Estrada Ties For 5th In The Pole Vault At NCAA Championships
June 10, 2010
EUGENE, ORE. - Brandon Estrada tied for fifth in the men's pole vault, Oscar Spurlock advanced to the finals in the men's 110m high hurdles and the men's 4x400m relay team advanced to the finals to lead USC today (June 10) at the 2010 NCAA Track & Field Championships hosted by Oregon at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. before 11,172 fans, a new NCAA Championship record. All running events were semifinals with the top two from each heat plus the next two best times advancing to the finals. After two days of competition, the Trojan men are in 11th place with 7.5 points, while the women's team has yet to score.
Redshirt sophomore Marissa Minderler was the first Trojan in action on Day 2 of the NCAA Championships when she competed in the first flight of the women's hammer throw. Minderler fouled in her first attempt, then came back and threw 183-3 (55.86m) in her next effort to move into sixth in her flight with one throw left. Her next throw was not an improvement (180-5), so she finished the first flight in seventh place and ultimately finished in 14th place.
Minderler finished a strong season for USC posting the eighth-best hammer throw all-time by a USC female (193-1), the ninth-best shot put (48-6.75) and the fifth-farthest javelin throw (157-3).
Senior Ekene Anene then competed in the women's triple jump coming off a PR and the fifth-best leap ever by a USC female of 42-10.25 (13.06m) in the Preliminary Rounds competition in Austin, Texas on May 29. Her first jump was 40-6.75 (12.36m) put her in seventh after one round in her flight. She did not have an improvement (39-2.25) and stood in eighth after two rounds with the top nine jumpers after two flights advancing to the final round and three more jumps. Her third jump looked like it may have been her best, but she was called for a foul so she stood in ninth after her flight and ultimately finished in 17th place.
The last Trojan to compete in a finals today was redshirt senior Brandon Estrada in a competition that took roughly four and a half hours to complete. He passed all the way up to 17-4.50 (5.30m) and then ran through his first attempt as the rain had finally started to come down again. A couple of jumpers later, there was a rain delay in the event for about an hour and 15 minutes before the pole vaulters returned to competition. Undeterred, Estrada cleared the height in his first vault after the delay to become the eighth contestant over 17-4.50. The next height was 17-8.50 (5.40m) and he missed on his first attempt. He then had an agressive effort on his second attempt, but just clipped the bar and was faced with his final attempt. He also missed on his third attempt, but finished the competition tied for fifth place to earn All-America honors and 3.5 points for USC in the team competition. Estrada became the first Trojan male to score in the pole vault since Jeff Ryan also tied for fifth at the same height (17-4.50) in 2003.
'It was definitely the most difficult competition I've ever competed in,' said Estrada. 'Everything I did in preparation, the height I came in at all was designed to win the competition. The rain delay and the weather really throws it off. One thing I've learned this year is that it is great to jump high and have a big PR, but it is more important to compete on every day and put up a respectible bar every day. We all had to adjust to the wind, the rain and the delay, it was just nuts. The 18-9 guy no heighted. It was the second time this year earning All-America honors (tied 7th indoor), I'm fourth all-time at USC and I get to continue to compete. I'm grateful for where I came from, a 13-6 guy in high school. You always want to win, but I'm content.'
Early this year Estrada cleared 18-0.50 (5.50m) in the pole vault at the Washington last Chance Indoor Meet on March 6 to move from 10th to tied for fourth on USC's all-time pole vault list. He became the first Trojan vaulter to clear 18 feet since Dennis Kholev set the USC record with a clearance of 18-6.50 on May 30, 2000. Estrada set his outdoor PR of 17-8.50 in tying for second in the pole vault at Mt. SAC on April 17.
The first USC runner on the day was junior Oscar Spurlock in the men's 110m high hurdles and he ran a season-best 13.65 to place third in his heat, so he would have to watch anxiously the results of the next two heats. The third-place finisher in the second heat had a time of 13.80, so Spurlock still had the top 'next best time' after two heats. Things worked out perfectly in the final heat, too, with the third place finisher having a time of 13.75, so Spurlock advanced to Saturday's 110m HH finals with what turned out to be the sixth best time on the day.
Senior Shalina Clarke was next and she ran in the third and final heat of the women's 100m HH. She needed to be in the top two of her heat or be third and beat 13.18 or fourth and beat 13.10. Clarke was in a very close heat, but finished fourth with a wind-aided time of 13.20 and 11th overall and did not advance to Saturday's finals. The senior finishes her USC hurdling career third on the Trojans' all-time 100m HH list with a time of 13.09 set at the 2010 NCAA quarterfinals in Austin, Texas. Clarke finished eighth at the NCAA Championships as a sophomore in 2008 with a time of 13.58.
The men's 4x400m relay team of sophomore Joey Hughes, senior Nate Anderson, senior Jason Price and freshman Reggie Wyatt then took care of business placing second in its heat with a time of 3:04.51 to automatically advance to Saturday's finals. Wyatt received the baton in third place and ran down the South Carolina anchor runner on the home stretch to secure USC's advancement. As it turned out, USC had the second-fastest qualifying time, behind only Florida (3:03.34) which won the Trojans' heat.
Athletes competing in finals tomorrow: