Track And Field Teams Ready For 2002 NCAA Outdoor Championships
May 24, 2002
THE MEET--Fourteen members of the USC women's track and field team and 11 members of the men's squad meet the rest of the nation's best in Baton Rouge, La., at the 2002 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships hosted by Louisiana State University on May 29-June 1. Competition begins on both the track and field at 4 p.m. on May 29 at Bernie Moore Track Stadium with the men's hammer and the women's heptathlon 100m hurdles. The final events of the meet on June 1 will be the 1600m relays (men's at 9:25 p.m., women's at 9:35 p.m.). The No. 2 Women of Troy are seeking their second consecutive NCAA team title after winning their first-ever championship at last year's meet in Eugene, Ore. The No. 16 USC men are looking to improve up a seventh place finish in Eugene. Scoring for the meet, the 81st on the men's side and the 21st on the women's side, is for eight places: 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1.
ON TELEVISION--CBS Sports will televise the NCAA Championships nationally on a tape-delayed basis on Saturday, June 8, at 2 p.m. ET.
USC's NCAA TITLE HISTORY--The Women of Troy won their first NCAA team championship last June at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. 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, far more than any other school. In fact, in the history of the NCAA, only the Oklahoma State wrestling program (31) has more national titles than USC men's outdoor track and field. The Trojans also have had 107 individual champions over the years, including Dennis Kholev in the pole vault last season. The Women of Troy have had 16 individual collegiate champions, including current three-time defending 100m champ Angela Williams, and nine Top 10 NCAA team finishes in school history.
NATIONAL RANKINGS--The Women of Troy garnered the pre-season No. 1 from both Track and Field News and Trackwire. In the latest predictions, the USC women are second in T & FN and third in Trackwire. The Trojan men are ranked 16th by Trackwire.
USC SO FAR THIS SEASON--Both teams are coming off of solid performances at the Pac-10 Championships in Pullman, Wash. The Women of Troy finished second to UCLA, 160-157, while the USC men (103.5) were third behind Stanford (151) and Oregon (125). In a dual meet in early May, the Women of Troy fell to UCLA, 111-92, while the USC men lost to the Bruin men, 121-81. In dual meet action on March 23, the Women of Troy beat BYU, 118-40, while the USC men lost to the Cougars, 93.5-92.5. The Trojans also hosted a non-scoring meet against defending NCAA men's champion Tennessee and Iowa on March 17.
LAST YEAR'S NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS--The Women of Troy put together a near-perfect meet last spring, scoring 64 points to win the 2001 NCAA title in Eugene, Ore. Three USC women won individual titles, led by Angela Williams' unprecedented third consecutive NCAA 100m triumph, Brigita Langerholc's win in the 800m and Inga Stasiulionyte's victory in the javelin. USC also finished second to LSU in the 400m relay. Four other Trojans finished third in their events: Cynthia Ademiluyi in the shot put, Kinshasa Davis in the 200m, Julianna Tudja in the hammer and Tatyana Obukhova in the triple jump. The USC men finished 12th, scoring 22 points behind Denis Kholev's win in the pole vault, Norbert Horvath's third place in the hammer and Ryan Wilson's third place in the 110m HH.
USC COACH RON ALLICE AT THE NCAAs--Trojan coach Ron Allice's men's teams have finished in the top 10 at the NCAAs for six of the last seven years, including a third place finish in 1997. His women's teams have placed in the top five each of the last four years, including last year's NCAA championship.
LOOKING AT THE LEADERBOARD--Going into the meet, several Trojans are either at or near the top of the latest NCAA performance lists in their respective events:
Women of Troy Event Time/Mark RankAngela Williams 100m 11.06 1stInga Stasiulionyte Javelin 186-10 2ndNatasha Mayers 100m 11.16 2ndWilliams, Page, 400m Relay 43.71 2ndNeal, DavisNeal, Davis, 1600m Relay 3:32.98 4thJohnson, PieluzekCynthia Ademiluyi Shot Put 55-3 6thNatasha Neal 100m HH 13.21w 6thTatyana Obukhova Triple Jump 43-5 1/4 6thAngela Williams 200m 23.04 6thL'Orangerie Crawford Hammer 205-5 7thNakiya Johnson 400m 52.29 8thJulianna Tudja Hammer 204-9 8thCynthia Ademiluyi Discus 177-9 8thLeslie Erickson Javelin 168-11 9thNatasha Mayers 200m 23.10 9thAleksandra Pieluzek 400m IH 57.58 10thAleksandra Deren 800m 2:04.88 11thKinshasa Davis 200m 23.13w 12thL'Orangerie Crawford Shot Put 53-8 1/4 14thNatasha Neal 400m IH 57.77 15thTatyana Obukhova Long Jump 20-11 3/4 16th
USC MenJulien Kapek Triple Jump 55-8 1/2 1stRyan Wilson 110m HH 13.55 4thDawid Jaworski High Jump 7-3 7thRideaux, McCullough, 400m Relay 39.44 7thWard, FelixDavid Grijalva Pole Vault 17-7 1/4 13thKevin Elliot 800m 1:48.24 17thRussell Silvers Decathlon 7,254 20th
2002 WOMEN OF TROY TRACK AND FIELD--USC scored 64 points at the NCAA meet in Eugene, Ore., last June to win its first-ever women's NCAA track title. Fifty-four of those points return to do battle for the Women of Troy in 2002. USC has perhaps the finest sprints and throws corps in the country, led by three-time NCAA 100m champion Angela Williams, seven-time All-American Kinshasa Davis, defending NCAA javelin champ Inga Stasiulionyte, All-American shot putter Cynthia Ademiluyi and All-American hammer thrower Julianna Tudja. Also returning is All-American triple jumper Tatyana Obukhova. A fine recruiting class led by 400m transfer Nakiya Johnson, intermediate hurdler Aleksandra Pieluzek and junior college sprinter Natasha Mayers rounds out a talented, balanced and senior-laden Women of Troy team.
2002 MEN'S TRACK AND FIELD--The Trojan men are coming off a 2001 season in which they finished second at the Pac-10 championships and 12th at the NCAAs. They also ended UCLA's 22-meet dual meet win streak with a thrilling 82-81 victory last May. USC lost several big-time performers from last year's squad, including NCAA pole vault champion Dennis Kholev, three-time All-American hammer thrower Norbert Horvath and Pac-10 triple and long jump champion Djeke Mambo. However, the Trojans do return All-American Ryan Wilson in the 110m HH, NCAA qualifiers Kevin Elliot (800m) and Dawid Jaworski (high jump), plus Pac-10 finalists Russell Silvers in the decathlon, Jeff Ryan in the pole vault and Michael Murray in the hammer. What's more, an outstanding recruiting class is in place, led by junior triple jumper Julien Kapek (who already owns the school record in that event) and freshman sprinter Wes Felix.
NUMERO UNO COMBINED PROGRAM--When you add the 22 points the men's team won at last year's NCAAs with the 64 points the women's team scored, the ensuing total of 86 is higher than what any other university scored in 2001. Stanford was the next closest with 63 points. In 1999, USC was the only school to place both the men's and women's team in the top five at the NCAAs, as the women took third and the men fifth.
DIRECTOR OF TRACK AND FIELD RON ALLICE--Under the guidance of Director of Track and Field Ron Allice, the Women of Troy have become one of the top programs in the country, thanks to four consecutive top five finishes, including the 2001 NCAA team championship. Meanwhile, the Trojan men went on a run of seven consective top 10 finishes--a feat last accomplished during the late 1960s and early 1970s under Vern Wolfe--from 1994-2000 and have won three Pac-10 titles in the last five years. In 2000, Allice led the USC men's team to a seventh place showing and the Women of Troy to second. In 1999, USC was the only program 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 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, a prep standout at Long Beach (Calif.) Poly High, is well known for his ability to win. His overall dual meet coaching mark is 211-39-1 in 33 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 220 All-Americans, plus 16 Olympians, four world record holders and seven American record holders.
USC UNDER RON ALLICE--Year By Year
Women of TroyYear W L T Nat. Conf.1995 2 1 1 37 81996 6 1 0 7 11997 9 1 0 14 21998 8 1 0 5 31999 12 4 0 3 22000 8 2 0 2 22001 5 1 0 1 22002 2 1 0 ?? 2
MenYear W L T Nat. Conf.1995 4 1 0 4 31996 5 1 0 10 41997 8 2 0 3 11998 7 2 0 7 21999 9 3 0 5 12000 8 2 0 7 12001 6 0 0 12 22002 1 2 0 ?? 3
RANDON WOMEN OF TROY NCAA NOTES
* USC's throwers accounted for 22 of the Women of Troy's 64 team points in 2001.
* The Women of Troy squad has a distinctly Eastern European feel to it as Aleksandra Deren and Aleksandra Pieluzek (Poland), Inga Stasiulionyte (Lithuania), Julianna Tudja (Hungary) and Tatyana Obukhova (Ukraine) all hail from that region.
* The last time LSU hosted the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships--1987--USC finished third. It was the highest finish in Women of Troy history up until 1999, when USC also finished third.
* The USC 400m relay squad has finished either first or second at the NCAAs in each of the last three years. The Women of Troy were second to Texas in 1999, then won it in 2000 over LSU in a school-record 43.14 before taking second to LSU in 2001. Coming into the NCAA meet, the Women of Troy's best time of 43.71 is second in the nation to......LSU (43.06).
* USC is the only school in the country that can boast of having two sprinters who ran in the same 100m semifinal heat at the 2001 World Championships in Edmonton. Senior Angela Williams took sixth ahead of her junior teammate Natasha Mayers, who was seventh.
* Deja vu all over again? In 2001, UCLA defeated USC at the Pac-10s in a meet that was decided by the outcome of the 1600m relay (UCLA won). The teams then went to the NCAAs as co-favorites, where USC won the NCAA title, with the Bruins finishing second. In 2002, UCLA has once again beaten USC at the Pac-10s in a meet that was decided by the Bruins' win in the 1600m relay. Once again, both teams are co-favorites to win it all. Is this a good omen for the Women of Troy?
* USC is attempting to become the first Pac-10 school to repeat as women's NCAA champs since UCLA in 1982-83
* The USC team with the most NCAA finalists was the 1999 team that finished third at the NCAA meet in Boise. That Women of Troy squad had a total of 10 entries finish in the top 8 of an event. The 1987 and 2001 squads each had nine.
ANGELA WILLIAMS5-2, SeniorOntario, Calif.100m, 200m, 400m relaySeason Bests: 100m--11.06; 200m--23.04Career Bests: 100m--11.04 (10.96w); 200m--23.04 (22.78w)
We Won't See The Likes Of Her Again.........
She has already surpassed the collegiate feats of such track greats asMerlene Ottey, Florence Griffith, Gwen Torrance, Inger Miller and Gail Devers.
Now, she has a chance for sports immortality.
But first, here's a recap of her accomplishments so far:* Unprecedented Three NCAA Women's 100m Titles (1999, 2000, 2001)* 2002 NCAA Indoor 60m Champion* 2001 World Indoor 60m Silver Medalist* 2001 World Outdoor 100m Semifinalist* Two-Time Pac-10 100m Champion* USC 100m Record Holder (11.04)* American Junior 100m Record Holder (11.04)* American Prep 100m Record holder (11.11)* Collegiate Record Holder, 60m Indoor Dash (7.09)* Led USC to its first NCAA women's team title in 2001
'I want you to be the one to break my records.' -- Florence Griffith-Joyner, to Williams in 1992
Gone In 11 Seconds........
The 100-meter dash is the glamour event of track and field and the standard by which human speed is measured. To win one of these championships at the NCAA level is itself a remarkable feat. To do so twice requires amazing skill and mental toughness. Winning three times when the gun goes off is very rare--in the history of the NCAA Division I track and field championships, there have been only four athletes, male or female, who have won three 100-meter dash titles. They are Ralph Metcalfe of Marquette (1932-34), Mel Patton of USC (1947-49), Charlie Greene of Nebraska (1965-67) and now Angela Williams of USC (1999-2001).
No athlete in NCAA history at any level has ever won four 100-meter dash titles.
At the 2002 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships to be held in Baton Rouge on May 29-June 1, Williams has the chance to make history, by becoming the first person to win four NCAA 100-meter dash titles.
What's more, she is the co-captain of the Women of Troy team vying to repeat as NCAA team champions. Another 100-meter win will not only make history, but perhaps help lead her team to another title.
Angela's Season So Far
Sun Angel Invitational--April 13 (She opened her season by winning the 100m in 11.38)
Mt. Sac Relays--April 21 (She ran 11.06--currently third in the world--to win the 100m at Mt. Sac)
USC-UCLA Dual Meet, Drake Stadium, Westwood--May 4 (She cruised to easy wins in both the 100m and 200m against the Bruins)
Pac-10 Championships, Pullman, Wash.--May 18-19 (She won the 100m and ran a legal PR to take third in the 200m at the Pac-10s)
NCAA Championships, Baton Rouge, LA--May 29-June 1 (Coming into the meet, she has the top time in the nation in the 100m and the sixth-fastest in the 200m)
'I believe Angela is one of those people who can bring track and field alive again.'-- Al Joyner, triple jump champion
RANDOM USC MEN'S NCAA NOTES
* USC finished in the top 10 each year from 1994-2000, before finishing 12th last year. It was the longest consecutive stretch for Troy in the top ten since the glory years of 1960-1972.
* Junior triple jumper Julien Kapek's best jump of 55-8 1/2 (16.98) is currently the ninth-best mark in the world.
* More Kapek. The jumper from Houilles, France, has a chance to be the first NCAA triple jump champ at USC since Luther Hayes in 1961.
* Sophomore Dawid Jaworski is attempting to become USC's first high jump All-American since Anthony Caire in 1983 and only the second since 1973.
* Senior pole vaulter David Grijalva should be able to get some highly relevant pointers on competing in the NCAA meet. After all, his coach is first-year assistant Denis Kholev, the 2001 NCAA pole vault champion.
* It's rare that a football cornerback makes a pass to a tailback, but that's what will happen in USC's 400m relay when junior Darrell Rideaux hands the baton off to senior Sultan McCullough. Both Rideaux and McCullough are track All-Americans and are expected to be key contributors for the Trojan football team in the fall of 2002. What's more, the anchor leg of the relay will be USC star wide receiver Kareem Kelly, who will be making his first appearance at the NCAAs.
* USC's multi-talented Ryan Wilson is a fine arts major who works with ceramics. He has even tried his hand at acting in some student-produced films at USC, including a Buster Keaton-like turn in a 1920s-style short film in which his character--named 'Boxcar McGee'--makes the transition from railroad hobo to, appropriately enough, track hurdler. Incidentally, that film was directed and produced by fellow USC trackster Harrison Lee, a senior hammer thrower who placed seventh at the Pac-10 Championships this season.
* For the first time since 1992, USC will not have a hammer thrower at the NCAAs. But you can give throws coach Dan Lange a mulligan. After all, he's earned it. The last nine years of his tenure at Troy have been as dominant as they come. During that stretch (1993-2001), USC throwers won five NCAA hammer titles, were runners up three other times and were fifth twice, for a total of 10 All-American honors in nine years.
TOMORROW | 6:00pm PTLive
TOMORROW | 8:00pm PTLive