While some of USC’s football players were anxiously awaiting a phone call about their NFL futures, the men and women of Troy went head to head with the UCLA Bruins at the Loker Track Stadium in their annual dual meet.
The Trojan men put on an incredible performance, especially sprinters Bryshon Nellum and Aaron Brown. Nellum competed in the open 200-meter dash and his specialty, the open 400, and he smoked the competition in both. He posted a 20.37 time in the 200m, the fast time in NCAAs this year, and one of the Top 5 teams in the country overall. He won the 400m with a time of 46.26, also a standout time for this point in the season.
Aaron Brown won the 100 with a time of 10.24 and led the men’s 4×100-meter relay team past the Bruins in 40.18 seconds.
Despite these strong performances, it wasn’t enough for USC to take home the team W in the dual meet. The Bruins got to take the victory lap on the Trojans’ home turf, largely in part to the Lady Bruins snapping a five-meet losing streak by winning 90-73. The men of UCLA won by a narrower margin, 85-78.
Senior Turquoise Thompson led the initiative for the women, winning the open 400-meter dash and then turning around less than an hour later and winning the 400-meter hurdles.
Standout wide receiver Marqise Lee also competed for Troy on Saturday, taking third in the long jump after just one week of practice. The event was won by UCLA’s Michael Perry, but Lee’s best jump of just over 24 feet was one of the highlights of the meet. He plans to compete next season as well, with the goal of jumping over 26 feet.
The Trojans really needed to win this dual meet to swing the Gauntlet numbers back in their favor, but in losing, UCLA instead gets the 10 points for this track meet. The Trojans still have a few more sporting events–namely baseball and rowing–where they could make up points. If they are unsuccessful, the Bruins will be moving the rivalry trophy across town to Westwood for the first time in years.