Freberg, Midles And Williams Qualify For NCAA Finals In First Day Of NCAA West Regional

May 26, 2006

Karen Freberg placed second in the women's shot put, Adam Midles third in the men's hammer throw and Jesse Williams third in the men's long jump competition today (May 26) at the NCAA West Regional hosted by BYU at Clarence F. Robinson Track in Provo, Utah to qualify for the 2006 NCAA Championships. There will be 26 USC men and women track and field athletes competing tomorrow at the NCAA West Regional finals with a chance to join them at the NCAA Championships to be held in Sacarmento, Calif. from June 7-10.

Freberg took second in the shot with a throw of 57-0 (17.37m), Midles third in the hammer with a throw of 214-7 (65.42m) and Williams third in the long jump with a career-best jump of 25-2 3/4 (7.69m) to automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships. The top five finishers (top three in relay events) in each of the four NCAA Regionals taking place this weekend, as well as a group of 5-8 other athletes chosen from a pool of the next best seven finishers in each event from the four regionals will advance to the NCAA Championships. The final group of athletes qualifying for the NCAA Championships will be announced on Tuesday, May 30.

In the team competition, the USC women have 10 points and are tied for sixth place, while the men have earned 12 points and are tied for seventh place after the first day (five events). Freberg earned the USC women eight points and Michelle Sanford two points (long jump), while Midles and Williams both gained six points with their third place finishes.

Virginia Powell won her 100m HH heat with a wind-aided 12.74 time, best on the day, to qualify for tomorrow's finals. She will be joined in the finals by teammate Candice Davis who placed second in her heat with a wind-aided time of 13.13. Davis had the fourth-best qualifying time.

Powell also qualified for the 100m finals with a wind-aided personal best of 10.93 to win her heat. Carol Rodriguez placed second in the same heat, also with a wind-aided personal best time of 11.05. Jessica Onyepunuka placed third in the second heat with a season-best time of 11.39, also qualifying for the finals.

Rodriguez set the USC school record and the NCAA West Regional record with a winning time of 22.23 in the women's 200m race to qualify for tomorrow's finals. Her time bettered Inger Miller's old school record of 22.33 set on April 17, 1993. The previous NCAA West Regional record was 22.91 by Tonette Dyer established in 2004. Onyepunuka also qualified for tomorrow's finals with a 23.77 time which matched her season best.

Philip Francis ran a wind-aided career best of 20.34 to win his heat and qualify for the men's 200m finals. It was the fastest time on the day.

Lionel Larry won the first heat in the men's 400m race with a personal best of 45.73 to qualify for Saturday's finals. Teammate Jeff Garrison placed second in the second heat to also qualify for the finals, with a 46.75 time. Larry had the top qualifying time and Garrison the fourth best.

Duane Solomon placed second and Raphael Asafo-Agyei third in their respective 800m heats to qualify for the finals tomorrow. Solomon had a time of 1:50.29 and Asafo-Agyei had a time of 1:49.72.

Tomasz Babiszkiewicz qualified for tomorrow's 1500m finals placing third in his heat with a time of 3:55.78. His time was the sixth-fastest qualifying time.

The men's 4x100m relay team of Garry Jones, Matthew Palmer, Francis and Roy Alugbue won their qualifying heat and had the best time of the day with a season-best 39.68.

Other Trojans that competed today but did not automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships were Michelle Sanford in the long jump (7th), Derek Scott in the pole vault (scratched due to a reoccurring achilles injury in his right leg), Brad Slinkard in the pole vault (NH), Daniel Corrigan in the pole vault (T-21st with a career best clearance of 16-7 1/4), Blake Frazier in the 110m high hurdles (17th, slowed by a hamstring injury), Logan Taylor in the 110m high hurdles (14th), De'Sean Cunningham in the 800m (11th) and Kai Kelley in the 400m hurdles (11th).

A recap of those competing for the Trojans in Saturday's 2006 NCAA West Regional finals:

Women:100m: Virginia Powell, Carol Rodriguez, Jessica Onyepunuka200m: Carol Rodriguez, Jessica Onyepunuka100m HH: Virginia Powell, Candice Davis4x100m: Virginia Powell, Jessica Onyepunuka, Candice Davis, Carol RodriguezPole Vault: Brysun StatelyTriple Jump: Michelle SanfordHammer: Eva Orban, Julia RozenfeldDiscus: Kate Hutchinson

Men:100m: Philip Francis, Garry Jones200m: Philip Francis400m: Lionel Larry, Jeff Garrison800m: Raphael Asafo-Agyei, Duane Solomon1500m: Tomasz Babiszkiewicz110m HH: Kai Kelley4x100m: Garry Jones, Matthew Palmer, Philip Francis, Roy Alugbue4x400m: Jeff Garrison, Philip Francis, De'Sean Cunningham, Lionel LarryHigh Jump: Jesse Williams, Nathan GwozdzTriple Jump: Inman BreauxShot: Noah Bryant, William DenboJavelin: Dennis Rice

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