Trojans Host New Mexico and Texas A&M At Cardinal And Gold Invitational
March 30, 2006
WEEKLY TRACK AND FIELD RELEASE - APRIL 1, 2006
FINAL HOME MEET OF 2006 - The USC Trojans' track and field team will be hosting the Cardinal and Gold Invitational at Loker Stadium on Saturday, Arpil 1. The meet will feature USC, New Mexico and Texas A&M. Also that day, the Trojans will be hosting the Los Angeles City High School Relay Championships with the city's top track athletes in the 4x100m relay, 4x400m relay, sprint medley (200m, 200m, 400m, 800m) and the distance medley (1200m, 400m, 800m, 1 mile) competing. This will be the last home meet in the careers of USC All-American and school record-holders Virginia Powell and Jesse Williams. It will also be Howard Drew Day at Loker Stadium, a salute to the Trojan's former sprinting great. There is a Howard Drew exhibit on display at Heritage Hall in conjunction with the USC Black Alumni Association which runs through April 3.
LAST WEEK AT THE TROJAN INVITATIONAL - USC junior Kate Hutchinson threw a school-record 181-7 in the women's discus and defending NCAA champions Virginia Powell and Jesse Williams won their signature events to highlight the Trojan Invitational held March 25 at Loker Stadium. Hutchinson's throw of 181-7 in the discus passed Cythia Ademiluyi's previous school record of 177-10 set on Feb. 23, 2002. Powell won the 100m high hurdles with a time of 12.82. The senior's time in the 100m HH is also the best by a female college hurdler this season. Powell also ran the first leg of USC's winning 4x100m relay team that ran a season-best 44.12. She was followed in the relay by sophomores Jessica Onyepunuka, Talia Stewart and Carol Rodriguez. Rodriguez also won the women's 200m race with a personal-best 23.39, the 10th fastest time in school history and the second-fastest time run by a collegiate woman this season. Williams, the school-record holder (7-6 1/2) and defending NCAA men's high jump champion won the high jump at a height of 7-4 1/4. The senior also competed in the long jump and placed second with a personal record of 24-8 1/2. Senior Karen Freberg won the women's shot put with a season-best 53-8 1/2, which ranks fourth all-time on the USC women' shot put list. Freberg is a transfer from Florida who has a personal best in the shot of 55-9 3/4. Freshman pole vaulter Derek Scott had a personal-best vault of 17-1 to win the men's event.
THE MEN'S TEAM - The men's team placed sixth at the NCAAs last season and return many of the top athletes from that team. Leading the way is Jesse Williams who has won the last three NCAA high jump titles (two indoor, one outdoor). He is joined in the high jump by Manjula Wijesekara who ranks second all-time at USC in the event behind Williams. In the sprints, USC returns two top-notch runners in Philip Francis and Garry Jones, both members of USC's 4x100m relay team that ran a 38.9. Lionel Larry can also be a big part of the short distances if he can return to health. Also, Kai Kelley and Blake Frazier return to anchor a strong hurdler group. In the 800m, Duane Solomon and Raphael Asafo-Agyei both qualified for the NCAAs last season. Tomasz Babiszkiewicz returns in the 1500m as a two-time All-Pac-10 performer.
THE WOMEN'S TEAM - The women's team placed seventh at the NCAAs in 2005 and have added some key new members to the team that could score at the championships. Virgina Powell anchors the team having run a 12.61 in the 100m hurdles, tied for the fastest time ever by a collegiate hurdler. She is the returning NCAA champ in the 100m hurdles and will also compete in the 100m dash. Jessica Onyepunuka and Carol Rodriguez will give the Women of Troy strength in the sprints. Candice Davis and Talia Stewart also should give the Trojans a good shot in the hurdles events. Michelle Sanford has returned to health and teams with Katarzyna Klisowska and decorated freshman Brittany Daniels to give USC a very good 1-2-3 punch in the long jump and triple jump. Former school record-holder in the pole vault Shannon Lewallen and current record-holder freshman Brysun Stately give the Trojans a solid pole vault group. Florida transfer Karen Freberg can score for USC in the shot. Julia Rozenfeld returns in the hammer and is joined by freshman Eva Orban.
RANKINGS - The latest Trackwire rankings have the USC women's team ranked tied for 16th and the men's team is not ranked in the top 25.
TROJANS CLAIM TWO INDOOR TITLES - The Trojans had a strong showing at the NCAA Indoor Championships (March 10-11), despite sending just five female and one male athlete to the event in Fayetteville, Ark. Jesse Williams defended his 2005 indoor title by jumping 7-6 to win the 2006 NCAA indoor high jump championship. Virginia Powell ran 7.84 to win the 60m hurdles title for the second consecutive season. Her time was the fastest ever recorded by a female college athlete in the 60m hurdles Candice Davis placed eighth in the 60m hurdles and Carol Rodriguez second in the 200m race to lead the USC women's team to a tie for eighth place in the team competition with 21 points.
USC TRACK AND FIELD HISTORY - USC is well known as one of the most successful athletic programs in the history of the NCAA, with 106 men's and women's national championships. The Trojans have won far more NCAA team and individual titles combined than any other university. However, the most dominant force in USC's slate of athletic programs is not the baseball team (12 College World Series titles) or the football squad (nine national championships) but the men's track and field program, with an unprecedented 28 NCAA titles (including nine straight, 1935-43). In fact, in the history of the NCAA, only the Oklahoma State wrestling program (31) has more national titles than USC men's outdoor track and field. Trojan athletes have dominated the track and field scene for decades. From the exploits of sprinter Charlie Paddock and thrower Clarence 'Bud' Houser in the 1920s and 1930s, sprinter Mel Patton in the 1940s, thrower Parry O'Brien in the 1950s,sprinter Lennox Miller and pole vaulter Bob Seagren in the 1960s, sprinter Quincy Watts in the 1980s, to four-time NCAA hammer champion Balazs Kiss (only the fifth collegian to win four in a row) in the 1990s and World Champion hurdler Felix Sanchez in the 2000s, USC is synonymous with track and field excellence.
Ron Allice AND SUCCESS GO HAND IN HAND - Esteemed Director of Track and Field Ron Allice enters his 12th season at the helm of the USC program. With the outstanding coaching staff he has assembled, the Trojans have returned to prominence on a national level once again. In 2005, the Trojans were one of two schools to place both the men's and women's teams in the top seven in the country. Under his guidance, the Trojan men's team has finished in the top 10 at the NCAA finals in eight of his 11 seasons, including a sixth-place finish last season. The Women of Troy won their first-ever national championship in 2001 under Allice, who has guided the women's track and field team to a top 10 finish seven times in 11 seasons, including a seventh-place finish in 2005. USC's past successes in track and field are well known: 29 NCAA championships (including two indoor titles), 61 world records, 87 Olympic team members, 40 Olympic gold medals and 16 inductees in the U.S. National Track and Field Hall of Fame - all encapsuled in 104 years of a rich and storied tradition.
TROJAN ATHLETES WITH NCAA REGINONAL QUALIFYING MARKS IN 2006
Last year the USC men's track and field team placed sixth and the women's team seventh at the NCAA Championships, one of just two schools in the country to have both the men's and women's team finish in the top seven. This season, the Trojans have posted 32 individual qualifying marks for the NCAA Regionals (as well as all four relay teams), where they will compete in Provo, Utah from May 26-27 for the chance to advance to the NCAA Championships, held June 7-10.
MEN WOMEN100m (10.50): Garry Jones 100m (11.75): Jessica Onyepunuka200m (21.19): Philip Francis 200m (23.96): Carol Rodriguez400m (47.26): Lionel Larry, Jeff Garrison 400m (54.61): Treani Swain800m (1:50.40): Raphael Asafo-Agyei, Duane Solomon 800m (2:09.80):110m HH (14.30): Blake Frazier, Kai Kelley, Logan Taylor 100m HH (13.92): Virginia Powell, Candice Davis4x100m Relay (40.66): Jones, Palmer, Francis, Alugbue 4x100m Relay (45.70): Powell, Onyepunuka, Davis Rodriguez4x400m Relay 3:10.00): Larry, Garrison, Palmer, Asafo-Agyei 4x400m Relay (3:42.00): Graham, Rodriguez, Davis-Quarrie, StewartHigh Jump (2.10m): Jesse Williams, Nathan GwozdzPole Vault (5.05m): Derek Scott Pole Vault (3.80m): Brysun StatelyLong Jump (7.34m): Jesse Williams Long Jump (5.97m): Michelle SanfordTriple Jump (15.08m): Inman Breaux Triple Jump (12.32m): Michelle SanfordShot (16.80m): Noah Bryant, William Denbo Shot (14.30m): Karen FrebergDiscus (51.70m): Noah Bryant Discus (47.30m): Kate HutchinsonHammer (55.60m): Adam Midles, Noah Bryant Hammer (54.15m): Eva Orban, Julia RozenfeldJavelin (61.60m): Dennis Rice