Trojans Continue Winning Ways On Final Day Of The Florida Relays|
April 4, 2015
GAINESVILLE, FLA. - USC continued its winning ways on the final day of the 71st Annual Florida Relays held at James G. Pressly Stadium on the Percy Beard Track in Gainesville, Fla. today (April 4). In fact, the track announcer kidded with the press box media, "Welcome to the USC Relays" after one of the Trojan victories. USC ended up with two disqualifications after the fact, but what you saw during the day was a Trojan relay team win seven of the eight heats in which it ran.
The first Trojans on the track were the women's sprint medley relay team of freshman Kendall Ellis (200m), senior Vanessa Jones (200m), sophomore Cameron Pettigrew (400m) and sophomore Amalie Iuel (800m). Ellis got the Trojans out to a lead, Jones extended it and the team never was challenged in winning its heat with a time of 3:47.98, 11 seconds faster than USC's team posted last season at the Florida Relays. Iuel's 800m split was clocked at 2:07. Once all the sections were run, USC's sprint medley team had finished in third place.
The next quartet of Trojans to speed around the track was the women's 4x100m relay "A" team of freshman Deanna Hill, freshman Ky Westbrook, junior Alexis Faulknor and redshirt junior Tynia Gaither. They posted a time of 43.85 to win the event and received the Walter Welsch Award. The Trojans' "B" team of freshman Dior Hall, senior Melia Cox, sophomore Destinee Brown and freshman Gabriella Cantrell won its heat and placed fifth overall with a time of 44.85.
The men's 4x100m relay team of senior BeeJay Lee, junior Andre De Grasse, junior Just'N Thymes and senior Bryan Mercado took to the track next and put on a show. USC ran 38.97 to win its heat, post the top collegiate time in the meet and finish third overall. USC's time currently ranks third nationally, is the eighth-fastest 4x100m relay time in school history and USC's fastest time since the 2005 season. As the fastest college team, USC was given the Dick Jones Award.
The next group of Trojans to run and win was the women's 4x200m relay "A" team of Hill, Cantrell, Faulknor and Gaither which posted a time of 1:31.41. That time was .42 seconds off the school record set last season at the Florida Relay and beat the next fastest college team by more than three seconds. USC's "B" team of Hall, Westbrook, junior Jaide Stepter and Brown also won its heat, but was disqualified for an exchange out of the zone.
The men's 4x200m relay "A" team of Lee, De Grasse, Thymes and freshman Ricky Morgan had the fastest time of any college or professional team at the meet of 1:20.72, but was also disqualified for an exchange violation. The "B" team of senior Davonte Stewart, Mercado, redshirt junior Jovonte Slater and senior Allen Williams had a time of 1:25.96 to finish fourth in hits heat and 18th overall.
The men's triple jump was the first field event of the day for USC and Williams had a best jump of 46-7.25/14.20m (-1.6) to finish 18th.
Freshman Randall Cunningham had a big day also, placing second in the men's high jump Invite with a PR of 7-4.25 (2.24m). Cunningham was clean through 7-1 and missed twice at 7-3 and 7-4.25 before clearing the bar at each of those heights in his final attempt. The bar was moved up to 7-5.75 (2.28m) where he missed on all three attempts. Cunningham moved into fifth place on USC's all-time high jump list and to within a quarter of an inch of the school's freshman record in the event.
In the men's college high jump, senior Michael Krone tied for third with a clearance of 6-9.00 (2.06m) in the final event of the meet for the Trojans. The light rain had picked up and with the meet running behind schedule and a drive to Tampa awaiting, the Trojans scratched their final entry in the women's 4x400m relay.