May 12, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Bryshon Nellum (left) takes the handoff from Myles Andrews on the anchor of the Southern California 4 x 400m relay that won its heat in 3:10.37 in the 2013 Pac-12 Championships at Cromwell Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sport
USC played host to the 2013 Pac-12 Track & Field Championships over the weekend, and saw its Trojans take second and sixth overall in the men’s and women’s competitions, respectively.
Though they did not win–Oregon would take home both the men’s and women’s title–a number of Trojans stood out as top performers, shattering all kinds of records in this two-day championship event.
Bryshon Nellum was named the Men’s Athlete of the Meet, setting both personal records (PRs) and stadium records in the 200m and 400m races. The Olympian started off his day by defending his title in the 400m dash in thrilling fashion, again edging Oregon’s Mike Berry at the finish line with a PR of 44.76. That time was also good enough to break the previous stadium record of 45.34, set by Billy Mullins in 1980, and was faster than his previous fourth-place standing on USC’s all-time list. He currently holds the fastest time in collegiate track and field this season.
In defending his title, Nellum became the first conference runner to win back-to-back 400m titles since former Trojan Lionel Larry did so in 2007-08.
The redshirt senior then followed that performance up with another record-setting race, this time in the 200m. He finished the event–one that saw an all-Trojan top three–with a time of 20.23, which moves him to third all-time on USC’s records list, and tied for seventh on that of the Pac-12. Previously, he was fourth all-time in Troy, with a time of 20.37.
Nellum became just the second athlete to win both the 200m and 400m titles at the conference meet in the same season, a feat previously only accomplished by Trojan Jerome Davis (1999).
Junior Aaron Brown also had a standout day, taking second in the 200m with a time of 20.53, and Davonte Stewart completed the Trojan sweep with a season-best time of 20.84.
USC has dominated in the 200m over the past decade, winning the Pac-12 title in seven of the last 11 seasons.
In the 100m, Brown and teammate BeeJay Lee earned the top two spots, with Lee taking the title this year from Brown, who won it in 2012. Lee PR-ed and won the event in 10.07 seconds, just edging out Brown, who finished at 10.08. Interestingly, in Saturday’s competition Brown set the initially stadium record with the same time of 10.07.
Reggie Wyatt set a new record in the 400m hurdles, with a season-best time of 49.17, smoking everyone else in the event by a full second. It’s a new Loker B. Stadium record as well as the collegiate-leading time this season. This is his first title in the 400 IH, having taken third as a freshman and second as a sophomore.
Wyatt became the first Trojan to win the 400m IH at the Pac-12 Championships since current volunteer hurdles coach Ryan Wilson won it in 2003, and is the 14th overall to claim the title since 1976.
The last record that the Trojans set came from the women’s 4x400m relay team of sophomore Akawkaw Ndipagbor, sophomore Vanessa Jones, junior Jenna Puterbaugh and junior Ashley Liverpool. They won the meet’s final event and the conference title with a time of 3:32.39, good enough to pass the previous stadium record of 3:32.76 set by UCLA in 2001. That time also ranks them in eighth place on USC’s all-time list.
USC now looks ahead to the NCAA West Regional competition, held at the University of Texas from May 24-25.