USC Track & Field Sweeps UCLA In Annual Dual Meet After Late Scoring Change
The USC men won 86-76 and the Trojan women won 81-80 in a highly contested annual USC-UCLA Dual Meet held at Loker Stadium on the USC campus today (May 1). The men's team won the final event, the men's 4x400m race, to clinch the victory, while the women's meet wasn't really decided until about 25 minutes after the meet was concluded when a mistake in the discus throw scoring was noticed. UCLA looked like they had snapped the USC women's winning streak at seven years with an 82-79 victory, but it was discovered that one of the UCLA discus thrower's marks was entered as 55 meters instead of 52, so when the change was made, Freeman was the winner which forged USC to the victory at 81-80. The USC women have won eight consecutive meets against UCLA and now trail 16-22 all-time, while the men's victory improves their lead to 46-42 all-time against the Bruins. USC has now had a sweep or split in the last eight Dual Meets.
The USC men's team began the day with a 9-0 lead after the hammer throw competition results from yesterday, while the Trojan women led 5-4.
"I feel great," said USC Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Quincy Watts. "There were a lot of nerves coming into this week, being part of the tradition. I've competed in the Dual Meet, I've been an assistant coach for eight years and never won it as a student-athlete. We won a lot of Dual Meets while I was an assistant coach and I wanted to uphold the tradition as a head coach.
"I am so proud of how the men and women performed. It took a lot of guts, grit and perseverance to come up with both of these wins today. I've been part of many bright moments and there is always a hero who emerges on the men's or women's side to catapult the team to victory. This year's Dual Meet did not disappoint. Even with the controversy at the end, even after the mile relay in which Jan'Taijah Ford ran a relay leg that was out of this world for the relay win. UCLA ultimately was declared the winner of the meet, until about 25 minutes after the meet when the discus throw marks were discovered to be incorrect. It was pretty clear a mistake had been made in the discus throw results and that Karlee Freeman had won and thus making the women Dual Meet champs. This is so important because Jan'Taijah (Ford) was so far back that people stopped watching the race and she made up a staggering margin to run through the line and that in effect ultimately earned us the victory.
"The men were equally as impressive as the women. There were so many personal bests with clutch runs, clutch throws and clutch jumps. All of the event areas made up the whole and that's why it was a great team win. I couldn't be more proud of both teams."
How did the @USC_Track_Field Women of Troy pull off the comeback over UCLA???
A #FightOn finish. ✌️
— USC Trojans (@USC_Athletics) May 1, 2022
- The day began with a UCLA sweep the women's 3000m steeplechase to earn nine points. Julia Bounds placed fourth in her first steeplechase of the season with a time of 12:39.55.UCLA swept the women's pole vault as USC did not enter an athlete. UCLA only had two jumpers clear a bar, so they won the event 8-0.
- Freeman placed second in the women's javelin throw with a mark of 131-11 (40.22m) to earn the Trojans three points. Annabel Doherty was fourth with a PR of 121-2 (36.97m) and Abbey Knoll placed fifth with a best mark of 120-7 (36.76m), it was her first javelin competition at USC. After four events the Trojan women trailed 27-8, but they were just getting started.
- Temi Ojora then won the women's triple jump with a season-best leap of 43-0.25/13.11 (-0.4). She earned USC a 5-4 win in the event.
- The women started the main running portion of the meet with a win in the 4x100m relay with a time of 44.12. USC ran a team of Jasmine Jones, Celera Barnes, Chioma Okonkwo and Jan'Taijah Ford.
- Gigi Maccagnini won the women's 1500m race with a time of 4:25.50, her best collegiate time. Mihajla Milovanovic placed fifth with a PR of 4:33.79 and Giovani Pisano was seventh with a time of 4:53.62. USC won the event 5-4.
- Jones then led a USC sweep in the women's 100m hurdles to earn the Trojans nine points. Jones won with a time of 13.08 (+0.0), Breanna Bernard-Joseph was second with a time of 14.01 and Maci Simmons was third with a PR of 14.50.
- USC then swept the women's 400m dash to take the lead at 41-35. Ford won with a time of 52.77, Bailey Lear was second with a time of 53.03 and Kimberly Harris in her first 400 of the season took third with at time of 55.10.
- UCLA took the team lead at 43-42 by going 1-2 in the women's shot put. Freeman took third place in the shot put with a mark of 49-0.75 (14.95m). It was Freeman's first shot put competition of the season.
- USC then went 1-2 in the women's 100m dash to regain the lead at 50-44. Barnes won with a time of 11.38 (-1.6) and Okonkwo was second with a time of 11.59. Kaelin Roberts took fourth with a time of 11.65 and Zion Corrales Nelson in her first 100m race since 2019 had a time of 12.00 to place seventh.
- USC's Alyssa Brewer placed second in the women's 800m to earn the Trojans three points, finishing with a season-best time of 2:05.26. It was Brewer's best outdoor 800m race since the 2019 NCAA West Preliminary Rounds. Janiah Brown finished fourth with a time of 2:08.49, Jemima Russell was fifth with a time of 2:11.76, Isabelle Cairns was sixth with a time of 2:14.96 and Gigi Maccagnini was seventh with a time of 2:25.50.
- Bernard-Joseph won the women's 400m hurdles with a time of 59.68 and Simmons took third with a time of 61.31. USC picked up six more points with this result.
- Ford then took second in the women's 200m dash with a time of 23.58 (-1.2) and Okonkwo took third with a time of 23.63. Roberts placed fourth with a time of 24.13. USC earned four more points and now led 63-58 after 14 scored events.
- Temi Ojora won the women's long jump with a leap of 20-2.50/6.16 (+0.2) and Jones, in her first collegiate long jump competition, took second with a mark of 20-0.25/6.10m (+1.4). Harris also jumped for the first time as a collegian and placed ninth with a best jump of 17-4.00/5.28m (+0.7). UCLA had six jumpers in the competition, but the Trojans won it 8-1.
- UCLA swept the women's 3000m race to earn nine points to cut the Trojan lead to 71-68 after 16 events. Mihajla Milovanovic took sixth with a PR of 10:20.29, Giovanni Pisano was 10th with a PR of 10:45.47 and Ritika Singh was 11th with a time of 11:25.44.
- This is where the big correction came. It appeared that Freeman took second in the women's discus throw with a mark of 174-10 (53.30), but she turned out to be the winner with that mark which created a four-point swing. Summer Mosley placed fifth with a best mark of 152-0 (46.33m). After 17 events, the women's team led 76-72, though at the time it appeared to be 74-all.
- After Temi Ojora no-heighted in the high jump, UCLA seemed to have clinched the meet with an 8-0 win, but that didn't mean that USC's women were going to let the 4x400m relay get away.
- USC ran a 4x400m relay team of Lear, Jones, Okonkwo and Ford and won with a time of 3:31.13. Ford had an amazing anchor leg of 51.48, taking the stick roughly three seconds behind and running down the Bruin at the wire with an amazing close and as it turned out, a Trojan Dual Meet victory.
The men's team led most of the way after starting with the 9-0 lead in the hammer throw yesterday, falling behind by two points once.
- Morgan Fierro got things started for the men's team as he placed fifth in the men's 3000m steeplechase with a time of 10:05.16, his first career steeplechase. UCLA swept the event to earn nine points.
- Jalyn Jackson won the men's triple jump with a leap of 50-4.50/15.35 (+0.3) and Dallas Wise placed third with a jump of 48-4.75/14.75m (-0.4). Earnest Sears III competed for the first time in the triple jump as a collegian and placed fourth with a jump of 40-7.00/12.37m (-1.4). USC won the event 6-3.
- The USC men placed second and third in the men's javelin throw to earn four points. Dylan Lange placed second with a PR of 164-6 (50.15m). Christian Johnson grabbed third place with a toss of 139-11 (42.65m).
- USC's men began the running portion of the meet in very impressive fashion, winning the 4x100m relay with a time of 38.74, second all-time by a Trojan quartet. USC ran a team of Davonte Burnett, Brendon Stewart, Eric Allen Jr. and Johnnie Blockburger. Their time is the third-fastest by an NCAA team this season and is a new Dual Meet record. The previous record of 38.85 had stood since 1978.
- USC did not run an athlete in the 1500m race and the Bruins earned nine points back.
- Tade Ojora was the only Trojan in the men's 110m hurdles race and he cruised to victory to earn USC a 5-4 win with a time of 13.76 (-0.9).
- Blockburger then won the men's 400m dash with a time of 45.61 to earn USC five points. Allen Jr. placed fourth with a time of 46.31 and Nicholas Ramey was fifth with a time of 46.46.
- Burnett led a USC sweep in the men's 100m with a time of 10.07 (+0.9). Brendon Stewart was second with a PR of 10.25 and Ashton Allen was third with a PR of 10.34. Gavin Schurr placed fourth with a time of 10.60, Daniel Robinson was sixth with a time of 10.65 and Curtis Johnson III was seventh with a time of 10.91.
- UCLA earned eight points in the pole vault as USC did not have a competitor to cut the Trojans lead to 43-42.
- Sears III then won the men's high jump with a clearance of 6-11.75 (2.13m). Wise placed fourth with a clearance of 6-8.75 (2.05m). USC led 48-46 after 11 events and was ready to pull away.
- USC then swept the men's 800m race with Jack Carter coming from behind down the stretch and out-leaning the Bruin runners to capture third with a PR of 1:51.32. Sam VanDorpe won the race with a time of 1:50.12 and Bobby Poynter took second with a time of 1:50.47.
- Trey Knight, in his first collegiate shot put competition, placed second with a mark of 56-5.25 (17.20m) to earn USC three more points.
- USC then took second and third in the men's 400m hurdles to earn four points and a 64-57 team lead. Tade Ojora took second with a PR of 57.58 in his second career 400m hurdles race and Fierro had a time of 66.05 in his first 400m hurdles race.
- USC went 1-2 in the men's long jump with Jalyn Jackson winning with a jump of 24-10.50/7.58 (+5.5w). Austin Allen, in his first outdoor competition as a Trojan, took second with a best leap of 23-11.00/7.29m (+2.6w). Wise placed fourth with a best leap of 23-4.00/7.11m (+2.5w).
- USC's men earned a sweep in the men's 200m dash with Burnett winning with a PR of 20.28 (-0.4) which bettered his ninth-place standing on USC's all-time list. It also moves him into eighth-place on the current NCAA descending order list. Stewart took second with a PR of 20.84 (-0.4) and Kasaun James was third in his first 200m race of the season with a time of 20.88 (+0.7), winning the second heat. Ashton Allen was fourth in the event with a time of 21.01 (-0.4), Robinson was sixth with a time of 21.27 (+0.7), Schurr was seventh in his first 200m of the season with a time of 21.62 (-0.4) and Johnson III was eighth with a time of 21.97 (+0.7). USC now led 81-58 with three events remaining, needing one point for victory.
- UCLA then swept the men's 3000m race to earn nine points. Fierro competed in his third event of the day in which he had not done all season and it would have been fitting for him to clinch the meet with a point as he displayed the Trojan spirit all day, but it was not meant to be as he placed fifth with a time of 8:55.56. USC's lead was now 81-76.
- Christian Johnson placed fourth in the men's discus throw with a mark of 162-10 (49.64m). After UCLA swept the discus throw it was going to come down to the men's 4x400m relay.
- If USC's team of Ramey, Allen Jr., James and Blockburger could win, they would win the Dual Meet, if UCLA won it would be the first-ever tie. USC's James got the Trojans into the lead on the third leg and Blockburger held off the Bruins for a win in a season-best time of 3:04.12, winning by 0.06 seconds. USC won the men's Dual Meet 86-76.
The USC track and field team will next be competing at the 2022 Pac-12 Track & Field Championships to be held in Eugene, Ore. May 13-15. Last season USC hosted the championships and the women's team won the team title and the men's team placed second.
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