Powell Sets NCAA 100m HH Record In First Day Of Competition At The NCAA Championships

June 7, 2006

Senior Viginia Powell broke the NCAA women's 100m high hurdles record today to lead the USC track and field team in the first day of action at the 2006 NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Outdoor Track and Field Championships being hosted by Sacramento State at the Alex G. Spanos Sports Complex in Sacramento, Calif.

Powell, the U.S. Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) West Female Track Athlete of the Year, won her semi-final heat in the 100m HH in a record time of 12.55, breaking the collegiate record of 12.61 she had co-held with Gail Devers (1988). Powell had tied the record last summer at the U.S. Track and Field Championships and matched it again at the 2006 NCAA West Regional on May 27. The time was also the seventh fastest ever by an American female. By winning her heat, Powell moves into the women's 100m HH finals to be held on Friday, June 9. The Honda Award finalist is attempting to win the indoor and outdoor sprint hurdles titles for the second consecutive year, winning the 60m indoor hurdlers in 2005 and again in 2006 with an NCAA-record time of 7.84, and winning the 2005 NCAA outdoor 100m HH crown.

Teammate junior Candice Davis was just edged out for fourth place in her heat, with the top four semi-final winners in each heat advancing to the finals. She ran 13.28 in the semis which fell short of claiming the one remaining slot for the nine-women finals. To reach the 100m HH semi-finals, Powell won her preliminary heat with a time of 12.93, the fastest qualifying time, and Davis finishing second in her heat with a time of 13.25, tied for the sixth-fastest qualifying time.

Junior Adam Midles was the first Trojan to qualify for the finals when he placed sixth in the qualifying round of the men's hammer throw at a distance of 212-11 (64.89). The men's hammer finals will be held on Friday, June 9.

The men's 4x100m team of senior Garry Jones, freshman Matthew Palmer, senior Philip Francis and freshman Roy Alugbue ran a season-best 39.60, but it was not good enough to qualify for the finals. The Trojans placed 10th in the 18-team field, but only the top eight teams advanced.

The women's 4x100m team of Powell, sophomore Jessica Onyepunuka, Davis and sophomore Carol Rodriguez won their heat with a time of 43.70 to automatically qualify for Friday's final. They had the fifth-fastest qualifying time on the day.

Rodriguez placed second in her women's 200m heat to automatically qualify for Friday's semi-finals. Her time on the day was 23.29 with the top three from each heat advancing.

Francis also came in second in his men's 200m heat to automatically qualify for Friday's semi-finals. He ran 21.03 today.

In the men's 400m race, sophomore Lionel Larry won his heat with a time of 46.06 to automatically qualify for Friday's semi-finals. Senior Jeff Garrison placed fourth in his heat with a time of 46.80 and did not advance.

Junior Raphael Asafo-Agyei and sophomore Duane Solomon finished second and third respectively in their men's 800m qualifying heat to advance to Thursday's semi-finals. Asafo-Agyei ran 1:49.40 and Solomon 1:49.41.

USTFCCCA West Field Athlete of the Year senior Jesse Williams was one of 13 high jumpers to qualify for Friday's high jump finals by clearing 7-1 1/2 (2.17m). Williams passed at the first two heights and cleared 2.14m and 2.17m on his first try. He was one of five finalist not to miss a jump on the day and one of two qualifiers to get there on just two jumps.

Sophomore Kai Kelley placed sixth in his qualifying heat of the men's 110m HH with a time of 14.20 and missed reaching the semi-final round by .01 seconds.

Junior Kate Hutchinson, the USC school record-holder in the discus at 189-5 (57.73), finished in 14th place, with the top 12 competitors advancing to the finals. She fouled on her first throw, threw 160-5 (48.89m) on her second throw and fouled on her final attempt.

Seeing their first action tomorrow for the Trojans on the women's side will be Eva Orban (hammer), Julia Rozenfeld (hammer), Brysun Stately (pole vault) and Karen Freberg (shot). For the men, Noah Bryant (shot), William Denbo (shot), Tomasz Babiszkiewicz (1500m) and DeSean Cunningham (4x400m). Michelle Sanford, who will compete in the women's triple jump, has qualifying on Friday, June 9, with the finals scheduled for Saturday, June 10.

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