Women's Track Signs Nation's Top Recruiting Class

Nov. 18, 2002

Los Angeles - The USC women's track and field program has signed three prep All-Americans from California to letters of intent: Allyson Felix of L.A. Baptist High in North Hills, Michelle Sanford of Woodbridge High in Irvine and Dominique Dorsey of Poly High in Long Beach, Trojan coach Ron Allice announced today.

It is perhaps the finest women's recruiting class in the nation, as Felix is the nation's top prep sprinter in the 100 and 200 meters, Sanford is tops in the triple jump and Dorsey is the second-fastest senior (to Felix) in the 200 meters.

All three athletes will enroll at USC in the fall of 2003 and compete for the Trojans in the spring of 2004.

'Sprint coach Tina Fernandez and jumps coach Mike Pullins had an awful lot to do with bringing in these fine athletes,' said Allice. 'It's the mark of a quality staff to have athletes of this stature join our program. I couldn't be more delighted.'

Felix, the two-time defending California state 100-meter champion, is considered the nation's finest sprinter. She has nation-leading bests of 11.40 in the 100 meters and 22.83 in the 200 meters (she also is the defending state 200-meter champion). She has run the 200 meters under 23 seconds four times and her 22.83 PR is the third-fastest time ever in that event for an under-20 runner, behind only Marion Jones and Chandra Cheeseborough. She has also run a wind-aided 22.69. She was the 2002 Nike Athlete of the Year for Track and Field and won the gold medal in the 100 meters at the 2001 World Youth Championships in Debrecen, Hungary. Her brother, Wes, is an All-American sophomore sprinter for the USC men's track team.

'To have both her and her brother here is a special thing,' said Allice. 'The Felix's are such quality people, and to have that combination here is just great. We had four years of (four-time NCAA 100-meter champ) Angela Williams, and now we have (defending NCAA 200-meter champ) Natasha Mayers for one more year, but when Allyson comes in, we won't miss a beat. She is the next great sprinter at USC -- that's great company when you consider that four of the eight lanes in the 100 meters at the last U.S. Championships were filled by former or current Trojans. With Allyson, the tradition continues. She's the No. 1 sprinter in the nation. She has had outstanding coaching in high school. She will represent both USC and her country very well. Without a doubt, she is someone with Olympic aspirations.'

Sanford comes from an outstanding athletic heritage--her father is USC 100-meter record holder James Sanford. She is the reigning California state triple jump champ, with a nation-best mark of 42-6 1/2. She also has a best of 19-5 3/4 in the long jump and finished third in the state meet in that event. She finished fourth in the triple jump at the 2002 U.S. junior nationals and also competed at the 2001 World Youth Games, along with future teammate Felix.

'Michelle is the No. 1 triple jumper in the U.S., ' said Allice. 'She comes from a strong Trojan family. We're extremely excited to sign her. We've had tremendous success in recent years in the triple jump at USC. Michelle has four years to be the best she can be as a Trojan and to pursue her Olympic dream.'

Dorsey finished third in the 200 meters at the 2002 California state meet. Her best time in the 200 meters is an outstanding 23.51 -- second in the nation among current prepsters. She was also part of the state champion 400-meter relay squad that paced Poly to a nation-best time of 45.32.

'Dorsey is currently the No. 2 200-meter sprinter in the nation, behind only Felix,' said Allice. 'We feel that she has tremendous potential and will be a vital part of our future success at USC.'

The three All-Americans join a program that won its first NCAA team title in 2001, before finishing third last season.

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