USC Wins The MPSF Indoor Track & Field Title

    New USC Director of Track & Field Caryl Smith Gilbert led the Trojans to the MPSF Indoor T&F title, with most of the student-athletes setting personal bests along the way.

    March 1, 2014

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    The USC women's track team captured the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) Indoor Track & Field title today (March 1) by winning four more individual championships and finishing with 106 points, 25 more than second place Arizona.

    The Trojans only competed in eight events, but won five of them and took first and second in three events. Capturing individual titles today were senior Jessica Davis in the 60m, senior Lauren Blackburn in the 60m IH, junior Akawkaw Ndipagbor in the 400m and senior Oluwakemi Olonade in the triple jump.

    Davis, who won the women's 200m title yesterday, came back today and won the 60m dash with a time of 7.34. Finishing second, as she did in the 200m race, was redshirt sophomore Tynia Gaither with a time of 7.38. Senior Loudia Laarman placed fourth with a time of 7.48 and the trio of Davis (10), Gaither (8) and Laarman (5) combined to earn the Trojans 23 points.

    Blackburn set a PR of 8.19 in winning the conference 60m HH title, which is the 12th-fastest time among collegians this indoor season. Taking fourth in the 60m HH was junior Melia Cox with a PR of 8.39. They earned USC 15 more team points.

    Ndipagbor dropped her PR by nearly a second with a winning 400m time of 52.63. That time currently ranks 10th among all college females. She also established a new USC 400m indoor record, bettering Michelle Taylor's 53.09 set in 1989. Junior Vanessa Jones was fifth with a PR of 53.84, sophomore Jaide Stepter was sixth with a big PR of 53.98 and senior Ashley Liverpool was seventh with a season-best time of 54.21. Freshman Cameron Pettigrew placed 14th with a PR of 55.76 and freshman Amalie Iuel took 27th with a time of 56.71. Ndipagbor (10), Jones (4), Stepter (3) and Liverpool (2) combined to score 19 points in the team competition.

    The Trojans also went 1-2 in the women's triple jump as senior Oluwakemi Olonade took the title with a leap of 41-2.50 (12.56) which is a slight personal best for her. Right behind her in second was Cox with a jump of 40-9.50 (12.43m), as the pair team up to score 18 points.

    The Trojans picked up their final six points by finishing third in the 4x400m race with a time of 3:37.23. USC used a quartet of Ndipagbor, Jones, Liverpool and Stepter.

    Sophomore Jenna Tong also set a PR with a time of 10:09.43 in finishing 34th in the women's 3000m race.

    On Friday, Davis won the women's 200m dash and sophomore Alexis Faulknor placed fourth in the long jump.

    The USC women's and men's teams will compete at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships on March 14-15 in Albuquerque, N.M.