USC Track & Field Team To Compete At Texas Relays
April 5, 2006
WEEKLY TRACK AND FIELD RELEASE - APRIL 6-8, 2006
TROJANS AT THE TEXAS RELAYS THIS WEEK - The USC Trojans' track and field team will be traveling to Austin, Tex. this weekend to compete in the 79th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays being hosted by the University of Texas at Mike A. Myers Stadium from April 6-8. The meet will feature some of the nation's top professional, collegiate and high school track and field athletes.
LAST WEEK AT THE CARDINAL AND GOLD INVITATIONAL - Junior Kate Hutchinson for the second consecutive week set the USC school record in the women's discus by throwing 184-1 to highlight the activities at the Cardinal and Gold Invitational hosted by USC at Loker Stadium. Former USC sprinting great Howard P. Drew was saluted and Trojan Olympians Angela Williams and Felix Sanchez were on hand to present the awards to all of the L.A. City high school relay champions. Freshman USC record-holder Brysun Stately won the women's pole vault competition at a height of 12-9 1/2. Sophomore Lionel Larry won the men's 400m race with a time of 46.07, the same time he ran in the previous week's Trojan Invitational, which is still the fastest 400m by a collegiate male runner this season. Senior Jeff Garrison, who has the fourth-fastest time in the country this season of 46.73, ran 46.95 to place second in the event. Sophomore Carol Rodriguez won the women's 200m race and matched her career-best time set the previous week of 23.39. Her time is the fifth fastest by a collegiate female in the 200m race so far this season and ranks as the 10th fastest time ever by a Trojan female. Senior Virginia Powell won the women's 100m dash with a wind-aided time of 11.17, the fastest time in the country this season. Not far behind her in the race was Rodriguez who finished second with a wind-aided time of 11.31. Sophomore Kai Kelley just edged teammate senior Blake Frazier (14.12) in the men's 110 high hurdles with a time of 14.10. Other Trojans posting victories on the day were junior Candice Davis in the women's hurdles with a wind-aided time of 12.37, senior Noah Bryant in the men's shot put with a throw of 60-10 3/4, senior Philip Francis in the 100m dash with a time of 10.49, junior DeSean Cunningham in the 800m run with a time of 1:54.20, the USC women's 4x100m relay team (44.53), the USC men's 4x100m relay team (40.34), USC women's 4x400m relay team (3:41.71) and the USC men's 4x400m relay team (3:07.20).
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 remain healthy and is off to a good start, leading the nation in the 400m race. 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 and have posted top marks already this season. Tomasz Babiszkiewicz returns in the 1500m as a two-time All-Pac-10 performer. Also, Adam Midles who finished sixth in the hammer in 2005 returns as does Noah Bryant, who missed much of last season due to injury.
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 list the USC women's team tied for second with Nebraska behind Texas. The USC men's team is ranked tied for 17th by Trackwire.
TROJANS IN THE TOP 10 THIS SEASON - The following Trojans currently have posted times or marks that rank among the top 10 in the country so far this season: Men: 100m - Garry Jones (6); 200m - Philip Francis (7); 400m - Lionel Larry (1), Jeff Garrison (4); 800m - Raphael Asafo-Agyei (3), Duane Solomon (7); 1500m - Tomasz Babiszkiewicz (10); 110 HH - Blake Frazier (9); 400m IH - Kai Kelley (2); 4x100m - (5); 4x400m (5,6,7); High Jump - Jesse Williams (1), Nathan Gwozdz (9); Pole Vault - Derek Scott (8); Long Jump - Williams (8); Triple Jump - Inman Breaux (9); Shot - Noah Bryant (5); Hammer - Adam Midles (6). Women: 100m - Virginia Powell (1), Carol Rodriguez (4), Jessica Onyepunuka (8); 200m - Rodriguez (5); 400m - Rodriguez (2); 100m HH - Powell (1), Candice Davis (2); 4x100m - (1); 4x400m - (10); Long Jump - Michelle Sanford (10); Triple Jump - Brittany Daniels (8); Shot - Karen Freeberg (5); Discus - Kate Hutchinson (4); Hammer - Eva Orban (3), Julia Rozenfeld (7).
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 39 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, Philip Francis 100m (11.75): Jessica Onyepunuka, Virginia Powell, Carol Rodriguez200m (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):1500m (3:47.80): Tomasz Babiszkiewicz110m HH (14.30): Blake Frazier, Kai Kelley, Logan Taylor 100m HH (13.92): Virginia Powell, Candice Davis400m IH (52.51): Kai Kelley4x100m 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, Manjula Wijesekara Triple Jump (12.32m): Michelle Sanford, Brittany DanielsShot (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