USC Sweeps Dual Meet For The First Time Ever

May 2, 2009

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LOS ANGELES, CALIF. - The USC men's and women's track and field teams posted more than 20-point victories today (May 2) to capture the Trojans' first sweep in the annual USC-UCLA Dual Meet since the women began competing in 1984. In addition to the historic sweep, the victory also clinched the 2008-09 Lexus Gauntlet Challenge for USC over UCLA, 65-45. It seems fitting that USC's track and field program which has won more NCAA Championships than any other Trojan sport would secured the Gauntlet Trophy for USC.

'I don't think we've had a team compete this well across the board and we've had some great teams,' said USC's Director of Track and Field Ron Allice.

The USC women defeated UCLA 93-70, while the men won 92-71. The USC women's team entered the day with an 8-1 lead as Eva Orban won the hammer throw competition yesterday with a meet-record throw of 226-10 and Marissa Minderler took second, while the Trojan men's team trailed 5-4 as UCLA's Boldizsar Kocsor won the hammer, while Trojans Trey Henderson and Mike Curiel took second and third respectively.

Sophomore Zsofia Erdelyi was one of the stars of the day and she started the second day off in style for the Trojans by winning the women's 5000m race with a time of 17:05.80 while sophomore Shea Wickland took third with a time of 17:37.51 to give USC an early 14-4 lead.

Erdelyi came back in the meet's 17th event and became the only Trojan two-time individual winner by taking the women's 1500m race with a season-best and regional-qualifying time of 4:23.18. And it was that victory which pushed the Trojans over the top to clinch the meet at 85-64 with two events to go.

The USC men's team didn't clinch the Dual Meet sweep until the 18th completed event when the 4x400m relay team of junior Jason Price, junior Nate Anderson, freshman Joey Hughes and freshman Duane Walker cruised to victory with a time of 3:11.21 to provide the Trojans with an 84-70 lead, with 83 points needed for the victory.

The women's team lead wire-to-wire with junior Katherine Ellis taking second in the 3000m steeplechase with a new PR of 11:07.26 which moved her from seventh to sixth on the USC all-time list and earning USC three more points. Next was the javelin and sophomore Kristine Busa took second (165-0) and redshirt freshman Marissa Minderler third (153-0, PR and regional qualifying mark) to give USC a 21-15 lead after five events.

In the high jump, USC again took second and third with Nia Ali taking second with a PR of 5-10 3/4 (1.80m) which moved her into eighth place on USC's all-time list, while freshman Dalilah Muhammad cleared 5-7 (1.70m) to place third in her first attemp at high jumping as a collegian. She had a high school PR of 5-9. Junior Akene Anene also cleared 5-7 to place fourth in her first official meet of the season.

After junior Brysun Stately took second in the pole vault with a clearance of 13-3 3/4 (4.06m), USC had a 28-26 lead after six events, the closest the Bruins could come all day.

The afternoon events kicked off with the women's 4x100m relay won by the Trojans quartet of freshman Erica Alexander, junior Judith Onyepunuka, freshman Aareon Payne and junior Shalina Clarke with a season-best time of 44.39 to earn five points.. USC then went 1-2 in the women's 100m HH to gain eight more points and a 41-27 lead. Clarke won the hurdles with a season-best time of 13.24 and Nia Ali took second with a season-best time of 13.29. Muhammad continued her busy day by placing fourth with a new PR of 13.84

USC then took second and third in the shot put and 400m races to lead 49-37 after 10 events. In the shot put, Ali took second with a mark of 44-5 1/2, while senior Katalin Mate took third with a throw of 44-1 1/4, tying her season best. Minderler did not score in the event, but placed fourth with a PR of 44-0. Bruin All-American Nicole Leach won the 400m race, but Trojan junior Elizabeth Olear took second with a PR of 53.40, while junior Myra Hasson placed third with a time of 54.22.

The Trojans then went 1-2 in the 100m dash with Onyepunuka winning with a PR of 11.46 and Payne running a season-best 11.48 to tie her PR. Alexander placed sixth, but posted a season-best time of 11.90. USC had now opened up a 57-38 lead.

Junior Shana Woods took second in the long jump with a winded-aided season best of 20-4 3/4 (6.22m) and sophomore Frida Flodstrom took second in the 800m with a season-best time of 2:06.65, each earning USC three points. In addition, freshman Anniya Louis placed fourth in the 800m race with a season best of 2:10.54.

Mate then won the discus with a throw of 158-10 (48.42m) to earn USC five more points and a 68-54 lead after 14 events. UCLA's Leach and USC's Muhammad then treated the crowed to an exciting 400m IH race with 2007 NCAA Champion and 2008 NCAA runner-up Leach edging the Trojan freshman 56.33 to 56.58. Muhammad's second-place time was a new PR and moved her into third place on USC's all-time list. The times were the second and fourth-fastest run by a college runner this season and for Muhammad, it was the 12th-fastest all-time by a junior (under 20 years old). USC led 71-60 after this event.

USC for all intents and purposes put the meet away with an impressive sweep in the 200m race as Payne placed first with a time of 23.36, Clarke second with a time of 23.46 and Onyepunuka third with a time of 23.59. The marks were all season bests but were winded aided. With those nine points, USC led 80-60 setting up Erdelyi's clinching run in the 1500m race.

USC then earned five more points in the 4x400m relay as the team of Clarke, Alexander, Hasson and Muhammad won with a time of 3:36.82. The Trojans final three points came from Anene who took second in the triple jump with a leap of 39-7 (12.07m) for the winning margin of 93-70.

The USC men's team trailed 14-4 after the Bruins began the day with a sweep in the 3000m steeplechase, but cut five points off their lead by winning the 4x100m relay with a time of 39.59, the top mark in the conference this season. The Trojans carrying the stick around the track were junior Desmond Hamilton, junior Ahmad Rashad, Hughes and senior Matthew Palmer. Senior Irek Sekretarski and freshman Blake Shaw then went first and third respectively in the men's 1500m race to earn six points and cut the Bruins lead to 17-15 after four events. Sekretarski had a season-best time of 3:45.60 and moved from sixth to fifth on USC's all-time list. Shaw had a PR of 3:47.97 to move into ninth place on USC's all-time best list.

Redshirt senior Corey White then speared the lead for good for the Trojans by winning the javelin with a meet-record throw of 262-6 (80.00m) to earn five points, while freshman Jacob Aronson earned a point by placing third with a PR of 189-7 (57.80m). White now has three of the top five throws in the U.S. this season.

USC's sophomore Oscar Spurlock then won the men's 110m HH with a winded-aided PR of 13.68, while sophomore Brendan Ames took second with a time of 14.93 to open up a 29-21 lead for the Trojans.

USC also went 1-2 in the 400m dash as Hughes won with a time of 46.90 and Anderson took second with a season-best time of 47.31. Price placed fourth with a season-best time of 47.92.

It looked like momentum might be shifting when USC All-American sprinter Ahmad Rashad false started in the 100m dash, but Palmer rose to the occasion winning the event with a PR of 10.50 and in the process qualify for the NCAA West Regional. The 800m race was next and it too provided anxious moments for the Trojans as Sekretarski when down in a heap at the 500m mark, but it turned out to be only cramps and he was fine after the race. That left the pressure on Shaw and he produced a second-place finish with a time of 1:49.98.

Redshirt junior Aaron Dan was the only Trojan in the shot put competition and he was able to finish third place with a mark of 54-2, to give USC a 46-40 lead after 10 events.

USC took second and third in the long jump as Hamilton jumped a season-best 24-6 1/4 and Ames came up with a PR of 24-6. He has been focusing on hurdling at USC, but was able to join Hamilton with a regional-qualifying mark in his first attempt in the event this year. The Bruins had clawed to within 50-45, but that was the closest they would get.

Redshirt junior Manjula Wijesekara won the men's high jump with a clearance of 7-1 3/4 in his first effort of the season. That mark was a regional qualifier and made is 11 wins for the Trojans in the last 12 Dual Meet high jump competitions.

Walker then put USC up 60-53 by winning the 400m IH with a new PR of 52.37. Dan then won the discus with a throw of 182-11 (55.75m), edging out redshirt junior Colin Campbell who took second with a throw of 181-7 (55.35m) for a 68-54 Trojan lead.

USC then won a big eight points by going 1-2 in the 200m dash with Rashad winning with a regional-qualifying time of 20.74 and Hughes coming in second with a season-best time of 21.13.

Redshirt junior Derek Scott took second in the pole vault as the only Trojan in the top nine finishers with a clearance of 17-1 (5.21m). USC had build a 79-61 lead, but that was quickly cut to 79-70 when the Bruins swept the 5000m race.

The Trojans then clinched the meet with the win in the 4x400m race. The final eight points for the Trojans came in the triple jump where senior Aven Wright won with a PR of 52-2 (15.90m) and Wijesekara placed second with a PR of 51-1 3/4 (15.59m).

With today's sweep, the USC women have defeated UCLA in back-to-back season and the Trojan men have won two of the last three Dual Meets with the Bruins. The USC men now lead the all-time series 41-35, while the women trail 5-21.

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