A Look Back At USC's 2009 Track & Field Season
June 19, 2009
The 2009 USC track and field season was another successful one as the women's team finished eighth and the men's team 10th in the country at the NCAA Track and Field Championships.
Along the way, USC had 17 athletes earn All-America honors and 14 of those will be back on the track for the 2010 season. The Trojan men's team also was crowned NCAA West Regional champions for the fourth time in five years and placed second at the Pac-10 Championships. The women's team finished third at the West Regional and fourth at the conference championships.
Guiding the Trojans to success once again was USC Director of Track and Field Ron Allice. His ability to get the most out of his team was not overlook as he was named the 2009 NCAA West Region Men's Track and Field Head Coach of the Year. The Trojans had 29 athletes on the 2009 team which rank among USC's all-time top 10 in individual events or relays, including nine who stand in the top three all-time. Twenty-two of those athletes are poised to return again for the 2010 season.
Among the most impressive performances of the season was junior Ahmad Rashad's second-place finish in the 100m dash at the NCAA Championships with a time of 10.10, tying for fourth all-time by a Trojan and the fastest 100 meters for USC since 1985. Redshirt senior Corey White extended his school record in the javelin to 272-2 and placed second at the NCAA Championships, while sophomore 110m hurdler Oscar Spurlock jumped into USC's all-time top 10 with a best legal time of 13.56.
Senior Irek Sekretarski finished his collegiate career and senior season on a strong note by placing seventh in the 800m race at the NCAA Championships and posting the eighth-fastest time in school history of 1:47.11 in the semifinals. Among the 2010 returning Trojans ranking in USC's top 10 are Brandon Estrada in the pole vault (10th), Blake Shaw in the 1500m (9th), Manjula Wijesekara in the high jump (3rd and 3rd at the NCAA Championships), and the 4x400m relay team of Jason Price, Joey Hughes, Nate Anderson and Duane Walker (8th).
Freshman Dalilah Muhammad ran the third-fastest 400m IH time in school history of 56.49 and placed third at the NCAA Championships. She also teamed with Elizabeth Olear, Shalina Clarke and Myra Hasson to place sixth at the NCAA Championships and run the sixth-fastest time in school history. All four of those women will be back in 2010. Also back will be distance specialist Zsofia Erdelyi who placed eighth at the NCAA Championships in the steeplechase. She holds the USC record in that event as well as at 10000m and ranks third by a Trojan in the 5000m and fourth in the 3000m.
Senior Eva Orban closed out her impressive collegiate career with a second-place finish in the hammer throw at the 2009 NCAA Championships. She leaves USC as the school record-holder in the event and having amazingly finished in the top three in the hammer throw every season at the Pac-10, NCAA West Regional and NCAA Championships.
Among the Trojan females ranking in the USC all-time top 10 and with eligibility remaining are: Nia Ali in the 100m HH (4th), high jump (8th) and heptathlon (2nd and 4th at the NCAA Championships), Akene Anene in the triple jump (5th), Kristine Busa in the javelin (2nd and 8th at the NCAA Championships), Clarke in the hurdles (100m - 3rd, 400m IH - 7th), Katherine Ellis in the 3000m SC (6th), Zara Lukens in the 10000m (5th), Brysun Stately in the pole vault (1st and 9th at the NCAA Championships), Shea Wickland in the 5000m (7th) and 10000m (4th) and Shana Woods in the long jump (7th) and heptathlon (4th).
The 2009 season was an exciting one which saw the development of some very talented underclassmen. With much of the team returning and the influx of another very talented recruiting class which includes national record-holder Reggie Wyatt, the 2010 season promises to be a special one.