis ran 11.38 in the 100m (778 points), long jumped 23-4 3/4 (845 points), shot putted 39-3 (604 points), high jumped 5-11 1/4 (636 points) and ran 49.75 in the 400m (826 points). Davis is on pace to break his previous personal best of 7,290 points. Friday's competition includes the discus, pole vault, 110m HH, javelin and the 1500m run.

Hammer Throw-The Trojans had two hammer throwers competing in Wednesday's prelims, as junior Michael Murray and freshman Adam Midles each made their NCAA debut. Neither advanced to the finals though Midles wasn't far off. His throw of 200-0 placed him 14th, about five feet away from qualifying in the top 12. Murray struggled in the ring, fouling three times to quickly bow out.

400m Relay-The young relay squad of sophomores Wes Felix and Phillip Francis and freshmen Garry Jones and Blake Frazier ran a season-best time of 39.75, but missed out on moving to the finals by just .10 seconds. The Trojans had the 12th-fastest time overall, but the eighth qualifier-George Mason University-ran 39.65. USC got nice relay legs from Felix and Francis, who nearly ran down his competition on the anchor leg.

800m Run-Raphael Asafo-Agyei finished up a promising freshman season as he ran 1:50.56 to take fifth in heat four of the 800m. His time was not enough to qualify him into the semifinals. Asafo-Agyei, who utilized a powerful late kick to win the NCAA West Regional Championship and to place second at the Pac-10s, finished 20th out of a tough field of 26th.

Women of Troy

The Women of Troy are coming off of four consecutive top three finishes-including the NCAA title in 2001-but will be hard-pressed to make it into the top 10 at the 2003 NCAA meet. USC is in rebuilding mode and will take breather this season before returning with a vengeance in 2004. The Women of Troy still have some elite performers, though, with possible NCAA title winners in javelin thrower Inga Stasiulionyte (she won the 2001 title), hammer thrower Julianna Tudja (she was third in 2001) and 100m runner Natasha Mayers (last year's 200m champ-she is nursing a sore hamstring)

USC Women's First Day Results

100m-Senior Natasha Mayers-last year's 200m champ and 100m runner-up-qualified for the 2003 100m final despite running with a tender hamstring that was hurt in the NCAA West Regionals on May 31. Mayers ran smartly, cruising to third place in heat three in the prelim with a time of 11.64, then qualifying in heat two of the semifinals by taking fourth in a time of 11.48. She now has a chance to extend USC's NCAA 100m win streak to five years in a row (Angela Williams won from 1999-2002) and can also break a tie with LSU for most women's NCAA 100m titles (both schools have four). The finals are on Friday at 8:55 p.m. Junior Miya Edmonson also competed in the 100m. She finished seventh in heat two (11.98) and did not advance.

Javelin-Junior Inga Stasiulionyete, who was the 2001 NCAA javelin champ and the runner-up in 2002, threw xxx-x to advance to Friday's javelin finals.

100m HH-Freshman Virginia Powell ran 13.48 to qualify third out of heat one of the 100m HH. She finished behind Lolo Jones of LSU (13.39) and Tiffany Ross of South Carolina (13.43). Her time is the 11th-fastest heading into Thursday's semifinal.

400m Relay-USC's relay squad ran without All-American Natasha Mayers, but nonetheless ran an admirable time of 44.78 in placing fourth in heat two. The Women of Troy squad of Virginia Powell, Miya Edmonson, Tracee Thomas and Alexis Weatherspoon finished 16th overall and did not advance to the finals of the sprint relay.

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