USC Men Place 5th At NCAA Track & Field Championships
June 12, 2010
EUGENE, ORE. - Oscar Spurlock finished fourth in the men's 110m HH and the 4x400m relay team fifth to lead the USC men's team to a fifth place finish today (June 12) at the 2010 NCAA Track & Field Championships hosted by Oregon at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. before 12,812 fans. The four-day attendance total of 45,847 set a new NCAA Championship record. The finish by the men's team was its best since 2007 when they also finished fifth and was USC's sixth consecutive top 10 finish. The USC women did not score a point for the first time since the 1981 season.
'Overall our men's team had a good year, starting with the Dual Meet, the conference meet and surviving through the regional,' said USC Director of Track and Field Ron Allice. 'We lost a few people along the way, but that happens in the sport. You have to be lucky as well as good. I don't know how luck we were. Everybody gave all they had and competed to their potential and that's all you can ask. This is a new format and there is no place to not be at your best. Seeding became very important. If you are not careful in the seeding process, you could be eliminated because only the top two from each heat and the next best two times advance. The system is not perfect yet.'
The Trojans entered the final day in third place with 26.5 points, but only had Spurlock going in the 110m hurdles and the 4x400m relay team racing so looked to be fighting for fourth-sixth place with Arizona State and LSU.
The junior Spurlock was first up and he took fourth in the men's 110m HH with a season-best time of 13.58. For his efforts USC gained five points in the team race and Spurlock became an All-American in the event. His finish was the highest in the event by a Trojan since Ryan Wilson won the 110m title in 2003 with a time of 13.35.
Spurlock's five points in the men's 110m hurdles gave USC an 11.5 point lead over ASU, but ASU's Ryan Whiting was on his way to winning the shot put with teammates Jordan Clarke placing fifth and Jason Lewis placing seventh to vault the Sun Devils over USC to a 36-31.5 point lead. LSU had three jumpers in the men's long jump, but did not score so the Trojans entered the final event in sixth place, 2.5 points behind LSU and 4.5 points behind ASU.
USC's 4x400m relay team of redshirt sophomore Bryshon Nellum, senior Nate Anderson, sophomore Joey Hughes and freshman Reggie Wyatt placed fifth with a time of 3:04.54 to earn four points. Nellum's pesky hamstring tightened up on the first lap and he gave the stick to Anderson in last place. Anderson ran a strong leg to move USC into seventh place, then Hughes ran a 44.75 leg to advance USC to fifth and Wyatt's 45.36 leg secured the fifth-place finish. ASU placed eighth to earn a point and LSU did not have a team in the event, so the Trojans leaped over LSU, but fell a point and a half behind the Sun Devils.
'One other thing that is important is that I have to make the right decisions,' added Allice. 'I made a decision in the 4x400m relay. I tested everybody, but apparently not enough. I went with Bryshon (Nellum) from what he had done before. Duane Walker was a consideration but he told me his leg was sore in warmups. Jason Price was considered and had performed well and had been consistent for us all year. In retrospect, I should have done what got us here. We could have finished in fourth place in the team competition.'
Once again USC had the top finish by a private school and the Pac-10 Conference showed strong with four teams in the top eight.
1.) Texas A&M - 55, 2.) Florida - 49, 3.) Oregon - 45, 4.) Arizona State - 37, 5.) USC - 35.5, 6.) LSU - 34, 7.) Kansas - 26, 8.) Stanford - 22, 9.) Virginia Tech - 20.5, 10.) South Carolina - 20.
Unofficial 2010 All-Americans:
Aaron Dan (discus), Brandon Estrada (pole vault), Trey Henderson (hammer), Joey Hughes (400m), Oscar Spurlock (110m HH), Manjula Wijesekara (high jump), Reggie Wyatt (400m IH) and the men's 4x400m relay.