Powell, Williams Among Eight Trojans at World Track & Field Championships

Aug. 8, 2005

Current USC track and field athletes Virginia Powell (United States), Jesse Williams (United States) and Manjula Wijesekara (Sri Lanka), as well as former Trojans Allen Simms (Puerto Rico), Felix Sanchez (Dominican Republic), Brigita Langerholc (Slovenia) and Inga Stasiulionyte (Lithuania) and current USC student Allyson Felix (United States), are competing at the World Track and Field Championships in Helsinki, Finland, which began on Aug. 6 and runs through Aug. 14.

Powell, who bettered her school record and tied the Pac-10 record with a time of 12.61 in the 100m hurdles at the USA Track and Field Championships on June 26, will compete in the qualifying round of the women's 100m hurdles on Tuesday (Aug. 9). The semi-finals are scheduled for Aug. 10 and the finals are slated for Aug. 11. As a junior, Powell won both the 2005 NCAA indoor and outdoor titles in the high hurdles.

Williams, who bettered his school record with a high jump of 7-6 1/2 on July 26 at the DN Galan Track and Field Championships in Stockholm, Sweden, will jump in the qualifying round on Aug. 12, with the finals in the event to take place on Aug. 14. As a junior, Williams became the only Trojan to win both the NCAA indoor and outdoor high jump championships in the same season (2005).

Wijesekara, a 2004 Olympian from Sri Lanka, will be joining Williams in the high jump competition. The sophomore jumped a season-best 7-4 1/2 in the high jump at the Mt. Sac Relays in April. His career-best mark is 7-5 1/4, which set the Sri Lankan national junior record.

Simms is USC's record-holder in the triple jump with a mark of 56-4 set on April 26, 2003. The two-time Pac-10 triple jump champion finished second at the NCAA Championships in his 2005 senior season with a jump of 55-7. The qualifying round in the triple jump is on Aug. 9, with the finals on Aug. 11.

Sanchez, the world's number one ranked 400m hurdler the last four years (2001-04), attended USC in 1999 and 2000. He already has advanced to the finals in the 400m hurdles, which will be held on Aug. 9.

Langerholc, who attended USC from 1998-2001, holds the school and Pac-10 record in the 800m race with her fourth-place time of 1:58:51 at the 2000 Olympics. She ran a 2:03:06 in the qualifying round of the 800m race and did not qualify for the semi-finals of the Worlds.

Stasiulionyte, who attended USC from 2001-04, is still the school and Pac-10 record-holder in the javelin with a throw of 186-10 in 2002. The women's javelin qualifying round is on Aug. 12, with the finals on Aug. 14.

Felix, who turned professional and does not compete for the Trojans, will be starting her junior year at USC. She won the silver medal at the 2004 Olympics in the 200m race. The women's 200m qualifying race at the World Championships is on Aug. 10, with the semi-finals on Aug. 11 and the finals on Aug. 12. Allyson's brother, Wes, just completed his senior season at USC and finished second at the 2005 NCAA Track and Field Championships in the 100m dash.

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