USC Has Six Individuals And Relay Team Gain All-America Honors At NCAA T&F Championships

June 8, 2007


USC's Eva Orban, Adam Midles, Candice Davis, Carol Rodriguez, Jessica Onyepunuka, Kai Kelley and the women's 4x100m relay team earned All-America honors by placing in the top eight today (June 8) at the 2007 NCAA Track and Field Championships being hosted by Sacramento State at the Alex G. Spanos Sports Complex in Sacramento, Calif.

The women's hammer throw was the first event of the day and it provided USC with its first points in the championships as sophomore Eva Orban placed third with a throw of 218-3 (66.53m) to earn the Trojan women six points. Orban has been a scoring machine for USC in her two seasons, having not placed lower than third in any of the six postseason competitions she has been in. Senior Julia Rozenfeld also had reached the finals, but ended up 10th with a best throw of 194-2 (59.19m). Rozenfeld finished her career as a USC hammer thrower fifth all-time on the Trojan list, having a personal best of 203-1. The winner of the women's hammer was defending champion Jennifer Dahlgren of Georgia who had an NCAA Championship record-throw of 232-0 (70.72m). In 2006 at the NCAAs, Orban placed second to Dahlgren.

Senior Adam Midles was the first Trojan male athlete to score points in the team competition when he placed fifth in the men's hammer throw with a mark of 225-0 (68.58m), earning USC four points. For Midles it was his third straight season of scoring at the NCAA Championships, placing seventh in 2006 and sixth in 2005. The event was watched by a very spirited crowd on the back field with four of the top six finishers having their best performance of the season. Midles ends his USC career fourth on the Trojans' all-time hammer list with a best of 228-3 (69.57m) set earlier this season.

Freshman Shana Woods started the final day of competition in the heptathlon the same way she ended the first day with a second-place finish in an event, this time the long jump. Woods jumped 19-10 3/4 (6.06m) to earn 868 points and move into 12th place with 4,115 total points with two events left. In the next event, the javelin, Woods set a new PR with a throw of 130-6 (39.77m) to earn 663 points. So entering the final event, Woods stood in 13th place with 4,778 points.

Woods ran 2:27.14 in the 800m race to gain 729 points to finish in 13th place with a season-best 5,507 points. It improved her third-place standing on USC's all-time heptathlon list, beating her previous best mark at USC of 5,459 set at the Pac-10 Championships. Last year in winning the USTF Junior Heptathlon, Woods scored career-best 5,533 points, a record for a high school girl. Woods was the highest scorer among freshmen, as only one of the other four completed the competition and she placed 23rd out of the 24 finishers. Woods also ended up just 86 points away from achieving All-American honors.

Junior Lionel Larry won his heat in the men's 400m semi-finals with a time of 45.29 to automatically qualify for Saturday's finals. His time was the fastest qualifying time posted. Larry ranks third all-time on the USC 400m list with a time of 44.73 set earlier this season.

The women's 4x100m relay team of junior Jessica Onyepunuka, senior Candice Davis, freshman Shalina Clarke and junior Carol Rodriguez ran 43.69 to take third place and gain USC six points. It was the second consecutive season that USC took third in the sprint relay event.

Taking the track next for USC was junior hurdler Kai Kelley in the men's 110m HH and he placed seventh with a time of 13.86 to earn the Trojans two points. It was the second time scoring at the NCAAs for Kelley who placed third in 2006 as part of USC's 4x400m relay team.

Davis ran next in the women's 100m HH and she ran a career legal-best 12.90 to place second to Michigan's Tiffany Ofili who ran a 2007 NCAA-best 12.80. Davis' previous legal best of 12.91 was set earlier this season and today's result improved her second-place standing on USC's all-time sprint hurdles list. It also is the seventh-fasted 100m HH race by a Pac-10 female.

Rodriguez and Onyepunuka completed USC's day at the track by finishing fourth and seventh respectively in the women's 100m dash. Rodriguez ran an 11.40 time to earn five points and Onyepunuka ran an 11.46 time to gain the Trojans two points. Rodriguez placed third at the 2006 NCAA Championships in the 100m dash with a time of 11.38.

Trojans competing tomorrow in the last day of the NCAA Track and Field Championships will be Noah Bryant and William Denbo in the men's shot put, Duane Solomon in the men's 800m race, Lionel Larry in the 400m race and Ahmad Rashad in the men's 200m dash.

In the team scoring after the first three days of competition at the NCAA Championships, the USC men's team has six points and are tied for 27th place. The current leader Florida State has 34 points through 13 completed events. The USC women's team will not have anyone competing in tomorrow's finals and finished with 27 points at the championships, currently in second place behind Arizona State which has 38 points through 12 completed events. There were 149 women's teams and 145 men's teams represented in the competition.

The NCAA Track and Field Championships will be televised tomorrow on CBS-TV from 10 a.m. to noon.1

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