USC's Track And Field Team Collects Athletic And Academic Awards

June 1, 2006

The USC track and field team continues their winning surge on the track and in the classroom, as seniors Virginia Powell and Jesse Williams were selected as Division I West District Track and Field Athletes of the Year, Director of Track and Field Ron Allice was named West District Coach of the Year and 16 athletes are selected to all-academic teams.

Powell, who will be competing for the Trojans at the NCAA Championships held in Sacramento, Calif. (June 7-10), was selected as the top female track athlete in the West by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) for her domination in her signature event, the 100m high hurdles. Powell won the NCAA West Regional high hurdles title on May 27 with a collegiate record-tying time of 12.61. She has won the last two NCAA indoor 60m hurdles titles, the last two NCAA West Regional 100m hurdles titles and is the defending NCAA 100m hurdles champion. Powell has not lost a race the last two seasons and helped the USC women's team win the NCAA West Regional in Provo, Utah last week. This year, Powell won both the 100m HH and the 100m dash at the Pac-10 Championships and became just the second three-time winner of the Pac-10 women's 100m dash title (2004-06).

Williams, who has helped the USC men's track and field team to a Pac-10 title and an NCAA West Regional title in the last month and will be competing for the Trojans in the high jump at the NCAA Championships, was named by the USTFCCA as the male field athlete in the West. The USC school record-holder in the event, Williams will be attempting to win his second consecutive NCAA outdoor title in the high jump at the NCAA Championships next week. Last year, Williams became the first Trojan to win the NCAA indoor and outdoor high jump championships in the same season and is now looking to do it a second time.

Allice has guided the USC track and field team this season to a men's title at the Pac-10 Championships and to championships for both the men's and women's teams at the NCAA West Regional. Currently, both the men's and women's track and field teams are both ranked in the top seven in the country. Last year, both teams finished in the top seven at the NCAA Championships, one of only two school to be able to accomplish the feat. In eight of his first 11 seasons, Allice guided the Trojan men's team to a top 10 finish at the NCAA Championships and in 2001 he guided the women's team to their first NCAA title.

ESPN The Magazine announced their 2005-06 Academic All-District Women's Track and Field/Cross Country teams today and senior Kate Neeper was selected to the District 8 first team and junior Kate Hutchinson was named to the second team. Neeper was a International Relations and Spanish dual major with a 3.98 grade point average and Hutchinson a political science and international relations major with a 3.73 GPA.

Hutchinson and Neeper were also two of the 16 Trojans to be named to the 2006 Pac-10 Conference Men's and Women's Track and Field All-Academic teams. They were both first-team selections as were Philip Allen (So., Music Industry Technology, 3.71), Jacob Hamman (Jr., Architecture, 3.76) and Kevin Swartz (Jr., Accounting, 3.77) on the men's side.

Jekabs Sliede (Rs.-Fr., Business Administration, 3.71) was the only Trojan to be named to the second team. Selected to the Pac-10 Academic Honorable Mention teams were: junior Inman Breaux, Sr. Thomas Colich, junior Christina Eads, sophomore Charles Heffern, sophomore Jamila Marston, sophomore Jessica Onyepunuka, sophomore Michelle Sanford, junior Mark Sargeant, sophomore Manjula Wijesekara and junior Alexandrea Williams.

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