A limited contingent of athletes shone for the USC track and field team at the Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif., on Friday and Saturday.
The highlight for USC was junior Zsofia Erdelyi, who broke her own school record in the women’s 10,000-meter run on Friday night with a time of 33:18.75, finishing fourth among collegiate runners at a meet known for its high level of competition in the distance events.
“She turned a lot of heads out there,” said USC distance coach Tom Walsh. “She’s really worked hard this year after a sub par cross country season and came out with some fire this year.”
Erdelyi ran identical 5,000-meter splits, a tremendous feat in a race as long and grueling as the 10,000-meter.
“It was a very smart race for Zsofia,” Walsh said. “Stanford is the benchmark for distance running, and for her to run such an even, intelligent race was great to see.”
Sophomore Blake Shaw also ran a tremendous race for the USC men, finishing third among college runners with a new personal best of 3:45.66 in the 1500-meter run. The race continued Shaw’s surge up the USC all-time ranks in the event, moving him to sixth a week after jumping from ninth to seventh. Shaw also ran a solid 800-meter race, finishing 11th overall with a time of 1:51.51.
Despite the meet’s heavy concentration on distance, the USC women’s sprinters had a solid showing. Senior sprinter Judith Onyepunuka advanced to the finals in the women’s 100-meter dash with a new season-best 11.86, and finished fourth overall in the finals with an 11.89.
Senior Shalina Clarke only missed a first place finish in the women’s 100-meter hurdles with a time of 13.39, just .01 seconds behind winner Kimyon Broom of California. Also, senior Elizabeth Olear finished fourth for the Trojans in the women’s 400-meter dash with a time of 55.11.
Onyepunuka, Clarke, Olear and senior Myra Hasson teamed up for the women’s 4×100-meter race and placed third overall with a blistering 45.51.
Next up for USC are the Texas Relays, a meet that earlier this week USC coach Ron Allice said would feature “the most intense competition [the Trojans] have seen so far this season.”