USC Track And Field Team To Hold Trojan Relays Sunday

Feb. 25, 2009

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2009 USC TRACK AND FIELD - The USC Trojans men's and women's track and field team will be hosting the Trojan Relays at Loker Stadium on March 1 beginning at 11 a.m. The meet will feature 4x100m, 4x400m, 4x800m, sprint and distance medley relays, as well as the field events, 3000m races, 3000m steeplechases and the sprint and 400m hurdles. USC will be joined in the non-scoring event by a selection of junior colleges from California and Arizona. The hammer competition is scheduled for Feb. 28 at Mt. SAC, with the women going at 10 a.m. and the men at 11:30 a.m. In addition, some Trojan athletes will compete at the Claremont Relays in Claremont, Calif. on Saturday, Feb. 28.

THE 2009 WOMEN'S TEAM - The women's team placed 11th at the NCAA Championships in 2008, as well as finishing third at the NCAA West Regional and placing fourth at the Pac-10 Championships. All-Americans and school record holders Kate Hutchinson, Jessica Onyepunuka and Carol Rodriguez are gone, but the Trojans return a strong group. Leading the way are All-American hurdler Shalina Clarke and defending NCAA hammer throw champion Eva Orban. Another top-notch thrower back for her second season is javelin specialist Kristine Busa, who posted the second-farthest throw in school history last year. USC's dynamic heptathlon duo of Shana Woods and Nia Ali are expected to challenge the school's all-time heptathlon score as well as be key performers in the sprints, jumps and relays. A key for the Trojan distance corps is Zsofia Erdelyi who set the USC steeplechase record and placed 9th at the NCAA Championships last year as a freshman. In addition, All-American Brysun Stately returns to competition after sitting out last season after transferring back to USC from Nebraska. Add to this the No. 3 ranked recruiting class and the Women of Troy are looking for a special season.

THE 2009 MEN'S TEAM - The men's team tied for seventh at the NCAA Championships last season, took second at the NCAA West Regional and came in seventh at the Pac-10 Championships. All-Americans Kai Kelley, Lionel Larry and Duane Solomon are gone, but USC returns NCAA second-place finisher and school record-holder in the javelin Corey White. USC returns all of its top throwers from a season ago, and former football player Trey Henderson will focus on track this season. USC has a pair of 17-foot pole vaulters in Derek Scott and Brandon Estrada (sat out last season). Oscar Spurlock had a strong freshman season hurdling for USC and is joined this year by transfer Brendan Ames from Kentucky. The Trojans top jumpers Desmond Hamilton and Aven Wright return, as does high jumper Manjula Wijesekara, who ranks third all-time at USC. If Ahmad Rashad returns to health this season, USC will have one of the top sprinters on the West Coast. Add to this the No. 5 ranked recruiting class is USC's men's team should be just fine.

INDOOR UPDATE - USC will have six athletes competing next Saturday, March 7, at the Washington Last Chance Meet attempting to obtain automatic qualifying marks for the NCAA Indoor Championships to be held March 13-14 in Fayetteville, Ark. The Trojans attempting to qualify for the Indoor Championships are: Shalina Clarke (hurdles), Oscar Spurlock (hurldes), Manjula Wijesekera (high jump), Brysun Stately (pole vault), Brandon Estrada (pole vault), Derek Scott (pole vault).

NEXT WEEK - The Trojans' track and field team will compete at the Fullerton Invitational in Fullerton, Calif.

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