Katie Chin | Daily TrojanTrojan spirit · Freshman Kayla Richardson and the USC track team finished their season last weekend at the NCAA Championships. The men’s team came in 20th at the end of the four-day meet in Eugene, Ore., and the women’s squad boosted itself to third place with a strong final day.The USC track team finished its NCAA Championships on Saturday, as the six-month season culminated in last week’s meet against the nation’s elite programs at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. The men’s squad finished 20th overall and second among Pac-12 schools — behind only ninth-place host Oregon. The Trojans clinched a third overall finish on the women’s side, sliding in behind the champion Ducks and runner-up Georgia.The men kicked off the NCAA Championships on Wednesday, and USC scored six points to end the first day of the meet tied for 14th in a field of 78 teams. Redshirt juniors Eric Sloan and Nick Ponzio finished sixth in the long jump and shot put, respectively. Freshman Michael Norman punched a ticket to the 400m dash finals alongside redshirt sophomore Marquís Morris, who qualified for Friday’s 110m hurdles finals.USC’s women began their quest for a national title on Thursday, and the Trojans matched their male counterparts identically on the scoreboard, ending the day in 14th place with six points. Unlike the previous day, however, USC scored thanks to one third-place finish from redshirt senior Brittany Mann, and eight Trojans also advanced to Saturday’s event finals.Norman and Morris returned to action on Friday, as they looked to score points in the men’s event finals. Norman took home fourth in the 400m dash with a personal-best time of 44.88 seconds. The performance earned USC five points and also marked the fifth-fastest time ever run by a Trojan in the 400m final. Norman also improved on his program freshman record and earned a seventh-place standing on USC’s all-time list.Morris scored three points after finishing sixth in the 110m hurdles finals, becoming the first USC runner to score in the event since 2014. The Trojans finished the NCAA Championships with a total of 14 points, which tied them with Penn State for 20th overall.Finally, USC ended the weekend with a bang on Saturday, as the women’s event finals lifted the team to a third-place finish. The Trojans’ 43 points overall were the program’s most since a 57-point showing more than a decade ago (2002).Freshman Anna Cockrell and senior Amalie Iuel headlined USC’s final day at Hayward Field, as the pair clinched a 2-3 finish in the 400m hurdles to score 14 key points. Cockrell clocked a season-best time of 55.36 seconds, moving up to third on the program’s all-time list. Cockrell also scored a point for the Trojans with an eighth-place finish in the 100m hurdles alongside redshirt sophomore Dior Hall, who came in seventh.Junior Kendall Ellis earned USC’s final top-three finish of the weekend, as she took third in the 400m dash final with a time of 51.06 seconds. Senior Cameron Pettigrew trailed in seventh place (52.52) to combine with Ellis for eight points. Redshirt sophomore Ky Westbrook and junior Deanna Hill rounded out the individual Trojan scoring with eighth and sixth-place finishes in the 100m and 200m dash, respectively.The championships’ pivotal moment came in the final event, however, as USC’s 4x400m relay team claimed second to boost the Trojans from sixth to third place overall, leapfrogging Florida and Kentucky. Pettigrew, Ieul, Hill and Ellis’ combined time of 3:23.35 beat the previous collegiate record of 3:23.75, but Oregon still finished 0.22 seconds ahead of USC to set the new record and clinch a national title. With only eight seniors graduating from a deep roster before the start of next season, the Trojans now set their sights on next spring, when they will look to build on their strong showing in Eugene.
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Massive merger: Two giant blue stars are about to meldAstronomers have discovered that the brightest object in a nearby star cluster is actually two massive blue stars in the process of merging. We don’t know what will happen when the merging is complete: Some models predict the explosive release of a massive amount of energy, but others hint at a less violent outcome.Three-in-one drug cuts body weight by a thirdSign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Gut surgery is often the only option for life-threatening obesity and diabetes, but what if doctors could cut the pounds without using a knife? Scientists have engineered an antiobesity drug that rivals the dramatic benefits seen with surgery, dropping excess body weight by a third.Study of massive preprint archive hints at the geography of plagiarismNew analyses of the hundreds of thousands of technical manuscripts submitted to arXiv, the repository of digital preprint articles, are offering some intriguing insights into the consequences—and geography—of scientific plagiarism. It appears that copying text from other papers is more common in some nations than others, but the outcome is generally the same for authors who copy extensively: Their papers don’t get cited much.NASA gets 2% boost to science budgetFor an agency regularly called “adrift” without a mission, NASA will at least float through next year with a boatload of money for its science programs. Yesterday Congress reached agreement on a spending deal for fiscal year 2015 that boosts the budget of the agency’s science mission by nearly 2% to $5.24 billion.Mars Curiosity rover finds evidence of ancient lakes in Gale craterNASA’s Curiosity rover has found evidence that Mars’s Gale crater was once filled with water over the course of millions of years—maybe even longer. That’s good news for scientists who hope that the Red Planet was habitable for a sustained period of time.