USC Set For NCAA Track & Field Championships In Arkansas

June 8, 2009

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FAYETTEVILLE, ARK. - The USC men's and women's track and field team will be competing this week at the NCAA Track & Field Championships being hosted by Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark. on June 10-13. The Trojans have 13 females and 16 males which will take part in the competition, the most athletes USC has brought to the championships in more than a decade. CBS will televise the finals on June 13 from 10 a.m. to noon PT and the action on June 12 will be shown on CBS College Sports from 4-7 p.m. PT.

USC AT THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS - Last season, the USC men's team placed seventh and the women's team 11th at the NCAA Championships held at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. The Trojans had their nation's best streak of top 10 finishes by both squads snapped at three consecutive seasons. The men's team has finished in the top 10 four consecutive seasons and in 12 of the last 15 seasons. They also have won more titles than anyone with 26, the last coming in 1976. The women's team won the NCAA title in 2001 and have had five top five finishes in the last 11 seasons. In nine of the last 10 seasons (except 2004) , USC has had at least one athlete win an individual NCAA title (19 total, plus one relay). USC men have won 114 individual titles, while the Trojan women have won 15 individual outdoor championships.

TROJAN MEN WIN WEST REGIONAL, WOMEN PLACE THIRD - The USC men's track and field team came from behind to win the team championship and the women's team placed third at the 2009 NCAA West Regional hosted by Oregon at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. on May 29-30. The men's team came from fourth place entering the final day to score 80 points and finish with 97 points, 16.25 more points than host Oregon. The women's team entered the final day in seventh place, but surged to third with a total of 68 points, behind only Arizona State (95) and Oregon (80.5). USC's men's and women's teams combined to score 165 points, more than any other school at the regional. Winning individual event titles for USC were junior Ahmad Rashad in the men's 100m dash, junior Manjula Wijesekara in the men's high jump, senior Eva Orban in the women's hammer throw, junior Shalina Clarke in the women's 100m HH and the men's 4x100m and 4x400m relay teams. For the men's team, it was the fourth West Regional title in five seasons (2nd in 2008).

RETURNING SCORERS FROM THE 2008 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS - The Trojans have three athletes on the 2009 team which were scorers at the 2008 NCAA Championships. Eva Orban won the women's hammer throw competition with a winning toss of 225-5 (68.71m), becoming the first Trojan female to earn the NCAA hammer title. Corey White came in second in the men's javelin last season with a throw of 255-2, two feet behind the winner. Shalina Clarke placed eighth in the women's 100m high hurdles with a time of 13.58 in the finals.

YOUTHFUL USC - Out of USC's 13 females and 16 males scheduled to compete at the 2009 NCAA Championships, only one female (Eva Orban, hammer) and four males (Matthew Palmer and Desmond Hamilton in the 4x100m, Corey White in the javelin and Irek Sekretarski in the 800m) are listed as seniors. The breakdown of USC's 29 athletes here for the championships is: 5 seniors, 14 juniors, 4 sophomores and 6 freshman.

A DOZEN REASONS TO HAVE HOPE - USC has nine individuals or relays entered at the NCAA Championships which rank in the top eight in the country this season and a total of 16 which have posted top 12 marks. For the USC women's team they are: Eva Orban (1st - hammer), Dalilah Muhammad (2nd - 400m IH), Nia Ali (7th - heptathlon), Shalina Clarke (8th - 100m HH), Zsofia Erdelyi (8th - 3000m SC), Kristine Busa (10th - javelin), Brysun Stately (10th - pole vault), 4x100m (10th), Shana Woods (12th - heptathlon) and 4x400m (12th). For the men's team: Corey White (2nd - javelin), Manjula Wijesekara (3rd - high jump), Oscar Spurlock (5th - 110m HH), Ahmad Rashad (7th - 100m), 4x100m (9th) and Brandon Estrada (10th - pole vault).

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