USC's 4x400m Relay Team Records Seventh Fastest Time In School History

June 8, 2006

The men's 4x400m relay team ran the seventh-fastest time in school history today to qualify for Saturday's finals and lead the USC track and field team in the second 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.

The team of sophomore Kai Kelley, senior Jeff Garrison, junior De'Sean Cunninghan and sophomore Lionel Larry ran a 3:03.72 time to move into seventh place on the USC all-time 4x400m relay list and better their season-best time by over two seconds. Lionel Larry ran a 44.8 final leg to bring the Trojans from third into second, but could not catch Reginald Dardar of LSU down the stretch, whose team finished with the fastest time in the three heats of 3:03.50. The splits for the other Trojans were 46.7 for Kelley, 46.2 for Cunningham and 45.8 for Garrison. The 4x400m relay team will compete in the finals in the meet's last event on Saturday.

Freshman Eva Orban had the top throw in the women's hammer qualifying round to lead off the day for the Trojans with an automatic finals-qualifying throw over 64.0 meters on her second attempt of 214-3 (65.31m). She will compete in the women's hammer finals on Saturday. Junior Julia Rozenfeld threw the hammer 186-6 (56.84m), but did not qualify for the finals.

Brysun Stately easily advanced to Saturday's pole vault finals by being one of 16 females to clear a height of 13-5 1/4 (4.10m). The freshman passed at 3.75m, cleared 3.90m on her first attempt, made 4.00m on her second attempt and 4.10m on her first try.

In the women's shot put, senior Karen Freberg advanced to Saturday's finals with a throw of 55-4 1/4 (16.87m) which tied her for fourth in the qualifying round. She is the USC women's record-holder with a shot put of 57-7 1/2 (17.56m) set on April 29 this year.

Junior Noah Bryant advanced to the men's shot put finals on Saturday, while teammate junior William Denbo did not advance. Bryant had a throw of 62-1 1/4 (18.93m) to tie for seventh in the qualifying round.

Sprint specialist sophomore Carol Rodriguez advanced to Saturday's women's 100m finals by placing second in her first-round heat with a time of 11.32 and then placing fourth in her semi-final heat with a time of 11.36 to automatically qualify. Sophomore Jessica Onyepunuka ran fourth in her qualifying heat with a time of 11.52, which was good enough to advance to the semi-final round. She then ran an 11.55 100m time in the semi-finals and did not make the cuts for the finals.

In the men's 100m dash, senior Philip Francis placed fourth in his preliminary heat with a time of 10.47 to automatically advance to the semi-finals. In the semis, Francis placed fifth in his heat with a time of 10.34 to grab the one spot open in the finals after the top four in each heat automatically advanced. He beat out Ravyn Hayward of Northwestern State by .004 to get the final spot. Senior Garry Jones placed seventh in his qualifying heat with a time of 10.53 and did not advance to the semi-finals.

In the men's 800m semi-finals, sophomore Duane Solomon placed second in his heat with a career-best time of 1:47.46 to automatically qualify for Saturday's finals. Junior Raphael Asafo-Agyei placed fifth in the same heat with a time of 1:48.33 to finish 10th overall and did not qualify for the eight-man finals.

Senior Tomasz Babiszkiewicz was the only Trojan competing in the men's 1500m semi-finals and he did not advance to the finals, finishing 13th in his heat with a time of 3:56.79.

Competing for USC in tomorrow's finals for the men will be Adam Midles (hammer) and Jesse Williams (high jump) and for the women, NCAA record-holder Virginia Powell (100m hurdles) and the 4x100m relay team of Powell, Onyepunuka, Candice Davis and Rodriguez. Also seeing action in semi-finals action on the men's side will be Larry (400m) and Francis (200m) and for the women, Rodriguez (200m). Michelle Sanford will be competing in the women's triple jump qualifying, with the finals scheduled for Saturday.

USC has not had an athlete compete in an event that has reached a finals yet, but after three events completed in the men's competition (decathlon, long jump and 10000m), Arkansas and Wisconsin are tied for first with 14 points, followed by Nebraska and Arizona with 10 points each. In the women's team competition after two events (long jump and 10000m), Arizona State leads with 15 points, followed by Auburn with 14 points and Duke with 10.

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