Track And Field Hosts Trojan Invitational

Feb. 27, 2002


The USC men's and women's track teams host the Trojan Invitational at Cromwell Field on the campus of USC on Saturday, March 2, 2001. Several schools from Southern California will participate, including UC Berkeley, Long Beach State, San Diego State, Cal Poly Pomona, Cal State Bakersfield and Cal State Fullerton, Whittier, and Cal State Los Angeles. The meet will also include some open events. Running events begin at 11:40 a.m. with the women's 3000m, while throwing events begin with the women's hammer at 8:30 a.m. at West L.A. College. Field events at Cromwell Field start at noon with the women's pole vault.


Both Trojan teams have competed in three meets so far this season: the Long Beach Relays on Feb. 16, the Claremont 'Carl Rossi Relays' on Feb. 23 and the L.A. Indoor Invitational, also on Feb. 23. Though none of the marks count yet for NCAA outdoor qualifying, there have been several outstanding perfromances. The highlight for the Women of Troy so far has been senior Cynthia Ademiluyi, who shattered the school record in the discus throw on Feb. 23 with a mark of 177-10. Other stellar marks have come from sophomore L'Orangerie Crawford in the shot (51-5 1/2), freshman Melissa Astete in the pole vault (12-8), sophomore Leslie Erickson in the javelin (160-0) and senior Tatyana Obukhova in the long jump (20-2 1/4). On the men's side, junior hurdler Ryan Wilson has run 14.01 in the 110m HH and has long jumped 23-11, while sophomore hammer thrower Harrison Lee has thrown a PR 186-10.


There are no rankings yet for either teams by the various track media outlets, but Track and Field News has chosen USC as the top women's team for 2002.


The Women of Troy won their first NCAA team championship last June at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. The Trojan men's program has won an unprecedented 26 NCAA outdoor national titles (including nine straight in 1935-43), plus two NCAA indoor crowns. USC's men also have had 107 individual champions over the years, including Dennis Kholev in the pole vault last season. The Women of Troy have had 15 individual collegiate champions, including three-time defending 100m champ Angela Williams, and nine Top 10 NCAA team finishes in school history.


USC scored 64 points at the NCAA meet in Eugene, Ore., this past June. Fifty-four of those points return to do battle for the Women of Troy in 2002. USC has perhaps the finest sprints and throws corps in the country, led by three-time NCAA 100m champion Angela Williams, seven-time All-American Kinshasa Davis, defending NCAA javelin champ Inga Stasiulionyte, All-American shot putter Cynthia Ademiluyi and All-American hammer thrower Julianna Tudja. Also returning is All-American triple jumper Tatyana Obukhova. A fine incoming recruiting class led by pole vaulter Melissa Astete, hurdler Aleksandra Pieluzek and sprinter Natasha Mayers rounds out what will once again be a balanced and talented Women of Troy team.


The Trojan men are coming off a season in which they finished second at the Pac-10 championships and 12th at the NCAAs. They also ended UCLA's 22-meet dual meet win streak with a thrilling 82-81 victory last May. USC loses several big-time performers from last year's squad, including NCAA pole vault champion Dennis Kholev, three-time All-American hammer thrower Norbert Horvath and Pac-10 triple and long jump champion Djeke Mambo. However, the Trojans do return All-American Ryan Wilson in the 110m HH, NCAA qualifiers Kevin Elliot (800m) and Dawid Jaworski (high jump), plus Pac-10 finalist Jeff Ryan in the pole vault. USC also brings in a fine recruiting class, led by triple jumper Julien Kapek, who has already jumped 53-9 1/2 indoors, and highly touted 400m sprinter Brandon Matlock.


In her career, senior Angela Willams has merely done something no other woman has ever done: captured three NCAA 100-meter titles. Throw in a semifinal appearance at the 2001 World Championships, a silver medal and collegiate record in the 60-meter dash at the 2001 World Indoor Championships, a school-record 11.04 in the 100 meters and handfuls of Pac-10 and All-American honors, and you have one of the finest female sprinters ever to grace the collegiate track scene. Needless to say, a fourth 100 meter title and another national championship will only add to the impressiveness of her resume. So far this season, she has run mostly indoors, winning the 50m dash at the L.A. Indoor Invitational in 6.17.


Junior hurdler Ryan Wilson had an impressive sophomore season in 2001, finishing third at the NCAAs in the 110m HH--the highest finish by a Trojan in the high hurdles since Mark Crear won it in 1992--and breaking into ninth on the USC high hurdle top 10 chart with a 13.69 mark against LSU. Wilson, who hails from Westerville, OH, also is one of the Pac-10's best in the 400m IH, with a top time of 50.82. Wilson is also competing in the long jump this season, and has already jumped 23-11 at the Long Beach Relays. The multi-talented Wilson is a fine arts major who works with ceramics and has even tried his hand at acting in some student-produced films at USC.


Senior Kinshasa Davis is one of the top sprinters in the country and a seven-time All-American. Last season, she clinched the Women of Troy's team title by finishing third in the 200m at the NCAAs. The season before that, she took second in the 200m at the NCAAs. Her best time of 22.69 is second on both the USC and Pac-10 charts in that category. She was also the anchor leg on USC's school-record relay that won the NCAA title in 2000 in 43.14 and on the relay squad that finished second last season.


Senior Kevin Elliott is one of the top 800m runners around and should challenge for national honors in 2002. He had a fine junior season, finishing second at the Pac-10s and advancing to the NCAAs. He ran a PR 1:47.40 at the Occidental meet to land in ninth on the all-time USC 800m chart. He took sixth at the U.S. nationals this past summer. He also is a solid 1500m runner for the Trojans with a best time of 3:51.90.


This year's edition of the Women of Troy throws program under coach Dan Lange is the best in USC history. An NCAA champion, three All-Americans and three school record holders return from last year's squad that accounted for 22 of USC's 64 points at the NCAAs. Leading the way is senior co-captain Cynthia Ademiluyi, who finished third last year in the shot at the NCAAs and just last week broke the school record in the discus (177-10). Junior Julianna Tudja set the school record in the hammer (210-11) while finishing third in that event at last year's NCAAs. Sophomore Inga Stasiulionyte is the defending NCAA javelin champ and school record holder (173-11). Sophomores L'Orangerie Crawford (No. 3 at USC all-time in shot and hammer) and Leslie Erickson (No. 2 all-time in javelin) were both Pac-10 finalists last season who are ready to make an impact at the NCAAs this season. Also in the mix is versatile junior Amy Thiel, who throws the shot, hammer and discus, and junior shot putter Cerenity Young, who is vastly improved and could be another NCAA qualifier for the Women of Troy.


Sophomore Dawid Jaworski, who hails from Gorzow, Poland, is a talented and consistent high jumper who is already second on the all-time USC high jump chart with a best of 7-3. Last season, he competed eight times and broke seven feet in seven of the competitions on his way to finishing 15th at the NCAAs. Look for him to possibly score points at the NCAAs for the Trojans in 2002.


Senior triple jumper Tatyana Obukhova finished third at the NCAAs last season and also won her second-straight Pac-10 triple jump championship. This year, she is looking to become the first USC woman ever to win three consecutive Pac-10 triple jump championships and the first two-time All-American in the event since Wendy Brown and Yvette Bates in 1987-88. She is No. 3 on the all-time USC triple jump chart and ninth on the long jump chart.


This year's men's team has an infusion of young talent that may take a while to gel. Sophomore triple jumper Julien Kapek of Houilles, France, is off to a fast start with a jump of 53-9 1/2 indoors. Freshmans hurdlers Jeff Garrison (14.69) and Ken Thomas (14.61) have seen action, as has freshman decathlete Rob Bates. Keep on the look out for sophomore Brandon Matlock in the 400m, senior David Grijalva in the pole vault, freshman Wes Felix in the sprints and sophomore Chris Hickman in the hurdles, just to name a few.


Last season, Natasha Neal and Julianna Tudja were key transfers from Texas and SMU, respectively, who helped to lead USC to the national title. This season, look for junior 400m runner Nakiya Johnson (Texas), junior sprinter Natasha Mayers (L.A. Southwest College) and senior pole vaulter Sonya Negriff (Cornell) to give USC a boost.


The women's pole vault program is off to a flying start for USC in 2002. Leading the way is highly touted freshman Melissa Astete who has already jumped 12-8 this season. Obviously, she is the current school record holder. Giving the program added depth is the aforementioned Negriff and freshman Shannon Lewallen.


They said it couldn't be done. They said the era of the track and field dual meet was over. In this era of limited scholarships, how could a men's track team, much less one at a private university, field a competive dual meet squad and still be a power on the national stage? Well, Trojan coach Ron Allice proved it could be done. In 2002, the USC men's team defeated UCLA, 82-81, to snap a 22-meet losing streak to the Bruins, then went on to finish a close second at the Pac-10 championships and 12th at the NCAAs.


When you add the 22 points the men's team won at the NCAAs with the 64 points the women's team scored, the ensuing total of 86 is higher than what any other university scored in 2001. Stanford was the next closest with 63 points. In 1999, USC was the only school to place both the men's and women's team in the top five at the NCAAs, as the women took third and the men fifth.


Get ready. The 2003 Pac-10 Championships will be held at Katherine Loker Stadium. It will be the first time USC has hosted a conference meet since 1986.


Under the guidance of Director of Track and Field Ron Allice, the Women of Troy have become one of the top programs in the country, thanks to four consecutive top five finishes, including the 2001 NCAA team championship. Meanwhile, the Trojan men went on a run of seven consective top 10 finishes--a feat last accomplished during the late 1960s and early 1970s under Verne Wolfe--from 1994-2000 and have won three Pac-10 titles in the last five years. In 2000, he led the USC men's team to a seventh place showing and the Women of Troy to second. In 1999, USC was the only program that finished in the top five in both men's and women's track and field. In 1998, the Trojan men's team finished in seventh place while the women's team finished in fifth place. In 1997, Allice directed the Trojan men's team to its first Pacific-10 Conference title since 1977 before finishing third at the NCAAs. In 1996, Allice guided the USC women's team to its first-ever Pac-10 title and directed the men's squad to a 10th-place finish at the NCAAs. And in his first year at USC in 1995, he led the men's team to a fourth-place finish at the NCAAs. Allice, a prep standout at Long Beach (Calif.) Poly High, is well known for his ability to win. His overall dual meet coaching mark is 211-39-1 in 33 years at five schools, including 11 state championships in 16 years at Long Beach City College, his previous stop before landing at Troy. Allice's programs have produced more than 220 All-Americans, plus 16 Olympians, four world record holders and seven American record holders. He has coached at his high school, junior college and college alma maters on the way to compiling his outstanding coaching statistics.


In addition to Troy's 26 NCAA outdoor titles (including nine straight, 1935-43), two indoor NCAA titles and 31 conference crowns, the USC men's program has had 39 unbeaten and untied seasons, including a string of 16 in a row (1946-61). Since starting the track and field program in 1900, the Trojan men have compiled a dual-meet record of 417-111-4 (.799). Since 1912, 61 USC trackmen have equalled or bettered world records, and there have been 106 NCAA individual or relay winners from Troy. Eighty-one Trojan men and 17 Women of Troy have won 128 places on national Olympic teams over the years. Trojans have won 27 individual Olympic titles and shared in 13 relay wins.


The Trojan Invitational is dedicated to the memory of Bill Tisdale, who passed away last Friday. Tisdale was USC's meet director and publisher of the Trojan Force Support Group Newsletter for the past seven years. He had worked with USC coach Ron Allice for 27 years, both as a coach and as Sports Information Director at Long Beach City College. His good nature and his friendship will be sorely missed.


Field Events

8:30 Women's Hammer at West L.A. College

9:30 Men's Hammer at West L.A. College

12:00 Women's Pole Vault

Women's Javelin

Women's Long Jump (West Pit)

Men's Long Jump (North Pit)

12:45 Women's High Jump

1:00 Men's Javelin (after women's javelin)

Women's Shot Put (follows women's javelin)

Men's Triple Jump (follows men's long jump)

Women'sTriple Jump (follows women's long jump)

Men's Pole Vault (followes women's pole vault)

1:45 Men's High Jump (followes women's high jump)

2:00 Women's Discus (follows women's shot put)

Men's Shot Put (follows men's javelin)

2:45 Men's Discus (follows women's discus)


11:40 Women's 3000m

12:00 Women's 400m relay

12:05 Men's 400m relay

12:10 Women's 1500m

12:20 Men's 1500m

12:30 Women's 100m HH

12:45 Men's 110m HH

1:00 Women's 400m

1:10 Men's 400m

1:20 Women's 100m

1:40 Men's 100m

1:55 Women's 800m

2:05 Men's 800m

2:15 Women's 400m IH

2:30 Men's 400m IH

2:55 Women's 200m

3:05 Men's 200m

3:25 Men's 3000m

3:45 Women's 1600m relay

3:50 Men's 1600m relay

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