USC Track And Field Signs Four Prep All-Americans For 2002-2003; Two JC All-Americans Enroll In Time For 2002 Season

Dec. 5, 2001

Los Angeles - Two junior college All-Americans-- Natasha Mayers, a 2001 World Championship 100-meter semifinalist from Los Angeles Southwest Junior College, and Brandon Matlock, a 400-meter junior national champion from Bakersfield (Calif.) Junior College--will enroll at USC and begin competing for the Trojans this spring, while prep All-Americans Raphael Asafo-Agyei, an 800-meter runner from Don Antonio Lugo High in Chino, Calif., Adam Midles, a hammer thrower from Capital High in Olympia, Wash., Tunisia Johnson, a hurdler from Long Beach (Calif.) Poly High and sprinter Tracee Thomas from John W. North High in Riverside, Calif., have signed letters of intent to attend USC in 2002-2003, Director of Track and Field Ron Allice announced today.

'These six remarkable athletes are going to fulfill a need in our program and help to perpetuate our success,' said Allice. 'Both academically and athletically, they fill the requirements needed to compete at the national level.'

Mayers, a native of St. Vincent and one of the top female sprinters in the world, is a huge addition for the defending national champion Women of Troy. Her personal-best time of 11.12 in the 100 meters was 24th-fastest in the world in 2001, while her wind-aided best of 11.01 was the fifth-fastest time in the U.S. under any conditions. She made the semifinals of the 100 meters at the World Championships in Edmonton this past summer, where she finished seventh in heat two behind current Trojan Angela Willams, who took sixth. Mayers, who has also run 22.82 (wind-aided) in the 200 meters, enters USC as a junior.

The 6-1, 175-pound Matlock won the 400 meters at the 2001 U.S. Junior Nationals with a personal-best time of 46.37. He prepped at Stockdale High in Bakersfield, where he won the California state 400-meter title as a 2000 senior. He also has bests of 21.30 in the 200 meters and 10.6 in the 100 meters. He enters USC as a sophomore.

The 6-3, 165-pound Asafo-Agyei is a two-time prep All-American with a top time of 1:50.70 in the 800-meter run. That mark is third in the nation and tops in California among current high schoolers. Asafo-Agyei, who was born in Accra, Ghana, finished second in the 800 meters at the 2001 state meet as a junior. He also runs the 200 meters and 400 meters, with best times of 22.1 and 48.21, respectively.

The 6-3, 225-pound Midles comes to USC as the top prep hammer thrower in the nation with bests of 231-2 in the 12-pound hammer (the fourth-best prep mark ever and a record for high school juniors) and 191-4 in the 16-pound hammer. He won the 2001 Washington Teen Hammer Championships with a throw of 199-6. Midles also throws the discus (PR--191-3), shot put (56-6) and javelin (164-0).

The 5-9 Johnson, who was the team-captain on the state champion Poly girls team in 2001, will run the hurdles for the Women of Troy squad. She has bests of 42.23 in the 300-meter hurdles (third fastest in the state in 2001) and 14.11 in the 100-meter hurdles (fifth in the state in 2001). She finished second at the 2001 state meet in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 42.34.

The 5-1 Thomas is a prep All-American sprinter who also is an excellent long jumper. She has bests of 11.67 in the 100 meters, 23.26 in the 200 meters and 19-10 in the long jump. She finished sixth in the 200 meters at the 2001 state meet.

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