Trojan Invitational Set For Saturday

March 21, 2007

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The USC Trojans men's and women's track and field team will be hosting its second meet of the season on March 24 when the Trojan Invitational will be held at Loker Stadium beginning at 9 a.m. As part of the day's events, the Trojans are also hosting the High School Relay Championships. Among the college teams joining USC at the Trojan Invitational are Michigan, Texas A&M, New Mexico, Washington State, CS Northridge, CS Los Angeles, CS Fullerton, Loyola Marymount and CS Long Beach.

The USC track and field team was spread out all over the West coast last weekend, competing at the Las Vegas Tri-Meet, the CS Northridge Invitational, the Willie Williams Invitational and the Pacific Lutheran meets and turned in some outstanding performances, led by Adam Midles' career-best hammer throw at the Pacific Lutheran Invitational in Tacoma, Wash. Among the other highlights included he women's track team defeating Texas, UNLV and CS Dominguez Hills at the UNLV Tri-Meet. The Women of Troy were led by junior Carol Rodriguez who won the 100m dash with a time of 11.39 and junior Jessica Onyepunuka who placed second with a time of 11.58, both marks were regional qualifiers. Rodriguez (23.06) and Onyepunuka (23.81) finished first and third respectively in the 200m dash, also regional qualifying marks.

The women's team placed second at the NCAA Championships in 2006, as well as winning the NCAA West Regional and placing third at the Pac-10 Championships. NCAA 100m HH record-holder Virginia Powell has graduated, but the Trojans return a solid group and have added the No. 1 rated recruiting class in the country according to Track and Field News. Leading the way is junior Carol Rodriguez who last season ran the fastest 200m (22.23) and 400m (51.51) in school history. Rodriguez placed her name in the USC record books a third time as part of the 4x100m relay team (42.96) along with current teammates Candice Davis and Jessica Onyepunuka, as well as Powell. Davis has run the second-fastest 100m HH time in school history and got the season off to a good start with a 13.17 time on Feb. 24 at Claremont. Also returning is sophomore Eva Orban who set the USC record in the hammer, as well as establishing the Pac-10 record. Added to this nucleous of All-Americans are Troy's freshmen fab five of Shalina Clarke, Myra Hasson, Elizabeth Olear, Judith Onyepunuka and Shana Woods. This group of women garnered nine All-Am ratings in their prep days.

The men's team placed ninth at the NCAA Championships last season, following winning championships at the Pac-10 finals and the NCAA West Regional. NCAA high jump champion Jesse Williams has graduated, but Trojans have a strong group of returning athletes, led by junior Lionel Larry, an All-American in the 400m and 4x400m. Other returning All-Americans for the men's team are Noah Bryant (shot put), DaSean Cunningham (4x400m), Kai Kelley (4x400m), Adam Midles (hammer) and Duane Solomon (800m). Key newcomers for the men include freshmen High School All-American sprinters Nate Anderson, Jamere Holland and Ahmad Rashad and junior transferIrec Sekretarski (1500m).

The Trojans' track and field team will compete at the Stanford Relays from March 30-31 in Palo Alto, Calif. It will be good practice for the Trojan squad as Stanford will be hosting the Pac-10 Championships on the same track from May 12-13.

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