At the World University Games in Shenzhen, China, which lasted from Aug. 12-23, Nia Ali, a 2011 USC alumna, was just as impressive, running her way to the gold medal, winning all three of her races with times of 13.08 seconds in the preliminary round, 12.79 seconds in the semifinals and 12.85 seconds in the finals.
In June, Ali, then a senior, won the NCAA Division I women’s 100-meter hurdles, posting a personal record of 12.63 seconds as a member of the USC women’s track and field team.
Along with Ali, former Trojan Eva Orban, placed second in the women’s hammer throw with a personal record of 234-0 (71.33 meters). Orban, a native of Hungary, won the 2008 NCAA hammer title at USC.
Junior Aareon Payne, who was regarded as one of the top sprinters on the west coast as a freshman, participated in the women’s 200-meter dash, advancing to the semifinals. She placed seventh with a time of 23.85 seconds but did not advance to the finals.
In 2011, Payne earned 2011 All-America honors in both the 200-meter dash and as a member of USC’s 4×100-meter relay team.
On the men’s side, senior Joey Hughes placed sixth in the men’s 400-meter race.
Last season Hughes was undefeated in the 400-meter until the NCAA championships. He ranks seventh all-time on the USC 400-meter list with a time of 45.15 seconds.
Recent graduate Brendan Ames placed 10th in the 110-meter high hurdle semifinals. He did not, however, advance to the finals. As a 2011 All-American, Ames placed third at the NCAA championships with a personal record of 13.34 seconds.