USC, LSU To Face Off On Saturday In Battle Of Track And Field Powers

March 20, 2001


In what could be a preview of the 2001 NCAA Track and Field Championships, the USC men's and women's track teams host perrenial track power LSU at Cromwell Field at Katherine B. Loker Stadium on the campus of USC on Saturday, March 24, 2001. The meet will feature an exciting rematch between the teams that finished 1-2 at the 2000 NCAA Track and Field Championships in Durham, N.C., as the defending champion Lady Tigers team faces the runner up Women of Troy. Both teams also competed against each other in the Centennial Invitational meet at Cromwell Field on April 1 of last year, in which USC prevailed 185-133.5. The men's side is no less exciting, as the the 2001 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Champion Tigers go up against the two-time defending Pac-10 champion Trojans. The meet begins at 8:30 a.m. with the women's hammer event held at West L.A. College, with the first event at Cromwell Field being the women's pole vault at 11 a.m. The first running event is the women's 3000 meters at 11:40 a.m. The meet will be televised on a tape delay basis by Fox Sports West on April 7 at 5 p.m., then re-broadcast on April 8 at noon, April 14 at 2 p.m. and April 16 at 1 p.m.


So far this season, USC has 17 Pac-10, 5 NCAA provisional and 2 NCAA automatic qualifiers on the men's side and 23 Pac-10, 9 NCAA provisional and 2 NCAA automatic qualifiers on the women's side. The men are led by senior triple jumper Djeke Mambo (NCAA automatic 54-4) and senior hammer thrower Norbert Horvath (NCAA automatic 228-5), while the women are led by sophomore hammer thrower Julianna Tudja (NCAA automatic 203-7) and the 400m relay squad (NCAA automatic 44.19).


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, while LSU has been tabbed for third.


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. This season, USC track and field will try to add to these totals at the 2001 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., on May 30-June 2.


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 36.5 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. Williams, who is the USC (11.04) and American prep (11.11) record holder in the 100m, will also try her hand in the 200m this season. Her credentials as one of the rising young stars of track were solidified on March 11 when she won the silver medal in the 60m dash at the World Indoor Championships in Lisbon, Portugal. Williams' time of 7.09 shattered the American collegiate record of 7.14 set by Carlette Guidry of Texas in 1991 and is the fourth fastest time in the world and fastest by an American in 2001.


Senior pole vaulter Dennis 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 and 18-0 1/2 outdoors in 2001.


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.

K.D. IS A-O.K.

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 400m relay squad that took first and the 1600m relay that took third. At the 2000 Pac-10 Championships, Davis finished second in the 200m and fourth in the 100m.

IF I HAD A HAMMER............

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. So far this season, Horvath has won every competition he has entered while throwing over 220 feet three times, including an NCAA automatic mark of 228-5 at last weekend's Willie Williams Invitational.


Senior triple jumper Djeke Mambo jumped a career-best 54-4 at last weekend's Willie Williams Classic to automatically qualify for the NCAAs. It was also the second best triple jump in USC history (just barely 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 throws program is definitely one of the best in the nation. USC has 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, but has not yet competed in 2001 due to eligibility problems. Ademiluyi finished third in the shot and fourth in the discus at the Pac-10s and this year has NCAA provisional marks of 51-1 in the shot and 170-2 in the discus. Meanwhile, sophomore Julianna Tudja, who transferred to USC from SMU this past fall, already is second on the all-time Women of Troy hammer chart after recording an NCAA automatic mark of 203-7 last weekend. Redshirt frosh L'Orangeril Crawford has show remarkable versatility thus far, recording NCAA provisional marks in the shot (49-11 1/4) and in the hammer (183-11).


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 (a busy man this weekend in Philadelphia), who is a two-time 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.


The Women of Troy's school record 400m relay squad, consisting of Angela Williams, Candace Young, Malika Edmonson and Kinshasa Davis won the NCAA title last year in 43.14--the ninth fastest time in the world in 2000 (just behind China) ... Senior sprinter Candace Young is a second generation Trojan All American--her father is 1972 USC All-American and NFL All-Pro tight end Charlie Young. Her sisters, Chanel and Cerenity, also compete in track and field for USC ... Senior Casey Thompson is not only a two-time All-Pac-10 performer in the decathlon, but he is also the highest ranking Air Force ROTC cadet on the USC campus. Thompson, who is a walk on and currently 7th on the all-time Trojan decathlete list, is training to be a fighter pilot and will begin a 10 year enlistment in the summer ... The current Women of Troy squad is re-writing the USC record books--a total of 22 current athletes are represented on at least one event on the all-time top 10 charts, including four school record holders: Angela Williams (100m), Brigita Langerholc (800m), Jennifer Vail (hammer) and the 400m relay.


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.

USC Track & Field2001 NCAA Outdoor Qualifiers

MEN (7)Norbert Horvath Hammer 228-5 (A)Djeke Mambo TJ 54-4 (A)Andre Ammons 200m 20.85 (P)Ryan Wilson 400m IH 50.99 (P)Dawid Jaworski HJ 7-1 3/4 (P)Dennis Kholev PV 18-0 1/2 (P)400m Relay -- 40.00 (P)

(A) - Automatic qualifying mark -- currently 2(P) - Provisional qualifying mark -- currently 5

WOMEN (11)Juliana Tudja Hammer 203-7 (A)400m Relay -- 44.19 (A)Candace Young 100m 11.55 (P)Carla Estes 400m 53.55 (P)Tatyana Obukhova TJ 42-7 (P)Cynthia Ademiluyi SP 51-1 (P)L'Orangeril Crawford SP 49-11 1/4 (P)Cynthia Ademiluyi Discus 170-2 (P)L'Orangeril Crawford Hammer 183-11 (P)Inga Stasiulionyte Javelin 171-8 (P)Aleksandra Deren 800m 2:06.91

(A) - Automatic qualifying mark -- currently 2(P) - Provisional qualifying mark -- currently 9

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