Track And Field Teams Head To Stanford For NCAA West Regionals

May 27, 2003


The USC track and field teams travel to Palo Alto, Calif., to compete in the first NCAA West Regional Track and Field Championships hosted by Stanford University at Cobb Track and Angell Field on May 30-31 (Fri.-Sat.). Events begin on Friday with the Men's Hammer at noon, with the first running event starting at 4 p.m. with the Women's 400m Relay prelim. On Saturday, the first field event is the Women's Hammer at 10 a.m., while the first running event is the Women's 400m Relay final at 2:45 p.m.


Five athletes from each event will qualify from the regional to the NCAA Championships in Sacramento on June 11-14.


The Trojan men are ranked fourth in the latest Top 25 rankings, while the Women of Troy are 11th. According to Track and Field News, however, the USC men are projected to finish second at the NCAAs, while the women are picked seventh.


The USC men are the 2003 Pac-10 Track and Field Champions. The meet--which was hosted by USC at Katherine B. Loker Stadium--saw the Trojans rack up 139 team points to 128 for second-place Stanford. The Women of Troy took fourth with 101 points.


The Women of Troy won their first NCAA team championship in June of 2001 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. USC's men also have had 108 individual champions over the years, including Allen Simms in the indoor triple jump in 2003. The Women of Troy have won 18 NCAA individual titles and have placed in the top 10 at the NCAAs 10 times (including the last five years in the top five).


The Trojans were young and injury prone in 2002, but rebounded by season's end to put on quite a showing, finishing 11th at the NCAAs. In 2003, USC is led by perhaps the best jumpers in the nation in Allen Simms (the 2003 NCAA Indoor TJ Champ and Pac-10 record holder), Julien Kapek (2002 TJ All-American and two-time Pac-10 champion) and Dawid Jaworski (2002 NCAA HJ runner up and 2003 Pac-10 champ). But there are stars on the track, too, in senior Ryan Wilson, a two-time 110m HH All-American and four-time Pac-10 champ, and sophomore Wes Felix, who is among the nation's best in the 100m and 200m. The Trojans also have a great freshman class that includes hammer thrower Adam Midles (fourth at the Pac-10s), 1500m runner Tomasz Babiskiewicz (Pac-10 runner up), 800m runner Raphael Asafo-Agyei (Pac-10 runner up) and sprinter Garry Jones (best of 10.46 in the 100m).


USC scored 57 points to finish third at the NCAA meet in Baton Rouge, LA, last June. Leading the way for USC in 2003 is senior Natasha Mayers, who won the 200m and took second in the 100m at the NCAAs last season, junior Inga Stasiulionyte, who placed second in the javelin (she won the NCAA title the year prior), and junior L'Orangerie Crawford, who placed sixth in the hammer. The Women of Troy also have Pac-10 hammer record holder Julianna Tudja, who took third at the NCAAs in 2001 and was the Pac-10 runner up this year, team captain and 1600m relay All-American senior Nakiya Johnson (the 2002 Pac-10 400m champ). USC also has gotten some help from a fine recruiting class that includes freshmen Virginia Powell (already fifth on the USC all-time 100m HH list and 10th on the 100m list) and Tunisia Johnson (already fourth on the USC 400m IH chart).

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