Men place 11th, women 24th at NCAA championships
The menâ€™s 4×400-meter relay placed second while the womenâ€™s 4×100-meter relay placed seventh in the final day of the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, Saturday.
Senior Joey Hughes, senior Bryshon Nellum, junior Reggie Wyatt and sophomore Josh Mance ran the second-fastest 4×400-meter relay in USC history with a 3:00.64 finish, while Florida took the race with a 3:00.02 finish.
The Trojans needed a first-place finish in the menâ€™s relay race to place in the top 10 among a field of more than 350 schools.
Instead, the men ended the meet in 11th place with 20 points, making it just the fifth time in the last 18 seasons that they did not finish in the top 10.
â€śNaturally, Iâ€™m disappointed, but we were the top finisher on the menâ€™s side among private schools, and that is significant,â€ť USC director of track and field Ron Allice said in a statement.
The womenâ€™s 4×100-meter relay team, composed of senior Aareon Payne, sophomores Jessica Davis and Loudia Laarman, and freshman Akawkaw Ndipagbor, placed seventh with a 44.24 time to give USC two team points.
It was the 14th time overall â€” and fourth time in the last seven seasons â€” that the womenâ€™s relay team scored at the NCAA championships.
The womenâ€™s team finished tied for 24th with 13 points.
Sophomore Aaron Brown, the lone individual male competing for the Trojans on Saturday, placed seventh in the menâ€™s 200-meter dash from the second lane with a time of 21.13.
Brown earned his first All-America honors for his efforts and became the first Trojan male to score in the race since Ahmad Rashad placed eighth in 2007.
â€śBrown had a vastly improved season,â€ť Allice said. â€śHis performance here didnâ€™t reflect how well he ran all season. [He ran] into a strong headwind, and his body build is not the type to be running into a strong wind.â€ť
Junior Alitta Boyd could not advance to the finals after fouling on all three attempts of the womenâ€™s triple jump. During the preliminary rounds, Boyd set a personal record of 43-8.50 (13.2m) to move into fourth all-time on USCâ€™s triple jump list.
Nellumâ€™s honor comes just a few years after he was the victim of a random shooting in 2009, where he-was shot in the leg. He ran a career-best 45.18 in the open 400-meter.
Thirteen Trojans earned first-team All-America honors, including each member of the menâ€™s and womenâ€™s relay.
Also earning top honors were Brown in the 200-meter, Wyatt in the 400-meter individual hurdles, senior Dalilah Muhammad in the 400-meter individual hurdles, senior Kristine Busa in javelin, and senior Marissa Minderler and sophomore Jenny Ozorai in hammer.
Second-team All-America honors went to Brown in the 100-meter dash, Hughes and Nellum in the 400-meter relay, freshman Alexandra Collatz in discus and freshman Daniel Szabo in hammer.
Earning honorable mention All-American honors were senior Jade Niemeyer in hammer, sophomore Lauren Blackburn in the 100-meter high hurdles, freshman Marqise Lee in long jump and freshman Davonte Stewart in the 200-meter dash.
â€śWe have some outstanding athletes returning,â€ť Allice said. â€śWe want to have a very successful season in 2013 with the fact that we host the Pac-12 conference championships.â€ť