Rashad And Hughes Post Impressive Times In Mt. SAC Wins
April 17, 2010
WALNUT, CALIF. - Ahman Rashad won the men's Invitational 100m dash and Joey Hughes the men's Invitational 400m race to lead the USC track and field team in the final day of action at the 52nd Annual Mt. SAC Relays being held at Hilmer Lodge Stadium in Walnut, Calif.
The first USC runner was the senior Rashad who competed in the men's Invitational 100m and he stole the show, winning with a wind-aided (2.4) time of 10.08. In an experienced field that included 2008 Olympian Rodney Martin, Rashad stayed even through the first half of the race, then pulled away in the final half. His time is the second-fastest collegiate time this season entering this weekend, trailing only Marcus Rowland of Auburn who ran 10.03 on April 2. Rashad has a legal PR of 10.10 set last season when he finished second in the event at the NCAA Championships in Fayetteville, Ark.
'I've worked a lot the last two weeks on my starts because that has not been a strength of mine,' said Rashad. 'Today I executed the start better. I got out well, was even with the field and ran my race. I turned over at about 40-50 meters. Once I got it going, I cruised to the finish.'
Senior Judith Onyepunuka then placed fifth in the women's Invitational 100m dash with a season-best time of 11.68. In that same race, former Trojan All-American Carol Rodriguez took third place with a time of 11.42. Another former Trojan great Virginia Powell won the women's Olympic Development 100m race with a time of 11.34. And in keeping with the USC dominance in the sprints, the team of three former Trojans and one Bruin of Powell, Rodriguez, Nicole Leach (UCLA) and Allyson Felix won the women's 4x100m Ivitational race with a time of 43.64.
The Trojans also had strong efforts in the 400m dash with sophomore Hughes capturing the men's Invitational 400m title with a PR of 45.37 in a field that included Olympic 400m finalist Martyn Rooney. Hughes' time was the fifth-fastest in the world and second-fastest in the U.S. this season and moves him into eighth place on USC's all-time list. Senior Jason Price had a strong race in the Olympic Development 400m race, but the results were not immediately available.
Senior Elizabeth Olear won the women's Olympic Development 400m dash with a season-best time of 53.95, nearly a second better than her previous fastest time this season. Senior Myra Hasson placed eighth in the women's Ivitational 400m race with a season-best time of 54.53. Her race was won by Lashinda Demus who posted the fastest time in the world this season of 51.40.
Also on the track, freshman Reggie Wyatt had a season-best time of 50.45 to place second in the men's 400m IH Invitational race. Two-time NCAA Champion Jeshua Anderson of Washington State won the race with a time of 49.11, while Trojan sophomore Duane Walker, running in his first race since March 21 due to quadricep injury, had to pull up at the 300-meter mark.
Junior Brendan Ames won the men's 110m HH Olympic Development race with a PR of 13.80. His previous best was a wind-aided 13.81 set last week at the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational. Junior Oscar Spurlock ran in the 110m HH Invitational and placed sixth with a time of 13.98. His race had two false starts and included former Trojans Ryan Wilson (false start) and Kai Kelley (2nd, 13.71). Senior Shalina Clarke placed third in the women's 100m HH Invitational race with a time of 13.38.
Sophomore Blake Shaw placed fourth in the men's 800m Olympic Development race with a season-best time of 1:49.56. Former Trojan Duane Solomon took second in the men's 800m Invitational race with a time of 1:46.83, the second-best U.S. time this season to winner Tyler Mulder, who had a 1:46.44 time.
The USC men's 4x400m team of redshirt sophomore Bryshon Nellum, senior Nate Anderson, Hughes and Wyatt closed the Mt. SAC Relays in style by winning Ivitational 1600m Relay with a time of 3:03.70. Wyatt took the lead from Arizona State at the beginning of the final stretch and held on for the win with a 45.5 leg. Nellum started things off with a split of 46.9, followed by Anderson with a 46.5 and Hughes with a 44.8 leg, before Wyatt's anchor.
The first Trojan to compete in field events on the day was redshirt senior Brysun Stately and she tied for third in the women's Pole Vault Invitational competition with a clearance of 12-11.50 (3.95m). She just missed in her third attempt at 13-5, with the bar just bouncing off the standard. Redshirt senior Brandon Estrada competed in the men's Pole Vault Invitational and cleared 17-6, though official results have not been posted as of this posting.
Redshirt senior Aaron Dan was next in the men's Discus Invitational, and as the only collegiate thrower in a field that included Olympic decathlete gold medalist Brian Clay, the redshirt senior placed fifth with a mark of 189-7 (57.78m).
Junior Trey Henderson had a PR of 220-0 (67.05m) in his final throw to place sixth in the men's Invitational Hammer Throw competition, the top mark by a college thrower. He also strengthen his eigth-place standing on USC's all-time list, one inch behind Chad Danowsky.
The high school girls Invitational 100m dash was to feature a showdown of future Trojans Jenna Puterbaugh of Santa Fe Christian and Jessica Davis of Highland, but Davis false started and was disqualified. Puterbaugh, however, excited Trojan fans by winning the race with an impressive time of 11.76. They weren't done, though, as they met later in the day in the girls 200m dash and Puterbaugh became a two-time winner with a PR of 23.70, the second best high school time in the country this season. Davis was right there with her at 23.77 to place second with the third-fastest high school time in the country this season.