Culver City Observer -

By Bill Seals
Sports Reporter 

UCLA and USC Face Off at Track and Field Meet

 


In a preview of the Pac-12 Championships this weekend, two of the top track & field programs in the nation faced off on Sunday when UCLA took on USC at Loker Stadium on the campus of USC.

In a split decision, the UCLA men soundly defeated the USC men’s track team, 102-60, while the USC women sprinted past the UCLA women, 90-69. Both UCLA and USC will participate in the PAC-12 Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Tucson, Arizona, this weekend - May 4th and 5th.

On the men’s side, UCLA was led in the field events by Harrison Schrage, who won the long jump in 25’-4.25” and the triple jump in 47’-7.25”. The effort by Schrage in the long jump was the second best in the Pac-12 this season.

Isaiah Holmes won the high jump at 7’-2.5”. In the men’s pole vault, Michael Fancey took first place, clearing 17’-1.5”. Dotun Ogundeji finished in first-place in both the shot put 65-11 and discus at 186-9.

In the running events, the USC men dominated the sprints, while the UCLA men performed very well in the middle-distance results. USC freshman Omotade Ojora won the 110-meter hurdles in 13.68, a top ten time in the nation and the second-best time in the Pac-12. Brendon Stewart won the 100 meters in a personal best of 10.34.

Eric Allen Jr. won the 200 meters in a personal best of 20.80, Zach Shinnick won the 400-meter dash in 46.58 seconds and Cameron Samuel won the 400-meter hurdles in 50.57. All five of these winners are among the best in the Pac-12 and will challenge for conference titles in their events in the conference championships.

The UCLA men swept both the 1,500 meter and 3,000-meter run, as no runner from USC placed in the top three in either event. Robert Brandt won the 1,500-meter run in 3:44.66 and Colin Burke won the 3,000-meter run in 8:22.28. The UCLA men also won the 3000 Meter Steeplechase, with Munir Kabbara winning the event in 9:17.14.

The USC women won the dual event with UCLA for the 6th straight season, sweeping the results in the 100- and 200-meter dashes. Twanisha Terry won the 100-meter dash with a wind-aided 10.99, while teammate Lanae-Tava Thomas edged out Terry in the 200-meter dash with a winning time of 22.92.

The USC women are among the best sprinters in the nation and look like they will be very tough to beat in Tucson. Meleni Rodney of UCLA was able to pull out a victory in the 400-meter dash in 52.18, but the USC women overall were to good in the sprints and that was the difference in their dual meet victory over UCLA.

For UCLA, Alyssa Wilson continued her dominance in the field events by winning all three of her field events. Wilson won the shot put, discus and hammer throws and she will be a contender for all three field events at the Pac-12 Championships. Christina Rice of UCLA won the women’s 1,500 meter run in 4:24.26 and Jackie Garner of UCLA easily won the women’s 3,000 meter run in 10:14.22.

The USC women won the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championship in 2018 and are currently ranked #3 in the nation. With their strong group of sprinters, they will be a favorite to repeat as Pac-12 team champions in Tucson and challenge for another national title. The USC men, despite their dual meet loss to UCLA, are still among the best men’s track & field programs in the country.

The USC men’s outdoor track & field team was 4th in the NCAA Championships in 2018. UCLA is improving and is a top 25 track & field program. Based on their performance on Sunday at Loker Stadium, they will be a tough opponent in this weekend’s conference championships.

 

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