USC To Host Trojan Relays Track Meet This Saturday At Loker Stadium

Feb. 28, 2007

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2007 USC TRACK AND FIELD - The USC Trojans men's and women's track and field team will be hosting its first meet of the season on March 3 when the Trojan Relays will be held at Loker Stadium beginning at 11 a.m.. Among the teams featured at this open meet include: Cal Poly Pomona, Long Beach CC, UNLV's women's team, Mt. Sac, Chaffey, El Camino, Pasadena CC, CS Dominguez, East Los Angeles College, Compton College, Moorpark and various club athletes.

LAST WEEK - The USC track and field team competed at the Rossi Relays hosted by Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges on Feb. 24 and posted a strong opening effort. Among the highlights for USC were the women's 4x400m relay team setting a new stadium record with a time of 3:38.81, the men's 4x800m relay team shattering the meet record by 3.5 seconds with a time of 7:38.72, junior Kai Kelley setting a meet record with a time of 52.21 in the 400 intermediate hurdles and career bests by sophomore Katie Kirst in the 400m IH (62.75), sophomore Donovan Lim in the high jump (6-8), senior Inman Breaux in the long jump (21-11 1/2), senior Noah Bryant in the hammer (213-1), sophomore Mike Curiel in the hammer (168-5) and sophomore Brian Wilhelm in the hammer (167-3).

THE WOMEN'S TEAM - The women's team placed second at the NCAA Championships in 2006, as well as winning the NCAA West Regional and placing third at the Pac-10 Championships. NCAA 100m HH record-holder Virginia Powell has graduated, but the Trojans return a solid group and have added the No. 1 rated recruiting class in the country according to Track and Field News. Leading the way is junior Carol Rodriguez who last season ran the fastest 200m (22.23) and 400m (51.51) in school history. Rodriguez placed her name in the USC record books a third time as part of the 4x100m relay team (42.96) along with current teammates Candice Davis and Jessica Onyepunuka, as well as Powell. Davis has run the second-fastest 100m HH time in school history and got the season off to a good start with a 13.17 time on Feb. 24 at Claremont. Also returning is sophomore Eva Orban who set the USC record in the hammer, as well as establishing the Pac-10 record. Added to this nucleous of All-Americans are Troy's freshmen fab five of Shalina Clarke, Myra Hasson, Elizabeth Olear, Judith Onyepunuka and Shana Woods. This group of women garnered nine All-Am ratings in their prep days.

THE MEN'S TEAM - The men's team placed ninth at the NCAA Championships last season, following winning championships at the Pac-10 finals and the NCAA West Regional. NCAA high jump champion Jesse Williams has graduated, but Trojans have a strong group of returning athletes, led by junior Lionel Larry, an All-American in the 400m and 4x400m. Other returning All-Americans for the men's team are Noah Bryant (shot put), DaSean Cunningham (4x400m), Kai Kelley (4x400m), Adam Midles (hammer) and Duane Solomon (800m). Key newcomers for the men include freshmen High School All-American sprinters Nate Anderson, Jamere Holland and Ahmad Rashad and junior transfers Corey White (javelin) and Irec Sekretarski (1500m).

NEXT WEEK - Senior Candice Davis (60m HH), junior Carol Rodriguez (200m) and redshirt senior Noah Bryant (shot put) will be in Fayetteville, Ark. taking part in the NCAA Indoor Championships (March 9-10). Davis and Rodriguez are returning All-Americans, as Davis placed 8th in the hurldes and Rodriguez second in the 200m last indoor season. Also, the USC track and field team will particiapte in the Ben Brown Invitational, hosted by CS Fullerton in Fullerton, Calif. on Saturday, March 10.

RETURNING ALL-AMERICANS - The Trojans have 10 returning student-athletes who qualified for All-American honrs during the 2006 track and field outdoor season: Candice Davis (100m HH, 4x100m), Jessica Onyepunuka (4x100m), Eva Orban (hammer), Carol Rodriguez (100m, 200m, 4x100m), Noah Bryant (shot), DaSean Cunningham (4x400m), Kai Kelley (4x400m), Lionel Larry (400m, 4x400m), Adam Midles (hammer) and Duane Solomon (800m).

SCHOOL RECORD HOLDERS - Candice Davis (4x100m), Kate Hutchinson (discus)*, Jessica Onyepunuka (4x100m), Eva Orban (hammer), Carol Rodriguez (200m, 400m, 4x100m). * redshirting

TROJAN INVITATIONAL - The Trojan track and field team will host their second home meet of the season, the Trojan Invitational on March 24 at Loker Stadium. Among the scheduled participants for that meet will be Texas A&M, New Mexico, Michigan, Washington State, Long Beach State, CS Northridge, CS Fullerton, Cal Poly

RANKINGS - The Trackwire outdoor rankings have not been posted yet.

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 13th 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. The last two seasons the Trojans were one of two schools to place both the men's and women's teams in the top 10 in the country. Under his guidance, the Trojan men's team has finished in the top 10 at the NCAA finals in nine of his 12 seasons, including a ninth-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 eight times in 12 seasons, including a second-place finish in 2006. 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 105 years of a rich and storied tradition.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT - The annual Out of the Blocks track and field banquet was held on Sunday, Feb. 18 at the Town and Gown on campus. In addition to the introduction of the 2007 track and field team and celebration of USC's unparalleled track and field heritage, the 2006 USC team awards were handed out. Here is a recap of the award winners from the 2006 season:

Most Outstanding Male Athlete (Cromwell Award)Jesse Williams

Most Outstanding Female Athlete (Loker Award)Virginia Powell

Most Valuable Male Athlete - TrackLionel LarryPhilip Francis

Most Valuable Male Athlete - FieldNoah Bryant

Most Valuable Female AthleteCarol Rodriguez

Male Come Through PerformanceDuane SolomonGarry Jones

Female Come Through PerformanceEva OrbanKaren Freberg

Most Improved Male Track Athlete (Clentzos Award)Jeff GarrisonDaSean CunninghamKai Kelley

Most Improved Female Track AthleteCandice Davis

Most Improved Female Field AthleteKate Hutchinson

Male Walk-on AwardInman BreauxRoy AlugbueLogan Taylor

Female Walk-on AwardAlexandrea Williams

Coaches Award - MaleAdam MidlesRaphael Asafo-AgyeiWilliam Denbo

Coaches Award - FemaleJessica OnyepunukaTara Davis-Quarrie

Most Inspirational ( Zamperini Award)Virginia Powell

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