USC Captured 5 Pac-10 Titles On Final Day Of Pac-10 Championships

May 17, 2009

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EUGENE, ORE. - USC's track and field team captured five titles today (May 17) led by Ahmad Rashad's wins in the 100m and 200m dashes as the men's team placed second and the women's team fourth at the Pac-10 Track and Field Championships being hosted by Oregon at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. The USC women team began the day with 26 points and in fifth place, while the men's team entered the final day with 16 points and in seventh.

Joining Rashad in winning 2009 Pac-10 titles were Oscar Spurlock in the men's 110m HH, Eva Orban in the women's hammer and the men's 4x400m relay team.

'I'm very happy with the way both teams competed all meet,' said USC Director of Track and Field Ron Allice. 'In any other year, the way our men's team performed here they would have won a championship.'

The first Trojans on the track were the women's 4x100m relay team of Shalina Clarke, Judith Oneypunuka, Shana Woods and Aareon Payne and they battled Arizona State down to the wire but came in second with a season-best time of 44.37. With the second-place finish, the Trojans' women's team picked up eight points and give them 34 in the team standings.

The men's relay team of Desmond Hamilton, Rashad, Joey Hughes and Matthew Palmer followed suit and took second place with a time of 39.89 to earn eight points and give them 24 points overall.

The next final for the USC women was the 100m high hurdles and USC picked up 15 more points as Clarke placed second with a time of 13.19, Nia Ali third with a time of 13.52 and Dalilah Muhammad eighth with a PR of 13.79.

Oscar Spurlock was next on the track in the men's 110m high hurdles final and he entered with the fastest qualifying time of 13.51w and showed it was no fluke as he won with a legal time of 13.56 to move him into seventh place on the USC all-time high hurdles list. Spurlock earned the Trojans 10 points and they now had 34 points in the team competition. Spurlock became the 13th Trojan to win the 110m HH since 1976, but the first since Ryan Wilson in 2003.

Just prior to that, the men's discus ended and the Trojans were shut out as Aaron Dan reached the finals, but placed ninth with a throw of 173-6 (52.89m) and Colin Campbell had a best throw of 166-4 (50.71m) to take 10th.

In the women's 400m dash, Myra Hasson placed sixth with a season-best time of 53.82 and Elizabeth Olear seventh with a time of 54.11. Together they earned USC five points and the women's total had grown to 54.

Just as that event was completed they announced the winner of the women's hammer throw competition and the defending NCAA Champion Eva Orban picked up her second Pac-10 title in the event with a throw of 221-1 (67.39m). Ashley Pyka placed 19th with a throw of 130-11, while Marissa Minderler had fouls in all three attempts. Orban's winning throw defeated the field by nearly 11 and one-half feet and earned USC 10 points to push the team total of 64.

Joey Hughes then blazed to a PR and a second-place finish in the men's 400m race with a time of 45.93, earning USC eight points in the process. Nate Anderson ran a season-best 46.67 to take fourth and gain five more points to give the USC men a total of 47 points.

The Women of Troy then gained seven more points as Onyepunuka placed fifth and Payne sixth in the 100m dash with times of 11.58 and 11.59 respectively.

Rashad then electrified the crowd by winning the men's 100m dash with a PR and fifth-best time ever by a Trojan of 10.13. For Rashad, it was his second Pac-10 100m title (2007) and USC's 14th in the event since 1976. His time is the third fastest by a collegian this season entering the weekend's action.

In the women's 800m race, USC's only entrant Frida Flodstrom placed fourth with a time of 2:07.38 to earn five points. The women's team now had 76 points and moved into third place.

The fans were then treated to an exciting men's 800m final which saw Olympican and defending Pac-10 champion Andrew Wheating of Oregon thrill the fans by outleaning the Trojans' Irek Sekretarski at the wire, 1:49.83 to 1:49.85. Blake Shaw also had a strong race to capture fourth with a time of 1:50.56. USC gained 13 more points in the event and now had 70 points and also moved into third place in the team competition.

Muhammad then placed second in the women's 400m intermediate hurldes with a time of 58.21 to earn eight points and increase the team total to 84, still in third place, nine behind Stanford and 32 behind Oregon.

Duane Walker placed fifth in the men's 400m IH with a time of 51.17 to earn four points. USC's men's team now had 74 points and remained in third, three points behind Stanford and 64 behind Oregon with five events remaining to be scored.

The USC women then took third, fourth and seventh in the women's 200m dash to gain 13 points and moved into second with 97 points, four ahead of Stanford with five events left to score. Clarke took third with a legal PR of 23.52, Payne fourth with a time of 23.62 and Onyepunuka seventh with a time of 24.08.

Rashad then became a two-time winner on the day racing to victory in the men's 200m dash with a time of 20.82, duplicating his freshman feat in 2007 as Pac-10 Champion in both the 100m and 200m. He made it three times in the last four seasons that a Trojan won the conference sprint double as Philip Francis accomplished it in 2006. Joey Hughes also ran in the 200m dash today and placed fifth with a time of 21.32. Together they gained 14 points for USC which now had 88 points and took over second place, 11 points ahead of Stanford.

In the women's pole vault both Brysun Stately and Kenisha Strong no heighted, so the Trojans came out of that event still in second, 11 points ahead of Stanford. The triple jump was next to end and Ekene Anene had a jump of 39-4 1/2 to place 11th, but Stanford took second, third and fifth to gain 18 points and retake second.

Zsofia Erdelyi, who took third place in the 3000m steeplechase yesterday, came back to capture seventh in the women's 5000m race for the second straight season with a season-best time of 16:40.99. She earned two points for USC, but Stanford gained 19 points in the event to open up a 130-99 lead in the race for second with just two events left, the 4x400m and women's discus.

Katalin Mate then placed fifth in the women's discus with a throw of 164-11 (50.26m) while Pyka placed ninth with a throw of 145-4 (44.29m). Mate earned five points while the ASU throwers gained 16 to overtake USC for third place 104-103 with just the women's 4x400 relay race remaining.

Manjula Wijesekara placed second in the men's high jump with a clearance of 7-1 (2.16m) to earn eight points and boost the Trojan total to 96. He also took second in the high jump at the 2005 Pac-10 Championships before sitting out two seasons with health and family issues.

After the men's 5000m race in which USC had no runners, the Ducks lead the men's race with 152 points, USC was second with 96 points and Stanford was third with 89 points with just the 4x400m and the men's triple jump remaining.

In the men's triple jump, Wijesekara placed third with a PR of 51-5 3/4 (15.69m), while Aven Wright placed fourth with a jump of 51-3 1/2 (15.63m) to earn USC 11 points. USC now had 107 points to clinch second going into the final event.

The women's 4x400m relay team of Clarke, Erica Alexander, Muhammad and Hasson came in fourth with a time of 3:37.30 to earn five points, while Arizona State took second to clinch third place.

The USC men's relay team of Jason Price, Anderson, Hughes and Walker closed out the meet in fashion with a runaway victory in the 4x400m race with a season-best time of 3:06.30. USC earned 10 more points to finish the meet with 117, good for second.

Final 2009 Pac-10 Championship Results:

Women:1.) Oregon 165.5, 2.) Stanford 138, 3.) Arizona State 112, 4.) USC 108, 5.) UCLA 79.5, 6.) Washington 63, 7.) California 58, 8.) Arizona 49, 9.) Washington State 44

Men:1.) Oregon 158, 2.) USC 117, 3.) Stanford 93, 4.) Washington State 91, 5.) UCLA 90, 6.) Arizona State 87, 7.) California 66, 8.) Arizona 64, 9.) Washington 52

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