Ndipagbor Wins 200m Race As USC Has Strong Day At Mt. SAC Relays

    Senior Loudia Laarman had a big day at the Mt. SAC Relays setting PRs in both the 100m and 200m races.

    April 18, 2014

    Akawkaw Ndipagbor won the women's 200m University/Open (U/O) race as the Trojans had four of the top nine finishers in the event to highlight USC's efforts at the Mt. SAC Relays held at Hilmer Lodge Stadium in Walnut, Calif. today (April 18).

    The women's team had great results in the 200m U/O race with five of its six runners setting personal bests. The junior Ndipagbor won the first heat and the event outright with a wind-aided collegiate best time of 23.40 (+2.8w), just edging Antoinette Goodman of North Dakota State (23.395-24.00) who ran in the second heat. Sophomore Alexis Faulknor took fourth in the first heat and ninth overall with a time of 23.72. Junior Vanessa Jones placed second in the second heat and third overall with a PR of 23.43 (+0.0) and senior Loudia Laarman took third in the heat and sixth overall with a PR of 23.58 (+0.0). Senior hurdler Lauren Blackburn placed second in her heat with a PR of 24.20 (+1.2) and junior hurdler/jumper Melia Cox was second in her heat with a wind-aided PR of 24.60 (+2.2). They finished 27th and 45th overall.

    In the men's 200m dash, redshirt sophomore Jovonte Slater won his heat and finished 22nd overall with a collegiate legal best of 21.35 (+1.3). Freshman Alex Rohani was fifth in the fourth heat and 39th overall with a time of 21.65 (+0.4), while junior Bryan Mercado was sixth in the same heat and 41st overall with a time of 21.72 (+0.4).



    Senior Victory Fajoyomi and junior Allen Williams got things started for USC around 10:05 a.m. in the University/Open 110m HH. Fajoyomi was fifth in his heat and 34th overall with a time of 14.75 (+0.9) and Williams was sixth in his heat and 35th overall with a time of 14.78 (+1.7). Up next was freshman Amalie Iuel in the women's U/O 100m HH and she took eighth in her heat and 50th overall with a time of 14.64 (+0.0).

    Next USC had five women running in the 1500m U/O race. Sophomore Katerina Berdousi placed ninth in the 9th section and 109th overall with a time of 4:43.70 and sophomore Jenna Tong was 11th in the same heat and 115th overall with a time of 4:44.87. Senior Lindsay Enright was fourth in the 10th section and 116th overall with a time of 4:45.02 and junior Kira Soderstrom was fifth in the same section and 117th overall with a season-best time of 4:45.18. Both runners were knocked off stride with about 200m to go when a runner tripped and went down on the track, forcing them to stop and sidestep the fallen runner. Redshirt sophomore Lauren Grego was seventh in the final heat and 135th overall with a PR of 4:51.54.

    The men's 1500m U/O race was next and redshirt sophomore Bryan Jordan placed sixth in his heat and 36th overall with a personal-best time of 3:50.87. Redshirt sophomore Josh Galen and sophomore Will Robinson also PR'd in the final 1500m race and finished 13th and 17th respectively in their heat. Galen had a time of 4:10.05 to place 113th and Robinson a time of 4:28.85 to finish 118th.

    Jones won her heat of the women's 400m U/O race and finished second overall with a time of 52.98. Former USC All-American hurdler Dalilah Muhammad ran in the same heat and placed sixth with a time of 54.69. Freshman Cameron Pettigrew ran in the fifth heat and finished third with a time of 55.47. That matched her season-best time and was 32nd overall on the day.

    Junior Armon Owens ran in the first heat of the men's 400m U/O race and had a time of 51.12 in his first 400m race of the season. He was eighth in the heat and 64th overall. Rohani won the fifth heat and was eighth overall with a season-best time of 47.19.

    USC women finished 2nd-4th in the women's 100m dash U/O led by redshirt sophomore Tynia Gaither who won the fifth heat and was second with a time of 11.46 (2.1w). Laarman won the second heat with a big PR of 11.47 (+0.9) to finish third overall, just edging her teammate Faulknor who had a time of 11.50 (+0.9) in the same heat to finish fourth overall. Redshirt junior Charity Bruce had a wind-aided collegiate best of 11.98 (+2.4) to place sixth in the seventh heat and 45th overall. Former Trojan All-American Aareon Payne had a time of 11.72 to place 14th.

    Slater and Mercado both ran in the fifth heat of the men's 100m dash U/O. Slater took third to finish 21st overall with a collegiate PR and tied his high school best of 10.54 (+1.8). Mercado was fifth in the heat and 32nd overall with a time of 10.63 (+1.8).

    Sophomore Natasha Strickland was in the final women's 800m U/O race and after running about 40 meters, one of the girls was tripped and they restarted the race. She didn't get out as well in the second attempt and settled in at the back of the pack. She picked off five runners on the final lap, but finished 10th in the heat and 97th overall with a time of 2:18.43.

    Junior Myles Andrews was next in the first heat of the men's 800m U/O race and he too settled into last for the first lap before making a run, but he too had a runner go down with about 220 meters left in the race and went on to finish 10th in the heat and 27th overall with a time of 1:52.54.

    Iuel and sophomore Jaide Stepter were both in the first heat of the women's 400m IH U/O race. Stepter was out well and leading the race, but seemed to stumble between the sixth and seventh hurdle and lost all of her momentum and finished ninth in the heat with a time of 61.60. Iuel had a time of 60.15 to finish sixth in the heat. Overall, Iuel was 15th and Stepter 33rd.

    Freshman Chase Peterson placed fifth in the sixth heat and 43rd overall in the men's 400m IH U/O with a time of 54.52.

    The final men's running event was the 4x400m relay and the Trojans went with a team of Rohani, Andrews, Mercado and Owens which finished with a time of 3:18.40, good for 17th.

    In the field events, sophomore Tera Novy was 18th and freshman Tanya Sapa tied for 19th in the women's shot put U/O. Novy had a season-best mark of 45.5.00 (13.84m) and Sapa had a best mark of 45-4.50 (13.83m).

    Senior Oluwakemi Olonade placed third in the women's triple jump U/O with a season-best leap of 41-4.25/12.60m (-0.6). She had three jumps in the competition over 40-10.

    Faulknor placed eighth in the women's long jump with a best leap of 19-6.00/5.94m (+2.7w).

    Junior Alexandra Collatz placed 23rd in the women's hammer throw U/O with a best mark of 172-10/52.67m. Sapa fouled in all three of her attempts.

    Senior Herb Dew tied for 11th and senior Viktor Fajoyomi tied for 20th along with former Trojan jumper Tyler Ruiz in the men's high jump U/O. Dew had a best clearance of 6-8.25 (2.04m), as did Fajoyomi who had two misses at the opening height.

    Also, volunteer assistant pole vault coach and four-time All-American for USC Brysun Statley tied for fifth in the women's pole vault "A" U/O competition. She had a clearance of 13-1.50/4.00m

    The final even for USC on the day was the women's discus throw Invite U/O which was scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. The event got underway quite late and by the time Novy threw in the second flight it was already 7:30 p.m. Her best throw went for 166-8/50.80m, but she did not advance to the finals and finished in 11th place.

    Vanessa Jones