USC Wins 12 Events On The Final Day Of The Trojan Invitational

    2014 MPSF indoor 60m HH champion Lauren Blackburn got her outdoor season off in style by winning the 100m HH with a time of 13.34, tops in the early season among NCAA hurdlers.

    March 22, 2014

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    USC had only one home meet scheduled this season so they made sure that it was a special one as the Trojans won 12 events and posted five NCAA-leading times during the final day of the Trojan Invitational held at Loker Stadium today (March 22). Yesterday, USC won three events and had one NCAA-leading mark, making it 15 wins and six NCAA leading-marks in the two days of competition by the Trojans.

    "We had a nice day here at Loker Stadium," said USC Director of Track & Field Caryl Smith Gilbert. "The meet went as well as could be expected. We had some great performances, starting with Remy Conatser in the hammer throw yesterday, going all the way to today in the 4x400m races. I thought the competition was great. Everyone had a wonderful time. It was a nice light atmosphere. I want to thank everybody for coming out to help. So many great volunteers and all the officials allowed all of the student-athletes to have season bests and personal bests performances and season-opening bests. I was very excited to be part of the Trojan Family today. It was a great experience and we are going to host as many meets as possible in the future."

    The Trojans began the running portion of the meet with a pair of victories in the men's and women's 4x100m relays. The USC men's "A-Team" of senior Aleec Harris, senior Aaron Brown, junior BeeJay Lee and junior Davonte Stewart blazed to victory with a time of 39.89. That time was better than any USC men's 4x100m relay effort last season and ranks second among NCAA teams in the early season. USC's "B-Team of junior Allen Williams, redshirt sophomore Jovonte Slater, redshirt senior Terence Abram and junior Bryan Mercado placed third with a time of 41.18. The women's 4x100m relay team of senior Loudia Laarman, senior Jessica Davis, sophomore Alexis Faulknor and redshirt sophomore Tynia Gaither also won by nearly a second and a half with a time of 44.10. That time is better than the top women's 4x100m relay time of any team entering this week's action.

    The women's 1500m race was next and junior Kira Soderstrom placed 15th with a season-best time of 4:45.87, sophomore Natasha Strickland placed 16th with a season-best time of 4:47.62, sophomore Katerina Berdousi was 17th with a time of 4:49.47, sophomore Jenna Tong was 18th with a time of 4:49.65, senior Lindsay Enright was 19th with a time of 4:51.71 and redshirt freshman Lauren Grego was 23rd with a time of 4:59.53.

    Next was the men's 1500m race and redshirt sophomore Bryan Jordan placed third with a time of 3:52.31 and redshirt freshman Josh Galen finished 10th with a time of 4:15.44.

    The sprint hurdles races were next and the Trojans had a pair of impressive wins. Senior Lauren Blackburn won the women's 100m HH with a time of 13.34 (+1.1) which is her best wind-legal time since the 2012 Pac-12 Championships. Her time is also better than any other collegiate runner had posted this season. Junior Melia Cox was third with a time of 13.78 (+1.1). Harris then won the men's 110m HH by tying his legal-PR of 13.55 (-0.6), his best wind-legal time as a Trojan. That time moved Harris into ninth-place on USC's all-time list and is the best time in the country so far this season. Allen Williams placed third with a time of 14.53 (-0.6), senior Viktor Fajoyomi took seventh with a time of 15.40 (-1.3) and junior Jemal Williams placed eighth with a time of 15.45 (-1.3).

    Senior Ashley Liverpool won the women's 400m race with a time of 53.71. Placing fourth for USC was freshman Cameron Pettigrew with a time of 55.57. Freshman Alex Rohani was the only Trojan male to run in the 400m race and he placed second with a time of 48.03.

    The Trojans went 1-2-3 in the women's 100m dash led by Davis who ran 11.42 (+1.0). For Davis it was her best legal 100m race since the 2011 NCAA West Prelims and is the fastest time entering today by a college female. Faulknor was second with a time of 11.63, Laarman was third with a time of 11.71 and redshirt junior Charity Bruce was 15th with a wind-aided time of 12.25 (+3.1w). In the men's 100m dash, Slater was second with a wind-aided time of 10.61 (+2.9w) and Abram was seventh with a time of 10.83.

    In the women's 800m race, Enright finished 12th with a season-best time of 2:20.10, Strickland was 16th with a time of 2:23.85 and sophomore Alyssa Reardon was 17th with a season-best time of 2:29.41. In the men's 800m race, junior Myles Andrews was third with a time of 1:52.12, Jordan was sixth with a season-best time of 1:55.98, sophomore Andreas Spanos was eighth with a time of 1:59.50, Galen was ninth with a time of 2:02.52 and sophomore Will Robinson took 12th with a season-best time of 2:07.50.

    The women's 400m hurdles race was next and a pair of Trojans moved into USC's all-time top 10 list in the event. Sophomore Jaide Stepter won the 400m IH race with a PR of 58.39 which is the eighth-fastest time ever by a Trojan female. Also running her way into the Trojan top 10 was freshman Amalie Iuel who had a time of 58.98, good for third today and 10th all-time by a USC female hurdler. Freshman Chase Peterson won the second heat with a PR of 53.91 to place fifth overall in the men's 400m IH.

    Gaither won the women's 200m dash with an NCAA-leading time of 23.40 (+1.2), followed closely by junior Akawkaw Ndipagbor in second with a time of 23.54 (+1.2). Laarman was third with a time of 24.37 (+1.2) to make it a 1-2-3 sweep in this event, like the 100m dash. Also running in the 200m race for USC were Blackburn (T-5th, 24.53/+0.6)), Liverpool (T-5th, 24.53/+1.0), Pettigrew (9th, 25.02/+0.6), Bruce (27th, 26.11/+1.1), senior Oluwakemi Olonade (28th, 26.91/+0.8) and junior Samantha Ojo (29th, 27.43, +0.8).

    Stewart won the men's 200m dash with a season-best time of 20.80 (+0.9). Also running in the 200m race for the Trojans were Lee (4th, 21.41/-0.6), Slater (5th, 21.56/+-0.9), Harris (6th, 21.76/+0.9), Rohani (9th, 21.96/-0.6), Abram (11th, 22.03/+0.6) and senior Doug Bogie (22nd, 23.12/+0.8).

    The final races on the day were the 4x400m relays. The USC "A" relay team of Liverpool, Stepter, Iuel and Pettigrew won the women's 4x400m race with a time of 3:38.86. The USC "B" relay team of Gaither, Davis, Enright and Strickland placed sixth with a time of 3:52.05. The men's "A" relay team of Stewart, Andrews, Rohani and Brown won with a time of 3:11.06. The USC "B" relay team of Peterson, Slater, Spanos and Jordan placed sixth with a time of 3:24.83.

    The first field event today was the women's pole vault and senior Thea Weiss and sophomore Felicia Horvath tied for fourth with a clearance of 11-11.75 (3.65m). In the men's pole vault, Jemal Williams cleared 14-11.00 (4.55m) to place fourth. That clearance was one-half inch off his PR of 14-11.50 set at the Rossi Relays on Feb. 22 this year.

    Freshman Tanya Sapa placed third in the women's shot put with a mark of 47-11.00 (14.60m). That shot put mark moved her into 10th place on USC's all-time list in the event. Sophomore Tera Novy placed 10th with a shot put of 42-11.75 (13.10m).

    In the women's high jump, Iuel tied for second with a clearance at 5-5.00 (1.65m) and redshirt sophomore Malia Cravens tied for sixth with a jump of 5-3.00 (1.60m). In the men's high jump, senior Herb Dew tied for second with a clearance at 6-11.00 (2.11m). Fajoyomi was eighth with a jump of 6-7.00 (2.01m), Bogie tied for ninth at 6-5.00 (1.96m) and sophomore Errin Baynes was 13th with a clearance of 6-3.25 (1.91m). Former USC NCAA high jump champion and World Champion Jesse Williams won the event with a clearance of 7-3.00.

    Junior Alexandra Collatz won the women's discus throw competition with a mark of 182-1 (55.49m). She was followed by her teammate Novy in second place with a throw of 167-8 (51.11m). Sapa placed 11th with a throw of 138-4 (42.16m).

    Cox took second in the women's triple jump with a leap of 41-3.00 (12.57m/+1.3) and Ojo placed 11th with a jump of 36-2.75 (11.04m/+1.9). The MPSF indoor triple jump champion Olonade fouled in her three attempts. Allen Williams placed fifth in the men's triple jump with a season-best leap of 48-1.25 (14.66/(+1.9).

    On Friday, Remington Conatser won the men's hammer throw with a mark of 238-8 (72.76m) which moved him into third place on USC's all-time hammer throw list, Lauren Chambers won the women's hammer throw on her last toss with a mark of 198-0 (60.35m) and Fajoyomi won the men's long jump with a PR of 24-7.00 (7.49m/+0.7).