The 2012 Trojan Invitational saw the return of a USC tradition not seen since Pete Carroll first arrived at Heritage Hall. With the blessing of Lane Kiffin, football players were once again allowed to walk-on to the track & field team to keep in shape during the spring months. The top player to make the leap from the Coliseum to Loker Stadium was freshman wonder Marqise Lee, and he made a big splash yesterday by winning the men's long jump with a jump of 7.3 meters.
This year's Invitational brought six highly competitive teams to USC: Washington, Michigan, Washington State, Brigham Young, the defending Pac-12 champion Oregon, and the defending national champion Texas A&M. Lee's victory was one of twelve earned by USC this weekend. Here are the other victories as well as some notable performances.
-- USC's first victory came in the women's hammer throw. Redshirt senior Marissa Minderler posted a distance of 64.13 meters, the farthest throw by a college athlete in the event. She came in second behind Trojan alumna Eva Orban '09, who competed unattached and threw for 68.66m. Sophomore Jenny Ozorai was third with a throw of 62.84m, redshirt senior Jade Niemeyer was fourth with 60.05m, and redshirt sophomore Lauren Chambers in fifth with a throw of 57.09m.
-- The men's hammer throw had a similar result. Alumnus Trey Henderson '11 won the event with a distance of 69.18 meters. Coming in second was freshman Daniel Szabo, with a distance of 67.1 meters.
-- Redshirt senior Zsofia Erdelyi won easily in the women's 3000m, finishing 2.7 seconds ahead of Michigan's Alexandra Leptich with a time of 9:36.21.
-- In his first official competition of the season, senior Cooper Thompson won the men's javelin throw with a mark of 71.69 meters, just under two meters ahead of Washington's Joe Zimmerman.
-- Sophomore Aaron Brown won the men's 100m dash with a time of 10.25, setting a new personal record and beating out NCAA finalist Prezel Hardy, Jr. of Texas A&M.
-- Junior Alitta Boyd won the women's long jump with a jump of 5.88m, 19 centimeters ahead of Texas A&M's Jena Hemann. Freshman Melia Cox won the triple jump with a mark of 12.71 meters.
-- In the women's discus throw, freshman Alexandra Collatz prevailed over Michigan sisters Emily and Erin Pendleton with a distance of 52.62 meters. The margin of victory was only 10 cm.
Finally, in the men's 4x400m relay, redshirt senior Bryshon Nellum, senior Joey Hughes, junior Reggie Wyatt, and sophomore Josh Mance prevailed over Texas A&M, the defending NCAA champions in the event. USC clocked a time of 3:02.24, the second-fastest ever recorded by a USC team in the event and the fastest in the world so far this season. Members of the relay team also had individual success. Mance secured a victory in the men's 400m, clocking in at 45.65, the current U.S. leading time this season. Wyatt came in first in the 400m hurdles with a collegiate-leading time of 49.95.The women's track and field team is currently ranked #3 in the nation, while the men's team is ranked #13. Both will compete next week in the Texas Relays. Congrats to all the Trojans for their outstanding home performance this weekend!