Trojans Edge Out Bruin Men in Annual Dual Meet Showdown
April 28, 2007
For the first time in five meetings, the USC Trojans defeated the UCLA Bruins in the annual dual meet showdown. The meet proved full of dramatics and excitement as USC held a predominantly large lead throughout the meet. But, the Bruins charged back, sweeping several events, while a DQ in the intermediate hurdles by a Trojan runner helped pull the Bruins to within reach. With the score tied at 79 all after the triple jump, the meet title was to be decided in the final event of the meet - the 4x400m relay. USC pulled out the win, giving the Trojans their first victory over the Bruins since 2002 by a score of 84-79.
The Bruins swept three events (steeple, 5000m and discus) and had seven individual event winners. Many Bruins improved on their regional qualifying marks and several athletes moved up in the national rankings.
USC picks up five points in the Lexus Gauntlet competition, but UCLA has already clinched the 2006-07 title. The Bruins now lead by a score of 72-5-32.5.
100m - Brandon Smith was a surprise second-place finisher, running a just off his lifetime-best (10.68) in a season-best time of 10.69. Alex Pearlstone was fifth, running a season-best 10.85 (previous best 10.94).
200m - The Bruins picked up some crucial points in the 200m as Stan Griffin finished second in a time of 21.34 and Brandon Smith was third, running a season-best 21.58. Elijah Wells was fifth in a time of 21.84.
1500m - In a very close race, Austin Ramos, who is primarily a long distance runner, pulled away for the win in the final 200m, running 3:50.72. Laef Barnes was edged out for the final point of the race, finishing fourth in a time of 3:52.44. Marlon Patterson was fifth, running 3:54.44.
3000m Steeplechase - Henry Hagenbuch led a Bruin sweep, winning in a time of 9:13.81. Jake Matthews was second running over a 20-second PR of 9:14.46 (previous best 9:36.05). Marco Anzures rounded out the sweep in third-place with a time of 9:15.66. Kevin Sullivan was fifth in a time of 9:25.58.
5000m - With lots of shoving in the beginning of the race, Alex Crabill ended up the winner, running 14:41.47.Marco Anzures was second (15:04.90), Jake Matthews was third (15:04.91), Kyle Shackleton was fourth (15:05.82), Mike Haddan was sixth (15:15.63), Kevin Sullivan was seventh (15:29.40).
110m Hurdles - Kevin Craddock appeared to tie USC's Kai Kelly, running a season-best 13.76 (old best 14.01), but a closer look at the times (taking them to the 1000th of a second) gave Craddock third-place (Kelly ran 13.751 and Craddock ran 13.758). Darius Reed ran a huge lifetime-best of 13.97 (old best 14.09) to finish fourth. Craddock's time moves him into the top-15 in the NCAA, while Reed ranks in the top-20. Keawe Block was fifth in a season-best tie of 15.11 (old best15.22)
400m Hurdles - In one of the biggest events of the meet, the intermediate hurdles, USC's Kai Kellly originally was deemed the winner, but was later disqualified giving UCLA's Brandon Johnson the win. Kelly was disqualified because his trail leg was going around the hurdle instead of over during the first few hurdles of the race. Johnson won the event with a time of 50.76. Tracy Session placed third in a time of 52.87.
4x400m Relay - In the title deciding final event of the meet, the Bruin relay team of Elijah Wells, Tracy Session, Brandon Johnson and James Rhoades finished second (3:09.82), giving the Trojans their first dual meet win in five years.
High Jump - Joel Tuosto finished second in the high jump with a clearance of 6-6, while Dominique Easterling finished third, also with a clearance of 6-6, but suffered a hamstring injury, forcing him to miss the remainder of the high jump competition. It also knocked him out of the triple jump competition, which could have helped decide the meet. Matt Reuter was fourth (6-6) and Terrence Austin, who hadn't jumped since June of 2006 at the CA State high school meet, finished fifth, also with a clearance of 6-6. David Murphy was seventh with a mark of 6-2.
Pole Vault - Mike Landers won the vault competition with a clearance of 17-6 as he was just off his season-best of 17-6.50. He moved the bar up to 18-0 and had several good attempts, but just couldn't get over the bar. David Murphy was third with a vault of 16-0. David Shortenhaus was fourth, clearing 15-6, while Chris Bencomo tied for fifth with a mark of 15-0.
Long Jump - Joel Tuosto finished second with a season-best mark of 23-11.50 and Dominique Easterling was third with a jump of 22-10.50, also a season-best. Michael Johnson finished fourth, jumping 22-6.25. Casey DiCesare was seventh (21-1.50) and Scott DiCesare was eighth (21-0.50) as both posted season-best jumps.
Triple Jump - Michael Johnson won the triple jump competition with a mark of 50-11.50, while Steve Taylor was fourth with a jump of 48-0.
Shot Put - John Caulfield finished second with a season-best throw of 63-1.25 (old best 61-10.25), moving him into the No. 5 spot in the country. Darius Savage threw a lifetime-best of 59-3 (previous best 57-6.25) to finish fourth and Nick Robinson was fifth with a toss of 57-1.50.
Discus - Greg Garza won the discus competition with a mark of 197-10 to lead a Bruin sweep in the discus. Darius Savage finished second with a throw of 186-4 and Jason Rider was third with a toss of 177-11. John Caulfield was fourth with a mark of 176-10 and Josh Rider finished fifth with a mark of 166-10.
Javelin - Chris Burbach finished second with a mark of 196-6, while Greg Garza was third, throwing 181-0. Andrew Ninow, throwing the javelin for the first time at UCLA was fourth with a mark of 178-9. Jason Rider was fifth with a throw of 176-6 and Andreas Drbal was sixth throwing over a 25-foot lifetime-best mark of 170-4 (old best, 144-4).
The Bruins will now get ready to battle for the Pac-10 title beginning next weekend with the decathlon championships. The rest of the meet will be held May 12-13 as the post-season begins.