USC Track And Field Season Off And Running

Feb. 25, 2006

The USC men's and women's track and field teams competed in the 10th annual Rossi Relays today (Feb. 25) in Claremont, Calif. and had a solid showing, setting several meet records and one school record along the way.

Freshman Brysun Stately won the pole vault with a school-record vault of 13-1 1/2, besting the previous USC record of 12-11 1/2 set last season by both Melissa Astete and Brittani Bernhard. Stately was the California high school state champion in the pole vault last year. Senior Shannon Lewallen placed second in the pole vault, clearing 11-10.

Defending NCAA 100m hurdles champion senior Virginia Powell picked up where she left off last season, winning the 100m hurdles in a meet-record time of 13.05. Her teammates junior Candice Davis placed second (13.63), sophomore Talia Stewart third (13.99), senior Tunisia Johnson sixth (14.86) and freshman Katie Kirst 10th (15.52).

Stewart also won the 400m hurdles with a time of 1:01.75 and Kirst placed seventh with a time of 1:06.16.

Powell also led the USC 4x100m relay team to victory with a time of 44.45. Powell ran the first leg, followed by sophomore Jessica Onyepunuka, Davis and sophomore Carol Rodriguez. The USC 'B team' of junior Michelle Sanford, freshman Brittany Daniels, sophomore Jamila Marston and junior Whitney Graham placed second with a time of 48.60.

USC also won the 4x400m relay with a meet-record time of 3:40.94, led by Graham, Rodriguez, junior Tara Davis-Quarrie and Stewart. The USC 'B team' of Onyepunuka, Sanford, Daniels and freshman Melissa Margulies came in fourth with a time of 3:59.66.

Rodriguez ran a personal best of 11:45 to win the 100m dash, while teammates Graham finished fourth (12.13) and Davis-Quarrie fifth (12.25).

Junior Julia Rozenfeld won the hammer throw with a meet record distance of 195-06. Her teammate Karen Freberg, a senior, came in third with a throw of 169-06.

There were also many top performances by the men, including sophomore Kai Kelley who placed second in the 110m HH with a time of 14.39 and sophomore Logan Taylor who placed third in the event with a time of 14.59.

Freshman Nathan Gwozdz won the high jump by clearing 6-10 and senior Brad Slinkard won the pole vault at a height of 16-0. Also placing in the pole vault for USC were senior Jacob Hamman (2nd - 15-6), sophomore Daniel Corrigan (4th - 15-0), freshman Brandon Estrada (T-5th - 14-6) and sophomore Graham Bockmiller (T-5th - 14-6).

The men's 4x100m relay team of senior Garry Jones, senior Philip Francis, sophomore Christopher Peart and sophomore Roy Alugbue won with a time of 40.66. USC's 4x400m relay team of senior Jeff Garrison, freshman Russell Ellis, freshman Justin Lucas and junior Raphael Asafo-Agyei placed second with a time of 3:13.47. The 'B team' of Jones, Peart, Alugbue and Francis came in third with a time of 3:13.52.

In the triple jump, junior Inman Breaux placed second with a jump of 48-7 and junior Clark McGuire came in third with a jump of 48-2. Sophomore Phillip Allen placed seventh with a distance of 46-0.

Senior Noah Bryant came back strong from last year's season-ending surgery, after a hammer bounced off the screen and hit him in the face, by placing fourth in the discus (161-8) and third in the hammer (193-9). Junior Adam Midles won the hammer throw competition with a distance of 212-2 and came in 13th in the discus with a throw of 149-9. Junior Kevin Swartz placed eighth in the hammer (163-3) and freshman Jekabs Sliede placed 10th (140-1).

In Boston at the U.S. Championships, senior All-American high jumper Jesse Williams placed third in the high jump, clearing a height of 7-3 1/2.

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