USC Wins 8 Events During Strong Showing At CSULA Invitational

    Alexandra Collatz won the women's discus throw competition and placed second to teammate Jenny Ozorai in the hammer throw.
    March 7, 2015

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    LOS ANGELES, CALIF. - Jenny Ozorai won the women's hammer throw, Alexandra Collatz captured the women's discus throw title, Madisen Richards won the women's long jump and 100m dash and both the men's and women's 4x100m and 4x400m relay teams were victorious to highlight USC's efforts at the Cal State L.A. Invitational held on the North Field and Jesse Owens Track in Los Angeles on March 6 and 7. Nearly 1,300 athletes competed during the two days of the meet.

    The Trojans got things rolling at 9 a.m. on Friday with the women's hammer throw and the redshirt senior Ozorai won with a throw of 191-8 (58.43m), not a bad starting point for her first meet since the 2013 NCAA Championships. The senior Collatz took second in the women's hammer throw with a best mark of 176-2 (53.70m), followed by sophomore Tanya Sapa in third with a mark of 168-8 (51.41m) and sophomore Erika Peyton in fourth with a PR of 166-11 (50.87m). Peyton's throw was a PR by 12 feet, which had come in her first collegiate competition on March 2, 2013 while at Fresno State. USC's four throwers all beat the field by nearly four meters.

    Collatz came back to win the women's discus throw competition, followed closely by junior Tera Novy in second place. Collatz won with a throw of 180-11 (55.14m) and Novy took second with an outdoor opener of 176-8 (53.86m). For Novy it is her second-farthest official throw as a collegian, just two and one-half feet off her PR set at the 2014 Pac-12 Championships. Both Trojans beat the field by over three meters.

    On Saturday the freshman Richards got things started for USC and notched her first victory of the day by winning the women's long jump with a leap of 19-0.75/5.81m (+0.2). That mark came in her second attempt and she fouled in her other three attempts, but that was all she would need to get the win. In the men's long jump, freshman Dominic Smallwood placed fifth with a jump of 22-7.25/6.89m (+0.0), which he landed twice. Senior Jabre Millon finished eighth in the long jump with his best jump as a Trojan of 21-11.00/6.68m (+0.0).

    The running portion of the meet began with a pair of USC wins in the 4x100m races. The men's team of senior Bryan Mercado, redshirt junior Jovonte Slater, freshman Ricky Morgan and junior Just'N Thymes won with a time of 40.28, 1.36 seconds ahead of the second place team. The women's team of sophomore Destinee Brown, freshman Gabriella Cantrell, senior Melia Cox and sophomore Cameron Pettigrew won with a time of 44.90, more than three seconds faster than the second team to finish.

    In the women's 1500m race, junior Katerina Berdousi finished seventh (4:38.39), senior Kira Soderstrom was ninth with a slight PR (4:39.43), junior Jenna Tong was 18th (4:51.76) and freshman Amber Bragdon was 20th (4:52.25). In the men's 1500m race, redshirt junior Bryan Jordan placed ninth (4:02.95), freshman Jordon Wallin was 31st (4:09.30) and sophomore Clayton Rule was 33rd (4:09.44).

    The next race was the men's 400m and freshman Robert Ford came in fifth with a time of 48.58.

    Richards then came back to capture the women's 100m dash with a time of 12.12 (+1.3). Mercado took third in the men's 100m dash with a time of 10.59 (+1.8), while senior decathlete Jemal Williams placed 38th with a wind-aided PR of 11.32 (+2.1w).

    The 800m races were next and freshman Madison Ricks was sixth with a time of 2:17.69 and junior Natasha Strickland was ninth with a time of 2:22.30 in the women's competition. For the men, Wallin was 11th with a time of 1:57.84 and junior Will Robinson was 37th with a PR of 2:03.89.

    Freshman Marquis Morris was the only Trojan to compete in the 400m IH races today and he placed sixth with a time of 55.33.

    Next up was the 200m races which saw several Trojans post PRs. Cox had a PR of 24.55 (+0.2) to take third, Pettigrew a PR of 24.76 (+0.2) to take fifth and Richards had a time of 25.47 (+3.3w) to place 12th in the women's race. Morgan was fourth in the men's 200m with a PR of 21.26 (+1.6), while Mercado was eighth with a time of 21.58 (+1.4) and senior Allen Williams was 37th with a wind-aided PR of 22.41 (+2.6w).

    Soderstrom had a personal best time of 9:54.21 to take third in the women's 3000m race, with Berdousi taking fifth (10:12.14), Tong finishing sixth (10:21.24) and Bragdon placing 13th (10:37.44). In the men's 3000m competition, Jordan finished sixth (8:41.37), Rule came in 21st (9:04.73) and freshman Gabriel Morin finishes 32nd (9:20.68).

    The final races of the day were a pair of wins in the 4x400m relay. The women's team of Pettigrew, Ricks, Cantrell and Brown won with a time of 3:49.64, more than 13 seconds faster than the next team. The men's team of Morris, Stewart, Thymes and Ford won too, but by just 0.65 seconds, finishing with a time of 3:15.15.

    Freshman Randall Cunningham placed fourth in the men's high jump with a clearance of 6-9.50 (2.07m) and senior Michael Krone was fifth by clearing the bar at 6-7.50 (2.02m). In the women's high jump, redshirt junior Malia Cravens tied for fourth with a clearance of 5-3.00 (1.60m).

    Also competing in field events were junior Felicia Horvath who tied for eight in the women's pole vault with a clearance of 10-2.00 (3.10m) and Jemal Williams who finished 15th in the men's shot put with a mark of 38-6.25 (11.74).

    The final field events were the triple jump competitions. Cox took second in the women's triple jump with a leap of 38-9.75/11.83m (+0.3), while Allen Williams was third in the men's competition with a jump of 48-0.75/14.65m (-0.5) and Smallwood was fourth with a jump of 47-4.50/14.44m (+1.8).

    The USC track and field team will next be in action March 13-14 at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. and at the Ben Brown Invitational in Fullerton, Calif.