March 25, 2008
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- Chris Ashley ran an 8:32.34 to win the 3000m and Jeff Stewart threw 56'9" to finish second in the shot put, leading the Gauchos at the USC Trojan Invitational this past Saturday. The meet was contested at Loker Stadium on the USC campus, and was one of the first big meets of the year as the outdoor season officially goes into full swing.
Ashley edged Brian Pierre of Boise State by about three seconds in the 3000m to take the victory, his first of the season. This was his first race since being sidelined with an injury following the All-Cal Challenge on March 1. Michael Powers also ran well in the 3000m, finishing third in 8:38.38.
Stewart had his best day of the season in the shot put, taking second place in the entire meet with a huge throw of 56'9" (17.30m), just short of his personal best of 57'0".
On the women's side, Lindsay Brunner ran the fastest 800m of the season thus far for the Gauchos, taking seventh place with a time of 2:17.33. That time is very close to the Big West Qualifying mark of 2:16.70 and is also the first sub-2:20 mark for the women on the year.
Jane Doolittle jumped 5 feet 5 inches (1.65m) to place third in the high jump, with teammates Christina Nowak and Maureen Ajoku finishing tied for sixth at 5 feet 3 inches (1.60m). This was Ajoku's first clearance over 1.60m on the season, so she has now qualified for Conference in the high jump.
Also in the field, Jennifer Brown and Melanie Sonby each jumped 11' 1.75" to tie for second in the women's pole vault (Section B). Ingrid Sutherland was the winner of Section B for the discus, throwing 144'5" (44.02m), a mark that was just below her personal best but that meets the Big West qualifying standard.
Earlier in the week, a few of the multi-event athletes took part in a decathlon/heptathlon at Cal State Northridge. Lauri Schakett was seventh overall in the heptathlon with 4264 points, Amanda Lee was eleventh overall in the heptathlon with 3722 points, and Nick deBeaubien was ninth overall in the decathlon with 5862 points. Highlights included Schakett finishing second in the 800m at 2:20.00, and deBeaubien finishing sixth in the 110m high hurdles at 16.00.
This week the Gauchos will be in Fresno, Calif. for the Cal-Nevada Championships.
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