Three USC football players participated in the Pac-12 track and field championships over the weekend in Eugene, Ore. -- and another high-profile Trojan trackster surprised in the Pacific Northwest with a comeback win.
Receiver Marqise Lee, running back D.J. Morgan and linebacker Tony Burnett collectively competed in the relay, hurdle and jump events for the Trojans, giving USC three of its 11 points-scoring participants.
Bryshon Nellum, the former Long Beach Poly sprinter who was shot in the leg near the USC campus in October 2008, came from behind to win the 400-meter sprint with a personal-best time of 45.20 seconds. To do it, he motored past reigning conference champion Mike Berry in the final stretch and improved on his previous best by nearly two tenths of a second.
Lee ran the first leg for USC's 4x100m relay team which finished in sixth. Oregon's De'Anthony Thomas and Oregon State's Malcolm Marable, both football players, also ran the race for their respective schools. Thomas ran anchor and led the Ducks to a second-place finish; Marable ran first like Lee and finished in eighth.
Lee also finished fourth in the long jump with a mark of just over 25 feet and one inch -- eight inches behind the winner. Lee's mark was better than the 24-8 best he posted in high school, which was the second-best mark among all high schoolers in 2011.
Morgan was the top USC hurdler, finishing fifth with a time of 14.21 in the 110-meter hurdle in his second competitive hurdle race since his junior season of high school at Woodland Hils Taft. He ran a 14.48 in the preliminary heat.
Burnett, who came to USC for track and then walked on to the football team and later earned a scholarship, finished 15th in the triple jump -- second among USC jumpers.
Overall, the USC men finished seventh and the women finished fourth.