USC Wins 15 Events At Northridge Invitational

March 13, 2010

The USC track and field team had another strong weekend with Brandon Estrada earning NCAA Indoor All-America honors in the pole vault at Fayetteville, Ark. and the Trojans capturing 15 events at the Northridge Invitational in Northridge, Calif.

Estrada, who set a PR with a pole vault of 18-0.5 last week at the Washington Last Chance Meet, cleared 17-6.5 (5.35m) to tie for seventh at the NCAA Indoor Championships. He tied for the fourth-highest clearance, but tied for seventh due to misses.

Also competing for USC at the NCAA Indoor Championships was Blake Shaw in the one-mile race. Shaw needed to finish in the top four of his heat or have one of the other best two times, but placed fifth in his heat with a time of 4:05.75 on Friday and did not advance to Saturday's final. There was only .22 seconds separating the top five runners in his heat, but he missed qualifying by .03 seconds. Last weekend Shaw became the first Trojan ever to run a sub-4-minute mile when he clocked a time of 3:59.85.

There were lots of highlights for the Trojans at the Northridge Invitational, but the sentimental one had to be Bryshon Nellum running a strong leadoff leg for USC's winning 4x400m relay team which posted a time of 3:11.24. Despite a quick start by the timer which caused a slow start for Nellum, he brought the stick at the first handoff to Jason Price in good shape. Price continued the Trojans' strong effort and Joey Hughes on the third leg for all intents and purposes put the race away with a 45.9 split. Duane Walker cruised through the final lap for the Trojan victory. For Nellum, it was his first race since March 1, 2008 after suffering from leg injuries the past two seasons.

Aaron Dan provided another big highlight by winning the discus with a PR of 198-5 (60.48m) which is the seventh-best throw ever by a Trojan and nearly a nine-foot improvement over his previous best throw. Colin Campbell placed fourth in the discus with a throw of 178-2 (54.32m) and Alex Adams placed ninth with a throw of 160-0 (48.78m).

Reggie Wyatt ran his first 400m IH for USC and won with a time of 51.29, almost three seconds better than the second-place finisher. Also winning men's events were Jacob Aronson in the javelin with a throw of 186-11.75 (56.99m) and the 1600m sprint medley team which won with a time of 3:26.51. USC actually took first-third in the event.

Also for the men, Trey Henderson took third in the hammer throw with a season-best mark of 206-4 (62.91m), Oscar Spurlock had the top collegiate time in the 110m HH of 14.20, while Brendan Ames was third with his best time as a Trojan of 14.32. Winning the event was former Trojan hurdler Logan Taylor with a time of 13.98. Tony Martinez had a PR of 4:12.30 in the 1500m and Michael Conoscenti a PR in the 3000m steeplechase with a time of 10:49.42. Adams PR'd in the shot with a mark of 54-4.75, as did Abe Markowitz with a put of 50-8.5. Tyler Ruiz took third in the high jump with a clearance of 6-8.75 (2.05m).

Marissa Minderler began the action for the women at Northridge on Friday by winning the hammer competition with a PR of 182-5 (55.60m), while Tamara Baumann took fifth with a throw of 166-8 and Ashley Pyka sixth with a throw of 148-8.

For the third consecutive week Aareon Payne ran the 100m dash and for the third straight time she won, this week with a time of 11.87. She also teammed with Judith Onyepunuka, Shalina Clarke and Myra Hasson to win the 4x100m relay with a good early season time of 45.16 and with Clarke, Onyepunuka and Dalilah Muhammad to win the 4x200m relay with a time of 1:36.15, nearly nine-seconds faster than the second-place team.

Muhammad won the women's 400m IH with a time of 59.35, nearly four-seconds faster than the second-place finisher. She also took third-place in the 100m HH with a time of 14.12. That event was won by Clarke with a time of 13.41.

Christine Cortez captured the women's 1500m race with a time of 4:34.01, while Leah Gaeta was third with a PR of 3:41.05, Kathleen Moloney was 11th with a time of 4:46.94 and Jessica Lundin 12th with a time of 4:52.56.

Kristine Busa won the javelin with a throw of 161-11 (49.37m), with Minderler placing fourth with a throw of 152-3 (46.42m). Ekene Anene took third in the triple jump 'A' competition with a leap of 36-6.75 (12.06m), while Candace Bailey won the triple jump 'B' competition with another PR of 37-2.75 (11.35m). Cara Bickers came in fifth in the 'B' competition with a jump of 34-11.75 (10.65m) and Katherine Chang took ninth with a PR of 33-11.75 (10.36m). Anene also placed third in the high jump with a clearance of 5-7 (1.70m).

USC also won the 1600m sprint medley with a time of 4:06.05, with Elan Hilaire and Kira Davis-Quarrie running 200m, Elizabeth Olear a 400m and Allison Rojewski an 800m leg. The 4x400m relay team of Olear, Hasson, Onyepunuka and Alexis Brown also won with a time of 3:49.88. Brown also ran a season-best open 400m of 60.22 to place ninth.

Also on Friday at Occidental, Zara Lukens and Dina Kitayama ran in the 10000m race and both set PRs. Lukens improved her fifth-place standing on USC's all-time list in the event with a time of 37.21, 50 seconds better than she ran last season. Kitayama, in her first career 10000m race ran a time of 37.25, just outside the USC top five.

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