Trojans Have A Strong Showing At The Modrall Sperling Lobo Invitational

Jan. 21, 2006

The 15 members of the USC track and field team that competed at the Modrall Sperling Lobo Invitational in Albuquerque, N.M. today (Jan. 21) put on quite a show, led on the track by senior All-American Virginia Powell and in the field by sophomore Manjula Wijesekara.

The reigning NCAA indoor 60m hurdles champion Powell won the event here with a time of 8.08 which automatically qualifies her for the NCAA indoor finals. Junior Candice Davis placed third with a time of 8.35 and is a provisional qualifier for the NCAA indoor finals.

Powell also won the 60m dash with a provisional qualifying time of 7.31 to lead four USC runners in the top 10. Sophomore Carol Rodriguez placed seventh with a time of 7.50, senior Alexis Weatherspoon finished ninth (7.53) and sophomore Jessica Onyepunuka placed 10th (7.56). Also, sophomore Talia Stewart ran 8.86 to come in 13th.

Rodriguez finished third in the 200m dash with a provisional qualifying time of 23.65. Other Trojan women in the event were Weatherspoon (10th, 24.85), junior Whitney Graham (13th, 24.99) and Onyepunuka (15th, 25.02).

Junior Treani Swain was the only Trojan in the 400m and she placed third with a time of 55.03. Senior Tunisia Johnson, USC's only runner in the 800m race placed 21st with a time of 2:21.27.

The USC 4x100m relay team of Swain, Onyepunuka, Weatherspoon and Rodriguez placed third with a time of 3:41.07.

On the field, Wijesekara, the only USC male athlete entered in the meet, made his presence felt. Wijesekara, who has the third highest jump in school history in the high jump, won the event here with a jump of 7-3 3/4. He has been working on the triple jump for this season and in his first competition, placed second with a jump of 50-0 1/2.

For the female jumpers, junior Michelle Sanford placed third in the long jump (19-5 1/2), while senior Katarzyna Klisowska placed seventh (18-10 3/4). Freshman Brittany Daniels came in fourth in the triple jump with a distance of 41-2 1/2.

Freshman Bryson Stately placed seventh in her first pole vault competition for USC with a vault of 11-11 3/4. Senior transfer Karen Freberg came in third in the shot put with a throw of 52-3 3/4.

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