Ali Is 1st, Woods 3rd In Heptathlon After Day 1 At RJ/JJK Invitational

April 9, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CALIF. - Junior Nia Ali leads and junior Shana Woods is in third place in the women's heptathlon while senior Eva Orban took second in the women's hammer throw to lead USC in the first day of competition at the Rafer Johnson/Jackie Joyner-Kersee Invitational being held at UCLA in Westwood, Calif.

The Trojan pair of Ali and Woods combined to win each of the four events, with the final three events (long jump, javelin throw and 800m race) between just four athletes taking place tomorrow beginning at 10 a.m.

Ali has a first-day total of 3,546 points, 60 points off her career-best first-day total of 3,606 set at the 2008 Pac-10 Championships where she had to withdraw from the competition with a sore hamstring.

The first event was the 100m high hurdles and Ali took the race with a time of 13.66 to garner 1,027 points. She then won the high jump with a clearance of 5-6 (1.68m), good for 830 points. Ali set a personal best in winning the shot put competition with a mark of 44-8 (13.61m) to gain 768 more points. She finished the day earning 921 more points by taking second in the 200m dash with a time of 24.63.

Woods won the 200m dash to earn 957 points with a time of 24.25 and ended the day with 3,178 points, good for third place. She also placed second in the 100m HH with a season-best time of 13.97 (983 points), third in the shot put with a mark of 32-0 3/4 (514 points) and third in the high jump with clearance at 5-2 1/2 (724 points).

Ali and Woods are looking to reach at least 5,050 points to get a provisional regional qualifying standard or 5,500 points to automatically qualify. Woods ranks third on USC's all-time heptathlon list with a score of 5,507 set on June 8, 2007.

Orban placed second in the women's hammer throw invite, first among collegiate throwers, with a mark of 200-11 (61.25m). Orban only had two clean throws on the day. He season-best mark is 222-10 and she owns the USC record with a throw of 230-3. Sophomore Marissa Minderler placed ninth with a throw of 158-4 (48.25m).

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