USC Posts First-Ever Dual Meet Sweep at UCLA

May 1, 2010

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It was a historic day on the track for the USC track and field team as both the men's and women's teams defeated crosstown rival UCLA for the second straight season, the first time ever at UCLA and clinched the season-long Crosstown Gauntlet competition in a resounding sweep of the annual USC-UCLA Dual Meet held today (May 1) at Drake Stadium in Westwood, Calif.

The men's team won 96-67, its most points in the meet since scoring 108 points in 1968 and USC's first win at Westwood since the 1977 season (20 losses in a row at UCLA). The men have won back-to-back Dual Meets vs. UCLA for the first time since 1968-69 and now lead the all-time series, 42-35. The women's team made it look even easier, winning 106-57 for its most points ever scored against UCLA and the second-highest point total by either school since the women began competing in 1984. The USC women have won two consecutive meets at UCLA and for the first time ever have posted three consecutive wins, but still trail in the all-time series, 21-6.

'It is a special day,' said USC's Director of Track and Field Ron Allice. 'The bottom line is it is all about the kids. The memories of this meet they will always have with them. They can brag about this one for awhile.'

Among the many highlights for USC was two individual wins each for Zsofia Erdelyi (5000m and 1500m), Judith Onyepunuka (100m and 200m), Aaron Dan (discus and shot), Ahmad Rashad (100m and 200m) and Marissa Minderler (hammer and shot, as well as placing in the javelin and discus). Erdelyi won the 5000m with a meet-record time and Brysun Stately won the women's pole vault with a new USC school record.

'There were so many terrific performances in this meet,' said Allice. 'We had a 45-foot triple jumper (Ben) Brown throw the javelin 206 feet, Aaron Dan hadn't done the shot all year and throws 58 feet, Bryshon (Nellum) on his birthday said he knew he could do it and he did (run his first 400m since his injuries). Look what Brysun Stately did. The pole vault has been dominant for UCLA and to come over here and beat them in their own pit and all the PRs from the throwers.'

The day was started with the women's hammer and with no Bruins entered it was assured of a 9-0 lead for the Women of Troy and a sixth straight win in the event. Well, not so fast. Freshman Lauren Chambers fouled on her first three throws to eliminate her from the competition and redshirt sophomore Tamara Baumann also fouled on her first two efforts before landing a legal throw in her third attempt to assure USC three throwers in the final round and an acceptance of the nine points. Redshirt sophomore Marissa Minderler won the event with a throw of 185-9 (56.63m), while Baumann placed second with a mark of 173-4 (52.84m) and redshirt freshman Kathryn Daniels took third with a throw of 157-5 (47.98m).

The men's hammer competition was a little closer as UCLA had four throwers entered, but when it was all said and done, USC came away with an 8-1 lead as junior Trey Henderson won with a PR of 221-10 (67.63m) and sophomore Eric Stein placed second with a PR of 173-8 (52.93m). Henderson's throw moved him from eighth to seventh on USC's all-time hammer list. USC's other competitor was sophomore Alex Adams who fouled in his first three attempts at the hammer this season. UCLA's Tom Nagengast PR'd to get the Bruins a point with a throw of 157-11.

Next was the women's javelin and the Trojans grabbed eight more points, as junior Kristine Busa won with a throw of 151-0 (46.03m) and Minderler placed second with a throw of 149-5 (45.54m). Junior Devon Rennie place fourth with a mark of 128-2 (39.08m), just behind UCLA's Ryann Krais who took the final point with a throw of 132-10 (40.48m).

The third event to finish for the women was the 5000m race and the junior Erdelyi won with a meet-record time of 16:41. In Erdelyi's first 5000m race of the season, she beat the Bruins' Shannon Murakami by 31 seconds who placed second, with UCLA's Kelcie Weimann taking third. USC freshman Kathleen Moloney placed fourth with a time of 18:18.58, while junior Zara Lukens had a time of 18:31.01, senior Bridget Helgerson a time of 18:33.16 and junior Dina Kitayama a time of 18:38.14.

Just as that race ended, the results came in from the women's shot put and USC took first and third with Minderler winning her second event of the day with a mark of 45-7 (13.89m) and Chambers in her first shot put competition of the season placing third with a mark of 43-5.25 (13.24m).

On the heels of this, the women's 3000m steeplchase was completed and the Trojans posted a 9-0 sweep as senior Katherine Ellis won with a time of 11:36.31, sophomore Jessica Lundin came in second with a time of 11:44.80 and freshman Theresa Kurth grabbed third place with a time of 12:04.49 in her first career steeplechase effort. After five events the USC women had opened up a 37-8 lead.

The men finally got on the board again and it was redshirt senior Manjula Wijesekara in his first meet of the season clearing 7-0.50 (2.15m) in the high jump to win the competition. UCLA's Nelson Rosario placed second and Trojan freshman Tyler Ruiz placed fourth on misses with a clearance of 6-6.75 (2.00m).

The Bruins swept the men's 3000m steeplechase to take a 14-13 lead after three events were in the books. Their lead was short-lived as the Trojans had amazing efforts in the javelin to come in 1-2 and retake the lead at 21-15. Sophomore Cooper Thompson won the event with a PR of 233-11 (71.29m) to move from fourth to third place on USC's all-time javelin list. That list also has a new member as senior Ben Brown, who just began throwing the javelin this season after three seasons as a USC jumper, had a PR by more than 36 feet with a throw of 206-3 (62.88m) which places him 10th on USC's all-time list. Thompson and Brown combined to score eight points for USC, while sophomore Jacob Aronson placed fourth with a throw of 185-0 (56.39m), Peter Yobo was fifth with a throw of 157-5 (47.98m) and Billy Buffington seventh with a throw of 141-2 (43.04m).

The women's 4x100m relay team was next and they pushed USC's lead to 42-8, winning with a season-best time of 44.40. The Trojan women went with the lineup of senior Shalina Clarke, senior Onyepunuka, senior Elizabeth Olear and sophomore Aareon Payne.

The men's 4x100m race really got the crowd into the meet as the Bruins won the event fof the first time since 1996 with a strong time of 39.78. USC's team of sophomore Amechi Egbe, senior Rashad, sophomore Jahmar Rashad and junior Joey Hughes had what would have been a season-best time of 40.02, but after the race, it turned out the Trojans had an exchange violation and they were disqualified. After five scored events for the men, USC held on to a 21-20 lead.

The Bruins then ran back into the lead with a win in the men's 1500m race, as Marlon Patterson of UCLA (3:44.62) held off Trojan sophomore Blake Shaw who took second with a PR of 3:45.43. Shaw's time moved him from sixth to fourth on USC's all-time list. Junior David Branch came in fourth with a PR of 3:53.85, sophomore Matt Huntington seventh with a time of 4:05.48, sophomore James Leckie eighth with a time of 4:13.17 and freshman Kristopher Washington ninth with a time of 4:16.41.

The back and fourth continued with USC taking a 30-29 lead when redshirt senior Dan won the men's shot put with a PR of 58-6.75 (17.85m) and Adams took third with a PR of 54-8.75 (16.68m).

The men then extended their lead with a 1-2 finish in the 110m high hurdles to take a 38-30 lead. Junior Brendan Ames won with a time of 13.95, while junior Oscar Spurlock took second with a time of 14.38. Senior Putchong Dispanurat made a strong push at the end, but placed fourth with a season-best time of 15.73.

Ames was simultaneously competing in the men's long jump which he was leading after four rounds before he had to jog over for the hurdles. He ended up placing second to UCLA's Nelson Rosario, who won the event on his final effort with a leap of 25-0 feet. Ames took second with a PR of 24-7.25 (7.50m). USC's sophomore Tony Burnett placed fifth with a leap of 22-6.50 (6.87m) and Ruiz placed sixth with a leap of 21-11.50 (6.69m). USC's men owned a 41-36 lead after nine events.

Clarke clipped a hurdle in the women's 100m HH race and had to settle for fourth with a time of 15.56, despite entering with the field's top time of 13.21 this season. Sophomore Daliliah Muhammad gained USC a point by placing third with a season-best time of 13.88.

The women extended their lead to 48-20 when the redshirt senior Stately won with a school-record clearance of 14-0.00 (4.27m). Stately held the previous USC record of 13-11 1/4 (4.25m). Stately's win was the first women's pole vault victory by a Trojan female in the Dual Meet since 1999. Redshirt senior Jasmine Knight had a PR with a clearance of 10-6.75 (3.22m) to place seventh.

The women's 400m dash was next and the Trojan seniors Myra Hasson and Olear came in second and third with respective times of 53.13 and 53.72. For Hasson it was a PR and for Olear, a season-best time. USC's other 400m runners were freshman Alexis Brown (season-best 58.40), redshirt freshman Elan Hilaire (58.42), freshman Jazzmin Owens (65.40) and freshman Caroline Lutzky (66.71). USC's women extended their lead to 52-25 after nine events.

The men's 400m race was a sweep for the Trojans as Hughes won with a time of 45.95, redshirt sophomore Bryshon Nellum on his birthday took second with a time of 46.31 in his first open 400m of the season and senior Jason Price took third by matching his season-best time of 47.79. Also running for USC in the 400m were sophomore Scott DeYoung (47.88), sophomore Dijon Morrisette (51.10), freshman Joseph Laesch (season-best 51.12), junior Tyler Ellis (53.09) and sophomore Michael Zuletta (55.14).

Redshirt sophomore Lauren Guerrieri won the women's discus competition with a big PR of 168-6 (51.37m) to move from eighth to fifth on USC's all-time discus list (.01 meters ahead of Carrie Martin). Minderler scored again for USC with her throw of 134-11 (41.12m) good for third, while Chambers finished fourth in her first attempt at the discus this season with a throw of 113-3 (34.52m). USC now led 68-38 heading into the 100m dash.

Onyepunuka made it nine consecutive Dual Meet 100m dash wins for the USC women when she stormed to a season-best wind-aided time of 11.56. Clarke placed third with a PR of 11.71. Sophomore Aareon Payne attmepting to return from injury had a time of 11.98, while senior Kira Davis-Quarrie had a season-best time of 12.57.

In the women's long jump freshman Alitta Boyd placed second with a season-best leap of 19-9.75 (6.04m) to earn the Trojans three points and a 67-37 lead after 12 events. Also competing in the long jump for USC were junior Courtney Clayton (season-best 17-6.75), junior Cara Bickers (17-1.50), freshman Jennifer Jones (15-5.00) and redshirt sophomore Alycia Carrillo (season-best 15-5.00).

Ahmad Rashad then won the men's 100m race with a season-best legal time of 10.25, the third-best wind-legal time this season among collegiate runners. Rashad had run a 10.08 wind-aided time at Mt. SAC. USC gained five points in the event and after 11 events held a 55-40 lead. Also running for USC were Egbe (10.70), freshman Terence Abram (season-best 10.78), sophomore Jahmar Rashad (11.00), junior Seaon Jackson (11.06), freshman Farzd Bozorgzad (11.67 and limped across the line) and freshman Jay Porterfield (12.86).

Shaw then doubled back to take second and senior Nate Anderson third in the men's 800m race, both posting PRs in the event. Shaw had a time of 1:48.93 and Anderson a time of 1:48.95. With 12 events completed on the men's side, USC held a 59-45 lead.

In the women's 800m race there were only three competitors with USC taking second and third and gaining four more points. Junior Christine Cortez had a PR of 2:09.76 to place second and junior Allison Rojewski a season-best time of 2:14.33 to take third.

The women's 400m intermediate hurldes was next and USC had just Muhammad entered and that was enough as she won a tight race with UCLA's Turquoise Thompson. Muhammad took first with a season-best time of 56.70, while Thompson had a PR of 56.75. Ryann Krais of UCLA placed third with a time of 59.80. Muhammad's victory was just USC's second in the event in the last 10 Dual Meets. The Trojans' lead remained at 30 points, 76-46 after 14 events.

The men's 400m IH was next and freshman Reggie Wyatt won with a season-best time of 50.13 just .06 out of the Trojans' all-time top 10 list. Sophomore Duane Walker showed he is nearly back from injury by finishing third with a time of 53.25, while sophomore Thomas Parides placed fourth with a season-best time of 58.28 and Dispanurat fifth with a time of 58.48. USC now led 65-48 through 13 events.

The women's high jump was the next event to have results and USC gained three points as Muhammad placed second with a clearance of 5-5.25 (1.66m) to put the Trojans within reach of the victory at 79-52. Senior Ekene Anene and freshman Jennifer Stutland tied for fourth at 5-3.25 (1.61m). For Stutland it was a new PR.

The women's team clinched the meet in the 200m dash as Onyepunuka and Olear took first and second with wind-aided season-best times to give USC eight points and an insurmountable 87-53 lead with three events left. Onyepunuka took first with a time of 23.71 and Olear second with a time of 23.77 with a 2.8 wind reading. Freshman Alexis Brown had a season-best time of 25-95 to finish seventh and Owens finished eighth with a time of 27.40.

Rashad and Hughes both came back to run 1-2 in the men's 200m dash to give USC eight more points and a 73-49 lead through 14 of 19 events. Rashad and Hughes were both running their first 200m races of the season and had times of 20.93 and 21.02 respectively. Ames placed fifth with a season-best time of 21.75, Egbe seventh with a time of 22.05, Jackson eighth with a time of 22.10 and Abram ninth with a season-best time of 22.31. It was USC's eighth consecutive 200m title in the Dual Meet and earlier, they had made it eight-straight 100m dash titles.

The results from the men's discus then put USC on the brink of a Dual Meet sweep as Dan won with a throw of 188-7 (57.49m) and redshirt senior Colin Campbell took second with a mark of 177-0 (53.95m) to give the Trojans an 81-50 lead, one point away from the win. Adams also had a throw of 150-10 (45.97m) and junior Tyler Grady had a PR of 149-1 (45.45m) to place seventh.

The USC men clinched the win in the pole vault where Brandon Estrada took first with a clearance of 17-5.00 (5.31m) and Derek Scott took third with a clearance of 16-7.25 (5.06m). Their points gave USC an 87-53 lead with 82 points needed for the win. Junior Taylor Slingsby placed sixth with a clearance of 15-7.25 (4.76m). Estrada's win was the first by a Trojan male in the Dual Meet pole vault competition since 2003.

USC then started to pile on as USC went 2-3 in the triple jump with Wijesekara taking second with a jump of 51-3.50 (15.63m) and senior Aven Wright placing third with a jump of 51-1.75 (15.59m). Burnett placed fifth with a mark of 47-1.75 (14.37m) and new javelin specialist Brown had a best jump of 45-10.00 (13.97m) to place sixth. This pushed USC's lead in the men's competition to 91-58.

USC's Boyd won the women's triple jump with a jump of 40-8.25 (12.40) and Anene placed second with a jump of 40-5.50 (12.33m) to give the Trojans eight more points and a 95-54 lead. Sophomore Candace Bailey placed fifth in the triple jump with a PR of 37-10.75 (11.55m), Bickers seventh with a season-best jump of 36-4.00 (11.07m) and sophomore Katherine Change ninth with a PR of 34-4.00 (10.46m).

Erdelyi came back to win the women's 1500m race with a time of 4:26.44, making it a sweep in the 1500m and 5000m for her in all three Dual Meets she has competed in. Cortez placed third with a time of 4:30.89 and Helgerson fourth with a time of 5:00.68. USC had now reached the century mark, owning a 101-57 lead heading into the final event.

The women's 4x400m relay team of Clarke, Olear, Hasson and Muhammad closed out the meet with winning season-best time of 3:34 to make the final score 106-57.

After the Bruins swept the men's 5000m race, the USC men's 4x400m relay team of Nellum, Price, Walker and Wyatt won with a time of 3:11.74 to close out the meet and provide USC with a 96-67 win. USC had now won six consecutive 1600m relay races against the Bruins.

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