Track And Field Teams To Host Trojan Invitational On Saturday

Feb. 26, 2001


The USC men's and women's track teams host the Trojan Invitational at Cromwell Field on the campus of USC on Saturday, March 3, 2001. Several schools from Southern California will participate, including Long Beach State, San Diego State, Cal Poly Pomona, Cal State Bakersfield and Cal State Fullerton, plus athletes from US International, UC Santa Barbara and Fila Track Club. The meet will also include some open events and elite 400 meter runner Tyree Washington is scheduled to compete. Running events begin at 11:40 a.m. with the women's 3000m, while throwing events begin with the men's hammer at 8:30 a.m. at West L.A. College. Throwing events at Cromwell Field start at noon with the women's pole vault.


So far this season, USC has several Pac-10 qualifiers and a couple NCAA provisional qualifiers. Both Trojan track teams are coming off last Saturday's Claremont Relays. Inclement weather forced USC to pull out of the running events, but the Trojans got some good marks in the throws from redshirt freshman L'Orangeril Crawford (PRs of 47-6 1/2 in Shot and 166-9 in the hammer--both good for sixth on their respective all-time USC charts) and senior All-American hammer thrower Norbert Horvath (NCAA provisional mark of 215-0). Heading the list in the running events is junior Natasha Neal, who transferred to USC from Texas this past fall. Her 58.19 in the 400m IH at the Long Beach Relays was not only an NCAA provisional qualifying mark, but it put her in fifth on the all-time Women of Troy 400m IH list. Neal also qualified for the Pac-10s in the 100m HH with a time of 14.26 at Long Beach. Other Pac-10 qualifiers for the Women of Troy so far: Spring Harris (HJ), Kelly Shapiro (Hammer), Tatyana Obukhova (LJ), Cynthia Ademiluyi (SP), Crawford (SP, Hammer) and Julianna Tudja (Hammer). On the men's side, Horvath (Hammer), Ryan Wilson (110m HH, 400m IH), Dawid Jaworski (HJ) and Dennis Kholev (PV) are all Pac-10 qualifiers.


There are no rankings yet for either teams by the various track media outlets, but Sports Illustrated for Women has chosen USC as the top women's team for 2001.


The 2001 season will see the debut of Katherine B. Loker Track Stadium, a 3,000 seat venue complete with coaches offices, locker rooms and athlete lounge. The stadium will be dedicated on May 5th before the USC-UCLA dual meet. The stadium's first phase, which will be completed in March, has already transformed the area around Cromwell Field on the USC campus. The stadium was made possible through a generous donation by Katherine B. Loker.


The Trojan men's program has won an unprecedented 26 NCAA outdoor national titles (including nine straight in 1935-43), plus two NCAA indoor crowns. USC's men also have had 106 individual champions over the years. The Women of Troy have had 12 individual collegiate champions, including two-time defending 100m champ Angela Williams, and eight Top 10 NCAA team finishes in school history, including last season's second-place showing at the 2000 meet in Durham, NC.


One season removed from a second-place finish at the 2000 NCAA Track and Field Championships--their highest finish ever--the Women of Troy are in a strong position to challenge for all the marbles in 2001. USC returns athletes who scored a total of 36 1/2 points at the 2000 NCAA meet in Durham, N.C.--more returning points than any other team. The returning point total is higher than what all but four teams scored at the entire championship meet. USC also returns the top collegiate times in the 100m, the top two times in the 200m, the top time in the 800m (plus the top incoming time by a recruit), the seventh-longest triple jump, the fifth-best hammer mark and the top time in the 400m relay.


The Trojan men have won back-to-back Pac-10 team titles for the first time since 1976-77 (and they've captured three of the last four). Meanwhile, USC has finished in the top 10 at the NCAAs for seven consecutive years--its longest such stretch since 1966-72.


Junior Angela Williams, the two-time defending NCAA 100m champ, is attempting to become the first woman ever to win three consecutive NCAA 100m titles. She would be the first athlete, man or woman, to accomplish the feat since Charlie Green of Nebraska did it in 1965-67. So far this season, Williams has concentrated on the indoor track, running a U.S.-best 7.16 (sixth-best in the world) in the 60m dash at Pocatello,Id., on Feb. 17. On Saturday, she will run the 60m at the U.S. Championships in Atlanta, GA, and then will likely compete in the world championships the following weekend in Lisbon, Portugal. Williams, who is the USC record holder in the 100m, will also try her hand in the 200m this season.


Senior pole vaulter Denis Kholev broke Dave Kenworthy's school record last year when he vaulted 18-3 [5.56] to finish second at the Centennial Invitational. Kholev, who finished seventh at the NCAAs in 1999 and 12th last year, is a native of the Ukraine who later served three years in the Israeli Defense Forces. At the 2000 Pac-10s, he finished second with a height of 18-1. He has already vaulted 18-2 indoors this season.


Senior Brigita Langerholc is the USC record holder in the 800m at 1:58.51. She is fresh off a fourth place finish in the 800 at the Sydney Olympics, is ranked ninth in the world and boasts the top returning time in the collegiate ranks in the event. Last year, she took eighth at the NCAAs. Langerholc is also an accomplished 400m runner. Her 52.02 ran last July is second on the all-time Women of Troy chart and she is a vital member of USC's 1600m relay squad.


Junior Kinshasa Davis, one of the top sprinters in the country, will be a key for USC's title hopes this season. In 2000, she ran the second-fastest collegiate 200m time in the nation at 22.69--and the seventh best time by any American woman--which was also second fastest all-time on the Women of Troy and Pac-10 charts. That time is the top returning 200m collegiate time in the nation. Davis took second in the 200m at the 2000 NCAAs and ran the anchor leg on USC's 1600m relay that took third. At the 2000 Pac-10 Championships, Davis finished second in the 200m and fourth in the 100m.


Norbert Horvath, who has the second-best hammer mark in USC history, returns with the hope of adding more honors to an already impressive college resume. One of the most consistent hammer throwers in the nation, Horvath has a shot at winning USC's sixth NCAA hammer title later this season. He also will be going for his third straight Pac-10 hammer championship. The two-time All-American, who has a PR of 241-11, finished second at the NCAAs as a soph and fifth as a junior.


Senior triple jumper Djeke Mambo jumped a career-best 53-10 3/4 at last year's Trojan Invitational to automatically qualify for the NCAAs. It was also the second best triple jump in USC history (behind Tom Cochee's 54-4 1/2). At the 2000 Pac-10s, Mambo finished fourth in the long jump, sixth in the triple jump and fifth in the 110m HH. At the NCAAs, he finished 10th in the triple jump.


The Women of Troy have a pair of throwers who are currently in three of the all-time USC top-10 charts: senior two-time hammer All-American Jennifer Vail and junior Cynthia Ademiluyi. Vail finished sixth at the NCAA meet in 1999 and 2000 and is the Women of Troy record-holder in the hammer (204-3). She finished third at last year's Pac-10 meet. Ademiluyi finished third in the shot and fourth in the discus at the Pac-10s.


As many as eight Trojan football players will also run or throw for the USC track and field team this spring. Receiver Kareem Kelly (sprints), cornerback Darrell Rideaux (sprints), tailback Sultan McCullough (sprints), receiver Marcell Allmond (hurdles), tailback Miguel Fletcher (sprints), linebacker Kori Dickerson (high jump) and offensive linemen Nate Steinbacher and Travis Watkins (shot put) will all be contributors for the Trojans. And for many of these players, track is not just a hobby but a sport in which they truly excel. McCullough won USC's 49th All-American honor in the 100m last season and his PR of 10.17 is fifth on the all-time Trojan list, Kelly set a world junior and American collegiate record in the 50m indoor dash at 5.67 and is also a stalwart in the 100m (10.33), Rideaux finished fifth in the Pac-10 in the 100m last year and has a PR of 10.37, Rideaux, McCullough, Kelly and Fletcher run together and with others as elements of USC's 400m relay squad, Allmond finished second at the Pac-10s in the 110m HH and seventh in the decathlon, Dickerson high jumped 6-8 to finish second at the UCLA dual meet. USC also has a basketballer on its roster: 6-4 guard Jeff Trepagnier, who is the Pac-10 runner up in the high jump and whose PR of 7-1 is fifth best in Trojan history.


Junior Sultan McCullough joined some elite company in 2000, as he became the only USC athlete ever besides O.J. Simpson to rush for over 1000 yards in football and earn All-American honors in the 100m in the same year.


Under the guidance of Director of Track and Field Ron Allice, the Trojan men are on a run of seven consective top 10 finishes (six of them under Allice)--a feat last accomplished during the 1970s under Vern Wolfe. Meanwhile, the Women of Troy have finished in the top 5 for three straight years and in the top 10 four of the last five years - a level of success not seen since the late 1980s. Last year the men's track team won its third Pac-10 title in four years and second straight under Allice. Then, at last year's NCAA Outdoor Championships, he led the USC men's team to seventh place and the Women of Troy to second. It was the women's best showing ever. In 1999, the men finished fifth and the women third. As a combined men's and women's program, that performance was the best in school history. In fact, USC was the only school in the country in 1999 that finished in the top five in both men's and women's track and field. In 1998, the Trojan men's team finished in seventh place while the women's team finished in fifth place. In 1997, Allice directed the Trojan men's team to its first Pacific-10 Conference title since 1977 (and 30th overall) before finishing third at the NCAAs. In 1996, Allice guided the USC women's team to its first-ever Pac-10 title and directed the men's squad to a 10th-place finish at the NCAAs. And in his first year at USC in 1995, he led the men's team to a fourth-place finish at the NCAAs. Allice is well known for his ability to win. His overall dual meet coaching mark is 200-38-1 in 34 years at five schools, including 11 state championships in 16 years at Long Beach City College, his previous stop before landing at Troy. Allice's programs have produced more than 200 All-Americans, plus 20 Olympians, four world record holders and seven American record holders. He has coached at his high school, junior college and college alma maters on the way to compiling his outstanding coaching statistics.


In addition to Troy's 26 NCAA outdoor titles (including nine straight, 1935-43), two indoor NCAA titles and 31 conference crowns, the USC men's program has had 38 unbeaten and untied seasons, including a string of 16 in a row (1946-61). Since starting the track and field program in 1900, the Trojan men have compiled a dual-meet record of 411-111-4 (.795). Since 1912, 61 USC trackmen have equalled or bettered world records, and there have been 106 NCAA individual or relay winners from Troy. Eighty-one Trojan men and 17 Women of Troy have won 128 places on national Olympic teams over the years. Trojans have won 27 individual Olympic titles and shared in 13 relay wins.

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