USC Qualifies 16 Individuals And 4 Relay Teams For NCAA T&F Championships
May 29, 2010
AUSTIN, TEXAS - Six more individuals and all four relay teams joined the 10 individual Trojans already qualified for the NCAA Track & Field Championships during the final day of competition at the NCAA Track & Field Championship West Preliminary Rounds hosted by Texas at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin, Texas today (May 29). During the three days of competiton in Austin, USC qualified 16 athletes and four relay teams for the NCAA Track & Field Championships which will be hosted by Oregon in Eugene, Ore. from June 9-12.
The men's discus throw was the first competition on the day and USC redshirt seniors Colin Campbell and Aaron Dan were both in the third and final flight. The West Preliminary Rounds featured 17 of the top 25 discus throwers in the country, including six of the top seven which means that at least four qualifying throwers from the East meet were guaranteed to be outside of the top 25. Dan entered the event with the second best mark in the country, while Campbell had the 21st best throw. Campbell had a best throw of 166-6 (50.74m) and finished 27th in the event, so he did not advance to the quarterfinals. Dan advanced to the quarterfinals with a throw of 178-6 (54.41m) in his second throw to enter the final round in 10th place. He ended up with a best throw of 180-2 (54.91m) to remain in 10th and advance to the NCAA Championships in Oregon.
The women's triple jump was next and USC's entries freshman Alitta Boyd and senior Ekene Anene came into the meet ranked 24th and 35th in the region respectively. Anene was first and she set a PR with a jump of 42-1.50 (12.84m). She followed that up with what looked like another great jump, but her toe just went over board. On her third jump in the preliminaries she went even farther, coming up big with a new PR of 42-10.525 (13.06m), an increase of 11 inches over her previous best entering the day set in 2008 and strengthening her hold on fifth place on USC's all-time list. She advanced to the finals and took one more jump, but needed no more to finish tied for sixth and onto the NCAA semifinals. Boyd had a jump of 39-1 in her first attempt and then followed that up with a season-best leap of 41-11.25 (12.78m), moving her from seventh to sixth on the Trojans' all-time list. That was her best jump of the day which was good enough to reach the finals, but she finished the competition in 15th place and does not advance to Oregon. Yesterday Boyd placed 15th in the women's long jump. After the preliminaries and before the finals in this event and the preliminaries of the men's discus there was an hour and a half 'rain delay' without rain, as the storm re-routed and missed Austin.
The day's track action then began and the first race on the track was the men's 4x100m relay, with the team of sophomore Amechi Egbe, senior Ahmad Rashad, senior Jason Price and sophomore Joey Hughes up in the second heat. The top three in each heat and the next three fastest times would advance to the NCAA Championships. USC seemed to have a little trouble with the third exchange and finished fifth in its heat with a time of 40.00. That put them in the final at-large spot pending one more heat. The fourth-place finisher in the final heat was Texas which posted a time of 40.05, so despite a few moments of uncertainty, the sprint relay team is headed to Oregon.
The women's 4x100m relay team of senior Shalina Clarke, senior Judith Onyepunuka, senior Elizabeth Olear and sophomore Aareon Payne avoided the drama by placing third in its heat with a time of 44.57, just edging North Texas who finished at 44.61 and automatically moving on to the NCAA seminfinals in the event.
Next up on the track for USC was the men's 110m high hurdles. Junior Oscar Spurlock placed fourth in his heat with a time of 13.81, but that was the 11th-fastest time posted today which moves him on to the nationals in Oregon.
Clarke was next in the women's 100m hurdles quarterfinals and she left no doubt by winning her heat with another PR of 13.09, bettering her third-place standing on USC's all-time list. Yesterday in the preliminaries she won with a time of 13.11. Clarke had the second-fastest time on the day and moves on to the NCAA Championships.
In the women's hammer throw competition redshirt sophomore Marissa Minderler was up first in the second flight and she had a best throw of 188-3 (57.39m) to finish with the second best mark through two flilghts. Freshman Lauren Chambers was in the third and final flight and she had a sector foul in her first attempt, a throw of 181-10 (55.42m) in her second and a foul into the cage on her final throw. She did not advance to the final round and placed 25th in the event. Chambers had a strong freshman campaign, setting the national junior record in the hammer with a throw of 206-5 (62.93m) which ranks fourth all-time by a Trojan and placing second at the Pac-10 Championships. Minderler advanced to the finals and could not better her mark, but finished 10th in the competition and is on the the NCAA Championships.
Senior Aven Wright advanced out of the preliminary round and into the NCAA quarterfinals with a seaon-best jump of 51-11.75 (15.84m). He did not jump farther in the final three rounds, but he didn't need to as he placed 10th and advanced on to Oregon.
The final races of the meet were the men's and women's 4x400m relays. USC's men's team was up first and Director of Track and Field Ron Allice had some decisions to make since redshirt sophomore Bryshon Nellum came out of yesterday's 400m race with a slight leg injury. He chose to go with a reshuffled lineup of sophomore Joey Hughes, senior Nate Anderson, senior Jason Price and sophomore Reggie Wyatt. That group did more than hold their own winning it's heat with one of the quartets' fastest times of the season of 3:03.64. The main change was moving Hughes to first in the order and inserting Price in the third leg and the group responded as if they had been running that way all season long.
The women's 4x400 relay team was next and they shuffled things up too, but used the same runners as normal, just going in the order of Olear, sophomore Dalilah Muhammad, Clarke and senior Myra Hasson. They too will move on to Oregon as they placed second in their heat with a season-best time of 3:33.22, just outside of the Trojans' top 10 list.
Individual Athletes advancing to the NCAA Championships:Ekene Anene (triple jump), Shalina Clarke (100m HH), Aaron Dan (discus), Zsofia Erdelyi (10000m), Brandon Estrada (pole vault), Trey Henderson (hammer), Joey Hughes (400m), Marissa Minderler (hammer), Dalilah Muhammad (400m IH), Elizabeth Olear (400m), Ahmad Rashad (100m), Oscar Spurlock (110m HH), Brysun Stately (pole vault), Manjula Wijesekara (high jump), Aven Wright (triple jump) and Reggie Wyatt (400m IH).
Relay Teams advancing to the NCAA Championships:Men's 4x100, Women's 4x100m, Men's 4x400m and Women's 4x400m