USC's Track And Field Teams To Compete At The Pac-10 Championships In Oregon This Weekend
May 10, 2006
WEEKLY TRACK AND FIELD RELEASE
PAC-10 CHAMPIONSHIP WEEK - The USC men's and women's track and field teams will be competing at the Pac-10 Track and Field Championships, presented by 76 ProClean Gasolines and hosted by Oregon at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. on May 13 and 14. Four times in the last 10 seasons, the USC men's team won the Pac-10s, though the 2003 title was taken away due to an ineligible athlete. USC finished fourth in the Pac-10 last season and have won the Pac-10/Pac-8 tournament 14 times since it began in 1960. The last USC Pac-10 track and field title came in 2000. The men's team currently has 27 marks or times that rank among the Pac-10 Conference's top 10 this season. The USC women's team also finished fourth last season and have won two Pac-10 titles since it began in 1976 (1986, 1996). In each of the last 10 seasons, the Women of Troy had finished in fourth place or better. The women's team currently has 24 marks or times that rank within the top 10 in the Pac-10 this track season.
SEVERAL TROJANS GET TOP MARKS AT CLAREMONT CLASSIC - Junior Kate Hutchinson bettered her school record in the discus with a stadium-record winning throw of 189-5 (57.73m) on May 6 at the Claremont Classic hosted by Claremont-Mudd-Scripps College in Claremont, Calif. Since the season began, Hutchinson has moved from fifth to first all-time on the USC women's discus list as she has established the school record three times and improved over 21 feet from her previous best mark of 168-1 set in May of 2004. Adam Midles won the men's hammer throw with a personal best of 219-2 (66.80m), which betters his seventh place standing on the USC all-time men's hammer throw list. The junior's throw was a meet record, breaking the old mark of 66.72m which he set when he competed unattached on May 14, 2004. Junior Noah Bryant also had a PR in the hammer with a throw of 203-5 (62.01m) to finish third. Senior Tunisia Johnson won both the women's 100m hurdles and the 400m hurdles for the Trojans. She had a wind-aided personal best time of 14.03 in the 100m HH and ran a season best of 1:01.21 to win the 400m IH. Other top Trojan females on the day were sophomore Jessica Onyepunuka who won the 100m dash with a time of 11.64 in a 2.0 wind and junior Tara Davis-Quarrie who won the 400m race with a time of 56.49. Freshman Brysun Stately won the women's pole vault at a height of 12-11 1/2 (3.95m), junior Whitney Graham placed fourth in the 200m dash with a season-best time of 24.71 and junior Kristen Berglas was sixth in the 1500m race, second among college competitors, with a season-best time of 4:45.09. USC's men's pole vaulters sophomore Daniel Corrigan, senior Brad Slinkard and freshman Derek Scott tied for fourth place clearing a height of 16-6 3/4 (5.05m), which is an NCAA Regional qualifying mark. For Corrigan and Slinkard it established new career bests. Scott cleared 17-1 earlier this season. Junior William Denbo came in second in the shot competition with a throw of 59-5 1/2 (18.12m), first among college competitors. Also placing second for USC was sophomore Philip Allen in the triple jump with a jump of 47-4 1/4 (14.43m). Freshman Justin Lucas had season bests in the 200m (21.93) to place fourth and in the 400m (50.09) to finish 16th. Junior Chris Huddleston came in fifth in the men's 1500m race with a personal best time of 1:53.02.
TROJANS IN THE RANKINGS - The latest USTFCCCA rankings have the USC women's team third and the men's team 15th. This week's Trackwire rankings list the women of Troy third and the men's team tied for 17th.
V.P. OF THE TRACK - Senior hurdler/sprinter/relay specialist Virginia Powell has continued to win virtually every sprint hurdles event she enters, winning the Dual Meet with UCLA on April 29 with a time of 12.70, the second-best legal time in the world this season. She had a wind-aided time of 12.68 to win the 100m HH at Mt. SAC on April 15 to earn women's Pac-10 Track Athlete of the Week (April 10-16). She won every major hurdles event she entered last season and has not lost a meet yet this season. Since the beginning of the 2005 season, she has won the 2005 and 2006 NCAA indoor 60m hurdles championships, the 2005 NCAA 100m HH outdoor championships, the 2005 Pac-10 100m HH championship, the 2005 NCAA West Region 100m HH championships and set the school record and tied the collegiate record (12.61) in the 100m HH. She also ranks among the Trojans' all-time top 10 in the 100m dash and has been part of three of the top 10 women's 4x100m relays in school history. So far this season, she has posted the fastest collegiate female 100m HH time (12.68) and the fifth-fastest 100m dash time (11.17).
RETURNING 2005 ALL-AMERICANS - Jesse Williams in the high jump (1st), Adam Midles in the hammer (6th), Virginia Powell in the 100m HH (1st), Candice Davis in the 100m HH (7th), Garry Jones, Philip Francis and Jeff Garrison in the 4x100m relay (5th).
SCHOOL RECORD HOLDERS - Jesse Williams in the high jump (7-6 1/2), Virginia Powell in the 100m HH (12.61), Brysun Stately in the pole vault (13-5 3/4), Kate Hutchinson in the discus (189-5), Karen Freberg in the shot (57-7 1/2), Carol Rodriguez in the 400m (51.51).
TROJANS IN THE TOP 25 THIS SEASON - The following Trojans currently have posted times or marks that rank among the top 25 in the country so far this season: Men: 100m - Philip Francis (9), Garry Jones (T-25); 200m - Francis (5); 400m - Lionel Larry (13), Jeff Garrison (19); 800m - Duane Solomon (5), Raphael Asafo-Agyei (9); 100m HH - Blake Frazier (25); 400m IH - Kai Kelley (22); 4x100m - (14); 4x400m (13, 21, 22); High Jump - Jesse Williams (1); Pole Vault - Derek Scott (24); Shot - Noah Bryant (8), William Denbo (18); Hammer - Adam Midles (8). Women: 100m - Virginia Powell (5), Carol Rodriguez (11); 200m - Rodriguez (6), Powell (17); 400m - Rodriguez (1); 100m HH - Powell (1), Candice Davis (4); 4x100m - (2, 10); Pole Vault - Brysun Stately (19); Triple Jump - Michelle Sanford (14); Shot - Karen Freeberg (3); Discus - Kate Hutchinson (4); Hammer - Eva Orban (4), Julia Rozenfeld (13).
TROJANS CLAIM TWO INDOOR TITLES - The Trojans had a strong showing at the NCAA Indoor Championships (March 10-11), despite sending just five female and one male athlete to the event in Fayetteville, Ark. Jesse Williams defended his 2005 indoor title by jumping 7-6 to win the 2006 NCAA indoor high jump championship. Virginia Powell ran 7.84 to win the 60m hurdles title for the second consecutive season. Her time was the fastest ever recorded by a female college athlete in the 60m hurdles Candice Davis placed eighth in the 60m hurdles and Carol Rodriguez second in the 200m race to lead the USC women's team to a tie for eighth place in the team competition with 21 points.
USC TRACK AND FIELD HISTORY - USC is well known as one of the most successful athletic programs in the history of the NCAA, with 106 men's and women's national championships. The Trojans have won far more NCAA team and individual titles combined than any other university. However, the most dominant force in USC's slate of athletic programs is not the baseball team (12 College World Series titles) or the football squad (nine national championships) but the men's track and field program, with an unprecedented 28 NCAA titles (including nine straight, 1935-43). 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. Trojan athletes have dominated the track and field scene for decades. From the exploits of sprinter Charlie Paddock and thrower Clarence 'Bud' Houser in the 1920s and 1930s, sprinter Mel Patton in the 1940s, thrower Parry O'Brien in the 1950s,sprinter Lennox Miller and pole vaulter Bob Seagren in the 1960s, sprinter Quincy Watts in the 1980s, to four-time NCAA hammer champion Balazs Kiss (only the fifth collegian to win four in a row) in the 1990s and World Champion hurdler Felix Sanchez in the 2000s, USC is synonymous with track and field excellence.
Ron Allice AND SUCCESS GO HAND IN HAND - Esteemed Director of Track and Field Ron Allice enters his 12th season at the helm of the USC program. With the outstanding coaching staff he has assembled, the Trojans have returned to prominence on a national level once again. In 2005, the Trojans were one of two schools to place both the men's and women's teams in the top seven in the country. Under his guidance, the Trojan men's team has finished in the top 10 at the NCAA finals in eight of his 11 seasons, including a sixth-place finish last season. The Women of Troy won their first-ever national championship in 2001 under Allice, who has guided the women's track and field team to a top 10 finish seven times in 11 seasons, including a seventh-place finish in 2005. USC's past successes in track and field are well known: 29 NCAA championships (including two indoor titles), 61 world records, 87 Olympic team members, 40 Olympic gold medals and 16 inductees in the U.S. National Track and Field Hall of Fame - all encapsuled in 104 years of a rich and storied tradition.
TROJAN ATHLETES WITH NCAA REGIONAL QUALIFYING MARKS IN 2006
Last year the USC men's track and field team placed sixth and the women's team seventh at the NCAA Championships, one of just two schools in the country to have both the men's and women's team finish in the top seven. This season, the Trojans have posted 39 individual qualifying marks for the NCAA Regionals (as well as all four relay teams), where they will compete in Provo, Utah from May 26-27 for the chance to advance to the NCAA Championships, held June 7-10.
MEN WOMEN100m (10.50): Garry Jones, Philip Francis 100m (11.75): Jessica Onyepunuka, Virginia Powell, Carol Rodriguez200m (21.19): Philip Francis, Jeff Garrison 200m (23.96): Carol Rodriguez, Virginia Powell, J. Onyepunuka400m (47.26): Lionel Larry, Jeff Garrison 400m (54.61): Treani Swain, Carol Rodriguez800m (1:50.40): Raphael Asafo-Agyei, Duane Solomon 800m (2:09.80): De'Sean Cunningham1500m (3:47.80): Tomasz Babiszkiewicz110m HH (14.30): Blake Frazier, Kai Kelley, Logan Taylor 100m HH (13.92): Virginia Powell, Candice Davis400m IH (52.51): Kai Kelley 400m IH (1:00.82): Candice Davis4x100m Relay (40.66): Jones, Palmer, Francis, Alugbue 4x100m Relay (45.70): Powell, Onyepunuka, Davis Rodriguez4x400m Relay 3:10.00): Larry, Garrison, Palmer, Asafo-Agyei 4x400m Relay (3:42.00): Graham, Rodriguez, Davis-Quarrie, StewartHigh Jump (2.10m): Jesse Williams, Nathan GwozdzPole Vault (5.05m): D. Scott, D. Corrigan, B. Slinkard Pole Vault (3.80m): Brysun Stately, Shannon LewallenLong Jump (7.34m): Jesse Williams Long Jump (5.97m): Michelle SanfordTriple Jump (15.08m): Inman Breaux, Manjula Wijesekara Triple Jump (12.32m): Michelle Sanford, Brittany DanielsShot (16.80m): Noah Bryant, William Denbo Shot (14.30m): Karen FrebergDiscus (51.70m): Noah Bryant Discus (47.30m): Kate HutchinsonHammer (55.60m): Adam Midles, Noah Bryant Hammer (54.15m): Eva Orban, Julia Rozenfeld, Karen Freberg Javelin (61.60m): Dennis Rice Javelin (43.45m): Andrea McBride
FREBERG AND FRANCIS WIN PAC-10 T&F HONORS - USC seniors Karen Freberg and Philip Francis were selected as Pac-10 Track and Field Athletes of the Week for the week of April 24-30. Freberg was honored as the Women's Pac-10 Field Athlete of the Week and Francis was selected Men's Pac-10 Track Athlete of the Week. Freberg had a banner two days at the USC-UCLA Dual Meet, setting personal bests in the shot, hammer and discus. Freberg won the shot put competition with a throw of 57-7 1/2 (17.56m), bettering her school record in the event. She had set the school record originally on April 15 with a throw of 56-5 3/4. Freberg also placed third in the hammer competition with a career-best throw of 184-4 (56.20m), moving into ninth place on the USC women's all-time hammer throw list. She also came in fourth in the discus with a career best of 151-4 (46.12m). Francis led a Trojan men's sweep in the 100m dash with a personal best time of 10.23, which ties him for the 10th fastest time in school history. He was a three-time winner on the day as he won the 200m race with a personal best of 20.59, the leading Pac-10 time this season and tied for the fifth-fastest in the NCAA this year. He also was part of USC's winning 4x100m relay team, which posted a season-best time of 39.75.
IN THE THROWS OF BATTLE - The USC throwing corps currently has nine members (4 men, 5 women) who rank in the school's all-time top 10 in their events: Men - Noah Bryant in the shot (6th), William Denbo in the shot (10th), Dennis Rice in the javelin (4th) and Adam Midles in the hammer (7th). Women - Karen Freberg in the shot (1) and hammer (9), Kate Hutchinson in the discus (1), Andrea McBride in the javelin (3), Eva Orban in the hammer (2nd) and Julia Rozenfeld in the hammer (5).
JUMPING JESSE - USC senior Jesse Williams leads all NCAA male high jumpers again with a jump of 7-6 1/2 (2.30m) on April 15 at the Mt. SAC Relays. That jump tied his school record originally set on July 26, 2005 at the DN Galan Track and Field Championships in Stockholm, Sweden. Williams, who has won the last two indoor high jump championships and won the 2005 outdoor high jump title, is attempting to become the eighth high jumper in history to win the outdoor title outright in consecutive years, the last being Mark Boswell of Texas in 1999 and 2000. In all, 15 high jumpers have at least shared the high jump title in consecutive seasons. Last season, Williams became the first USC high jumper to win both the indoor and outdoor championships in the same season and has that possibility again this year. When he won the NCAA indoor title on March 11 this season, be became just the second repeat champion since 1989 (Boswell of Texas, 1999-2000).
SUDDEN IMPACT - Among the newcomers on the women's track team this season, four of them have already placed their names in the USC record books with a top 10 all-time result. Freshman Eva Orban set the USC freshman record and ranks second in school history in the women's hammer with a throw of 215, freshman Brysun Stately set the school women's pole vault record clearing a height of 13-5 3/4, senior transfer Karen Freberg set the school shot put record with a throw of 57-7 1/2 and ranks ninth in the hammer with a throw of 184-4 and freshman Brittany Daniels, the 2005 Gatorade High School Track and Field Female Athlete of the Year, has a triple jump of 41-2 1/2, the sixth farthest in school history. The men's team has certainly had strong contributions from the newcomers, too. Sophomore transfer Roy Alugbue is part of USC's 4x100m team that ran a season-best 39.75 on April 29 and has run the third fastest 100m dash (10.59) and 200m dash (21.33) by a Trojan this season. Freshman Matthew Palmer is also part of the 4x100m team, freshman Derek Scott has pole vaulted a USC season-best 17-1 and freshman Nathan Gwozdz has high jumped 6-10 3/4, just off the school's top 10 list.
YES, THAT SANFORD - Junior jumper Michelle Sanford has returned to health this season following an injury-plagued sophomore season and has comeback strong. She currently has posted the third farthest triple jump in the Pac-10 (43-0/13.11m) and the seventh farthest long jump (20-2 3/4/6.17m). As a freshman in 2004, Sanford scored a team-best 18 points at the Pac-10 meet, winning the long jump and taking second in the triple jump. In case you are wondering, she is the daughter of James Sanford, the fastest Trojan ever, who ran a 10.03 in the 100m dash on May 11,1980.
NEEPER IS A KEEPER - Senior distance runner Kate Neeper was slowed by injuries last season and is still working to regain her top form which saw her place fifth in the Pac-10s in the 10000m race in 2004 and set the USC freshman record in the 5000m race in 2003. In the class room, the double major in international relations and Spanish has never lost her stride and this year will graduate as the salutatorian of the USC Class of 2006 with a 3.98 GPA. Immediately after graduation, Neeper is heading to Ecuador for an internship with the U.S. State Department. In the fall, she will begin graduate work in international affairs at George Washington University, with an eventual goal to work in Latin American foreign policy, with a focus on Mexico or Cuba.