USC Women Finish 8th, Men 10th At NCAA Track & Field Championships

June 13, 2009

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FAYETTEVILLE, ARK. - Senior Irek Sekretarski took seventh in the men's 800m race, the women's 4x400m relay placed sixth and the men's 4x400m relay team seventh today (June 13) in the final day of the 2009 NCAA Track and Field Championships being hosted by Arkansas at John McDonnell Field in Fayetteville, Ark.

The USC women's team finished eighth in the team competition while the men's team placed 10th. It was the fourth time in the the last five seasons that both teams placed in the top 10 with the only blip being the women's 11th place finish last season. The men's team has had five-straight top 10 finishes and have accomplished the feat in 12 of the 15 seasons that Ron Allice has been the USC Director of Track and Field. The USC women's team has finished in the top 10 in four of the last five seasons and nine of the last 12, including winning the national title in 2001. This was the first time since 2004 USC went without an individual NCAA Champion and only the second time in the last 11 years, however, USC did have three second-place finishers (Eva Orban in the hammer, Corey White in the javelin and Ahmad Rashad in the 100m dash) and three other individuals finish in the top four of their event (Nia Ali in the heptathlon, Dalilah Muhammad in the 400m IH and Majula Wijesekar in the high jump).

'The kids really competed hard and we maximized what we could. Nobody comes out of here unscathed,' said USC Director of Track and Field Ron Allice. 'I'm proud of them. These kids, including the coaching staff, can hold their heads high. I hope the USC supporters are proud of what these kids accomplished, too.'

Senior Irek Sekretarski was the only Trojan competing in an individual race on the final day and he came through with a seventh-place finish in the men's 800m race with a time of 1:47.78. Sekretarski earned his first All-America honors in his final collegiate race. The native of Poland had a strong meet as he set a PR in the semifinals of 1:47.11 which is the eighth fastest 800m time ever by a Trojan. Sekretarski earned USC two more points in the men's team competition.

The women's 4x400m relay team of junior Elizabeth Olear, junior Shalina Clarke, freshman Dalilah Muhammad and junior Myra Hasson was next and they earned three points by finishing sixth with a time of 3:32.51. This group had a strong meet as they had the second-fastest qualifying time in the semifinals of 3:31.57 which was the sixth-fastest ever by run by a Trojan quartet and more than two and one-half seconds faster than their previous season best.

The men's 4x400m relay team of junior Jason Price, junior Nate Anderson, freshman Joey Hughes and freshman Duane Walker closed out the meet with a seventh-place finish with a time of 3:04.18 to earn the Trojans' final two points. The quarter-mile relay team's time was the eighth-fastest in school history. They improved nearly two seconds over their season-best time entering the championships. They also ran a 3:04.89 time in the semifinals on Thursday.

Seventeen Trojans earned All-America honors during the competiton, eight men and nine women. USC men earning the honor are: Nate Anderson (4x400m), Joey Hughes (400m & 4x400m), Jason Price (4x400m), Ahmad Rashad (100m), Irek Sekretarski (800m), Duane Walker (4x400m), Corey White (javelin) and Majula Wijesekara (high jump). Women earning All-America status were: Nia Ali (heptathlon), Kristine Busa (javelin), Shalina Clarke (4x400m), Zsofia Erdelyi (3000m SC), Myra Hasson (4x400m), Dalilah Muhammad (400m IH & 4x400m), Elizabeth Olear (4x400m), Eva Orban (hammer) and Brysun Stately (pole vault).

Final Team Standings (Top 10):

Men:

1.) Texas A&M - 48, 2.) Florida, Florida State, Oregon - 46, 5.) LSU - 37, 6.) South Carolina - 33.5, 7.) Stanford - 30, 8.) Arizona State - 29, 9.) Arkansas - 27, 10.) USC - 26

Women:

1.) Texas A&M - 50, 2.) Oregon - 43, 3.) Arizona State - 41, 4.) Florida State - 40, 5.) Texas - 36, 6.) LSU - 29.5, 7.) Michigan - 28, 8.) USC - 24, 9.) Florida - 23, 10.) Baylor, Tennessee - 21

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