Aristil Places Fifth at NCAA Championships

June 11, 2010
Ted Mase
NCAA Championships Home Page | Live Stats

EUGENE, Ore. - Already an All-American, University of South Florida track and field athlete David Aristil capped off an extraordinary sophomore collegiate campaign Friday as he placed fifth overall in the final of the 400 hurdles at the NCAA Track and Field Championships at Oregon's Hayward Field.

Aristil's time of 51.05 edged out a trio of competitors in the eight-man race, with South Carolina's Johnny Dutch taking home the title in 48.75. Aristil gave USF four team points with his effort.

Mississippi State's Emanuel Mayers (51.39), Texas Tech's Jamele Mason (51.46) and USC's Reggie Wyatt (53.99) all placed lower than Aristil. Bryce Brown of Texas Tech took fourth ahead of Aristil in 50.11.

Prior to the BIG EAST Championships, Aristil's all-time best had stood at 51.13. He has now topped that in five of his last six races since winning the BIG EAST Conference title in early May.

His fifth-place standing ties Aristil for the fourth-best finish ever by a USF male student-athlete at the track and field championships. Jon Dennis won back-to-back titles in the 5,000 meters in the early 90's, while high jumper Jimmy Baxter placed third in 2004. Jan-Erik Salo also placed fifth in 2001 in the 3,000 steeplechase.

Aristil had already earned All-America status for being one of eight runners in the final. The top 8 individuals in each event at the NCAA Championships receive All-America honors.

Aristil became just the fifth different All-American the men's team has ever had after he finished the semifinal in a school record 50.13 Wednesday night. Aristil just edged out Wake Forest's Brent LaRue for the second of two at-large spots to qualify for the final. LaRue, who ran in Aristil's heat Wednesday, completed the race in 50.20.

Overall, the men's track and field team at USF has had eight All-America performances. The women's team has had 11 individual All-America performances, plus the 2001 4x100 relay and an addition honor in cross country.

Aristil was also the second-ever NCAA qualifier in the 400 hurdles for USF, joining Olympian Kemel Thompson, who competed at the 1996 Championships. Thompson had owned the school record since 1996 with a time of 50.50 before Aristil eclipsed it at the BIG EAST Championships.

Aristil, Thompson and 2008 Olympic finalist Damu Cherry are the only USF hurdlers to ever advance to the NCAA Championships.

Also at the national meet this week, sophomore Jared Thomas finished 19th in the discus Wednesday, while sophomore Nicole Rozario took 22nd in the 3,000 steeplechase Thursday.

USF sophomore Casey Wagner will throw the javelin Saturday at 12:30 p.m. to wrap up the championships for USF.

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