LOS ANGELES -- The BYU men's track team, led by strong performances in the distance events, narrowly defeated USC 93.5 to 92.5 in dual meet action on Saturday.
The Cougars were led by their distance squad, which won every event and had a one-two-three finish in the 1500. BYU also had a one-two-three finish in the 400 to help them top the Trojans on their home track.
"I thought we performed really well in this meet," BYU men's head coach Mark Robison said. "It was windy, which wasn't good but we had people step up and look really good for us."
Aron Szmuda had the best meet, individually, for the Cougars. His winning leap of 25-03.25 (7.70) in the long jump is a provisional-qualifying mark, the first of the outdoor season for the BYU men. Szmuda also finished second in the triple jump with a mark of 51-07.00 (15.72).
Matt Nielsen led the Cougars to a one-two-three finish in the 400, finishing in 47.05 seconds to beat out teammates Matt Rowe, who finished in 48.01 and Kish Beverley, who was third in 48.67. Nielsen also finished second in the 200 with a mark of 21.46.
The Cougars distance dominance began in the 800, where Chad Simkins led BYU to a one-two finish. Simkins won in 1:51.43 and was followed by Jeremy Trail in 1:52.75. Trail was back in action for the first time since suffering a stress fracture.
Lewis Jones gave the Cougars another one-two three finish in the 1500, winning in 3:52.40 to beat Steven Barrus, who was second in 3:54.00 and Jeff Hopkinson, third in 3:57.20. Rich Evanson won the 3000-meter steeplechase for BYU in 9:25.20, beating out teammate Mike Thatcher with a time of 9:28.70.
Daniel Arrhenius won the shot put and the discus titles for BYU. Arrhenius had a toss of 53-09.25 (16.39) to win the shot and claimed the discus crown with a mark of 172-07.00 (52.60). Matt Holcomb finished third in the discus with a mark of 143-02.00 (43.64).
In the 400-meter hurdles, Greg Flint overcame the wind to run a lifetime best time of 51.60 and finish second in a photo finish. BYU's other title came in the 4x400 relay, where the Cougars won in 3:13.69.
A powerful sprint squad led the USC women to a 118-40 victory over the BYU women. Nan Evans was the lone Cougar to claim an event title with a win in the 1500.
"USC has a really good team and we were not particularly sharp today," BYU women's head coach Craig Poole said. "We still have to adjust to the outdoor competition but we will continue to get better every week. We have a strong team and we will be fine."
Led by Evans victory in 4:34.76, the Cougars went one-two-three in the 1500. Jolee Gillespie was second in 2:08.82 and Breanne Sandberg was third in 4:40.05.
The Cougars had a slew of second-place finishes on the day. Jennifer Rockwell finished second for the Cougars in the 400 in a time of 56.66 seconds and was the only Cougar to break through in the sprint events.
Jaime Cottle was second in the 800 with a time of 2:08.82, where she edged out Holly Haguewood, who crossed the line in 2:08.91 to finish third.
BYU's strongest performances came on the field, where Lindsey Johnson had a throw of 155-08.00 (47.44) to finish second in the javelin. Aimee Nichols had a personal-best effort in the discus for the second straight week with a toss of 154-00.00 (46.94) to finish third.
In the jumps, Candace Clifford cleared a height of 5-05.00 (1.65) to finish second in the high jump. Nikki Hughes leapt 19-07.75 (5.99) to finish second in the long jump and Lindsey Sommer was second in the triple jump with a mark of 35-11.25 (10.95) to beat teammate Sara Wright, who jumped 35-08.00 (10.87) to finish third. Bonnie Jacobs was second in the pole vault at 11-06.00 (3.50).
Andrea Combs was second in the 400-meter hurdles in a time of 1:03.28 and Amy Robinson finished third in 1:03.70 to finish the top finishes for the Cougars.
For complete results from this weekend's action, go to http://usctrojans.fansonly.com/sports/c-track/stats/032302aaa.html.