Wijesekara, Henderson, Hughes & Wyatt Earn All-America Honors
June 11, 2010
EUGENE, ORE. - Manjula Wijesekara in the high jump, Trey Henderson in the hammer throw, Joey Hughes in the 400m and Reggie Wyatt in the 400m intermediate hurdles all earned All-America honors today (June 11) to lead USC at the 2010 NCAA Track & Field Championships hosted by Oregon at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. before 11,972 fans, a new NCAA Championship record. After three days of competition, the Trojan men are in third place with 26.5 points, while the women's team finished without a point for the first time since the 1981 season.
It was finals Friday at Eugene and the Trojans passed their exams with flying colors.
The redshirt senior Wijesekara was the first Trojan to compete and he cleared 7-0.25 (2.14m) in his first attempt, after passing at 6-6.75, 6-8.75 and 6-10.75. He then passed at 7-1.50 and entered again at 7-2.50 (2.20m) and cleared that in his first attempt to be one of the five remaining jumpers. Wijesekara then had his first miss in the competition at 7-3.75 (2.23m), but easily cleared it in his second attempt. With only three contestants left, they set the bar at 7-5 (2.26m) and Wijesekara missed his first and second attempt at that height. Derek Drouin of Indiana cleared it in his first attempt, but Paul Hamilton of Nebraska missed all three attempts at that bar. Wijesekara was then assured of at least a second-place finish, so he passed on his third attempt and moved the bar to 7-6 (2.29m) which would be a new PR if he could clear it and add pressure to Drouin. It wasn't to be, though, as he missed his jump and finished second. Still, Wijeseka earned his second consecutive outdoor All-America honors and gained eight points for USC in the team competition.
Wijesekara placed third in the high jump at the 2009 NCAA Championships with a jump of 7-3.75. He also won the Pac-10 high jump title this season at a height of 7-2.50 (2.20m). His best jump at USC was 7-5.25 (2.27m) in 2005 which ranks third all-time by a Trojan.
Junior Trey Henderson was next in the men's hammer throw and his first throw of 217-6 (66.30) put him in fourth place overall. He improved in his next throw to 219-5 (66.89m) to stand fifth after the second round of the second flight. He did not improve in round three with a mark of 212-10 (64.87m) and entered the finals in fifth. He did not improve in his final three attempts with a throw of 213-4 in his fourth attempt, a foul in his fifth effort and a throw of 216-9 in his final attempt to finish fifth. Henderson earned All-America honors and four points for USC in the team competition. Henderson had a strong season for USC posting the seventh best throw ever by a Trojan of 221-10 (67.63m) and winning the 2010 Pac-10 title in the hammer with a throw of 219-9 (66.99m).
The final field event for the Trojans and the last chance for the women's team to score was the women' pole vault. Senior Brysun Stately, a four-time All-American entered the competition at 13-9.25 (4.20m) with only 14 competitors left, after passing at 12-9.50, 13-1.50 and 13-5.50. She missed on her first attempt at 13-9.25 and then ran through on her second attempt. If she made her final attempt she would have been one of 11 women to advance, but she missed again and her season was over. Only three competitors cleared the next height of 14-1.25, with the winner Kylie Hutson of Indiana State ultimately clearing 14-7.25.
Stately finishes her USC career as the school record-holder in the pole vault with a best of 14-0 (4.27m) set winning the Dual Meet on May 1. Her highest finish at the NCAA Championships was a third place in 2007 while at Nebraska with a clearance of 13-7.50. Last season she placed ninth and earned All-America honors.
Freshman Reggie Wyatt was the first Trojan on the track and he placed eighth in the men's 400m IH with a time of 53.99 to earn All-American honors and a point for USC in the team competition. Wyatt was the only freshman to qualify for the finals. He had an outstanding first season as a hurdler for USC, running the eighth-fastest 400m IH time in school history of 49.46.
The final Trojan to compete was sophomore Joey Hughes in the men's 400m dash. He used a strong stretch run to move from seventh to third, finishing with a time of 45.23, .02 seconds behind the second-place finisher. Hughes earned All-America honors and earned USC eight points in the team competition. The dynamic sophomore set a PR of 45.15 in the semifinals which is the seventh fastest 400m time ever by a USC male.
'I felt good today,' said Hughes. 'I could have run faster, but I had fun, though. It is a blessing that I'm an All-American and hopefully I'll be a two-time All-American after tomorrow. It feels great.'
Athletes competing in finals tomorrow:
Oscar Spurlock (110m HH) and the men's 4x400m relay