USC Sets Two School Records At NCAA Indoor Championships|
March 14, 2015
FAYETTEVILLE, ARK. - USC's 4x400m relay team set a school record, Andre De Grasse set the school and Canadian 200m record, Ky Westbrook took second in the women's 60m dash and Dior Hall was eighth in the women's 60m HH during the final day of the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships being held at Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, Ark. USC's three-man men's team of Conor McCullough, BeeJay Lee and Andre De Grasse scored 16 points and finished tied for ninth in the team standings, while USC's women scored 15 points to finish tied for 12th. USC was one of six schools in the country to have both programs finish in the top 12 in the country.
"I am very pleased with the outcome by our team this weekend," said USC's Director of Track & Field Caryl Smith Gilbert. "We finished the weekend with eight All-Americans, three school records and a top 10 men's team finish."
The Trojans day began with the women's 60m hurdles and the freshman Hall got off to a great start, right at the lead heading into the third hurdle, but clipped it and regrouped to finish eighth with a time of 8.48. Hall became the first USC woman to score at the meet, earning the Trojans a point in the team competition.
"Dior was leading the race when she clipped the third hurdle and finished eighth, but she had a wonderful freshman indoor season and ended up an All-American and broke two American junior records and lowered the USC freshman record four times," added Smith Gilbert.
The freshman Westbrook announced that there is a new kid on the block in the sprints by taking second in the women's 60m dash with a time of 7.21. The only athlete to beat her was the defending champion Remona Burchell of Alabama with a time of 7.12. Five of the eight runners in the race had competed in the 2014 final, including the top three finishers from last season. Westbrook was one of two freshmen in the race. Westbrook became the first Trojan to score in the 60m dash since Virginia Powell placed seventh in 2006. The last Trojan to place higher than Westbrook was all-time great and USC record-holder Angela Williams who won the event in 2002. Westbrook earned the USC women eight points in the team competition.
"Ky has always been a game-time performer," said Smith Gilbert. "Her second place, All-America finish in the 60m final was outstanding. I am really looking forward to watching her outdoors."
USC junior De Grasse ran an amazing 200m race and placed second to Trayvon Bromell of Baylor with a time of 20.26. Bromell won win a time of 20.19 which is the second-fastest indoor 200m race ever run. De Grasse's time ties him for third on the NCAA all-time list indoors and set the USC and Canadian records, both set by Aaron Brown last season with a time of 20.53. De Grasse earned USC eight points in the team competition.
"Andre ran one of the best 200's I have ever witnessed," said Smith Gilbert. "He executed the race almost perfectly, but was a little tentative coming off the last bank in lane six. His school record performance was absolutely phenomenal and its great that the new Canadian record stays in Trojan territory."
The final event of the meet for the Trojans was the women's 4x400m relay and the team of junior Jaide Stepter, sophomore Amalie Iuel, freshman Kendall Ellis and senior Vanessa Jones won the second of three finals heats with a school-record time of 3:29.63. Stepter gave the Trojans the lead and each successive runner built upon it, anchored by Jones' 51.84 final leg. Stepter was credited with a 52.85 split, Iule 52.08 and Ellis 52.87. That time moved the USC quartet into ninth on the NCAA Indoor Championships all-time list, but they would have to await the results of the last heat which featured the four fastest-qualifiers. In a tightly contested final heat, Texas won with a time of 3:28.48, followed closely by Arkansas at 3:28.70, dropping USC into third place and 11th on the all-time NCAA Indoor Championships list. USC picked up its final six points of the meet in the event.
"Coach Quincy Watts worked very diligently with the women's 4x400m relay," added Smith Gilbert. "Their handoffs were exceptional and they did a good job of moving the baton through the zone. Vanessa Jones anchored in 51.8 and I am proud to see her last indoor meet as a senior end with a new school record and a third-place, All-America finish."
Both the men's and women's teams scored more points and finished higher than last season, as the 2014 men's team scored 12 points to finish tied for 17th and the women's team scored eight points to tie for 29th. USC set three school indoor records in the two-day meet with Conor McCullough in the men's weight throw (80-3.75/24.48), De Grasse in the men's 200m (20.26) and the women's 4x400m relay (3:29.63). Also, Hall bettered her USC freshman record with a time of 8.01 in the women's 60m HH semifinals.
Earning first-team indoor All-America honors were Andre De Grasse (men's 200m), Kendall Ellis (women's 4x400m), Dior Hall (women's 60m HH), Amalie Iuel (women's 4x400m), Vanessa Jones (women's 4x400m), Conor McCullough (men's weight throw), Jaide Stepter (women's 4x400m) and Ky Westbrook (women's 60m).
"We are headed back to Los Angeles to recover for a few days and train through spring break," added Smith Gilbert. "We compete outdoors next weekend at home at the Trojan Invitational on March 20-21."