USC To Compete At UCSD Triton Invitational And Tiny Lister Invitational This Weekend

April 18, 2007

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2007 USC TRACK AND FIELD - The USC men's and women's track and field teams will be competing at the UC San Diego Triton Invitational on April 20-21 in San Diego and at the Tiny Lister Invitational on April 21 on the campus of Cal St. Los Angeles this weekend.

LAST WEEK - The Trojans competed at the Mt. SAC Relays and at the Long Beach Invitational, posting some of their best marks of the season. At Mt. SAC: Junior transfer Irec Sekretarski broke USC's 41-year-old mile record record with a time of 4:01.89, junior Duane Solomon ran the fastest 800m by a collegian this season and a new PR (1:47.19) in coming in second in the Invitational 800m run and junior Lionel Larry won his second consecutive Mt. SAC Invitational 400m race with a time of 45.72. Junior Kai Kelley won the University/Open 400m HH race with a 50.76 time, a new career best. Also, senior Noah Bryant set a new PR in the shot (66-2 1/2) and junior Jessica Onyepunuka set her PR in the 100m dash (11.31), eighth-fastest in school history. Sophomore Brandon Estrada won the U/O pole vault competition with a new PR of 17-0 3/4 and senior Julia Rozenfeld won the U/O hammer competition with a throw of 198-7. At Long Beach: Freshman Daniela Gergley won the women's 5000m, senior Chris Huddleston won the men's 5000m and frosh Nate Anderson won the men's 400m.

THE 2007 WOMEN'S TEAM - The women's team is coming off a second-place finish 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, setting a new PR of 12.91 on March 31. 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 2007 MEN'S TEAM - The men's team is coming off a ninth-place finish 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). Bryant had a PR in the shot last week (2nd all-time at USC) and Midles had a PR in the hammer on March 24 (4th all-time at USC). Key newcomers for the men include freshmen High School All-American sprinters Nate Anderson, Jamere Holland and Ahmad Rashad and junior transfer Irec Sekretarski (1500m).

LATEST RANKINGS - This week's Trackwire rankings lists both the USC men's and women's teams as No. 3. The conference's power is on display as five of the top 10 men's teams and seven of the top 17 women's teams are from the Pac-10. The latest USTFCCCA rankings are out and both the men's and women's team are also ranked No. 3.

NEXT WEEK - The Trojans will host the UCLA Bruins at Loker Stadium in the annual Dual Meet. The meet will be televised live on Prime Ticket.

RETURNING ALL-AMERICANS - The Trojans have 10 returning student-athletes who qualified for All-American honrs during the 2006 track and field outdoor season: Candice Davis (100m HH, 4x100m), Jessica Onyepunuka (4x100m), Eva Orban (hammer), Carol Rodriguez (100m, 200m, 4x100m), Noah Bryant (shot), DaSean Cunningham (4x400m), Kai Kelley (4x400m), Lionel Larry (400m, 4x400m), Adam Midles (hammer) and Duane Solomon (800m).

SCHOOL OUTDOOR RECORD HOLDERS - Candice Davis (4x100m), Kate Hutchinson (discus)*, Jessica Onyepunuka (4x100m), Eva Orban (hammer), Carol Rodriguez (200m, 400m, 4x100m), Irec Sekretarski (mile). * redshirting

DUAL MEET LUNCHEON - USC will host a USC-UCLA Dual Meet Luncheon at Heritage Hall on Tuesday, April 24 at 11:30 a.m.. A select group of USC and UCLA track and field athletes will be on hand as will the coaching staffs. Lunch will be provided courtesy of Spaghettini's.

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 13th 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. The last two seasons the Trojans were one of two schools to place both the men's and women's teams in the top 10 in the country. Under his guidance, the Trojan men's team has finished in the top 10 at the NCAA finals in nine of his 12 seasons, including a ninth-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 eight times in 12 seasons, including a second-place finish in 2006. 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 105 years of a rich and storied tradition.

NEAR THE TOP OF THE CHARTS - Trojans Lionel Larry (2nd - 400m), Duane Solomon (1st - 800m), Kai Kelley (6th - 400m IH), Noah Bryant (1st - shot), William Denbo (5th - shot), Adam Midles (4th - hammer), men's 4x400m relay team (3rd), Jessica Onyepunuka (6th - 100m), Carol Rodriguez (5th - 200m), Candice Davis (1st - 100m HH), Eva Orban (3rd - hammer), women's 4x100m relay team (1st) and women's 4x400m relay team (7th-fastest team) all have posted collegiate marks that rank in the top eight this season (which would score at the NCAAs).

BRYANT NAMED PAC-10 FIELD CO-ATHLETE OF THE WEEK - USC redshirt senior Noah Bryant was named the Pac-10 Conference Field Co-Athlete of the Week (April 2-8) on April 9, after winning the Pepsi Team Invitational shot put competition with a throw of 66-2 1/4. His throw was a new PR, the top shot put in the country this season and the second longest outdoor shot put in USC history. Bryant then topped that mark on April 15 at Mt. SAC with a throw of 66-2 1/2 (20.18m).

IN THE MIDLES OF SOMETHING SPECIAL - Trojan hammer thrower Adam Midles set a new career best in the hammer throw competition in three straight weeks (March 10-24). At the Ben Brown Invitational in Fullerton, Calif. on March 10, the senior had a throw of 221-7 to move into sixth place all-time on the USC hammer list. A week later at the Pacific Lutheran meet, he set a PLU stadium record with a new career-best throw of 225-2. Then March 24 at the Trojan Invitational, he had the fourth-best throw in school history of 226-6. Midles has already improved more than seven feet this season on his previous career-best throw. If he is to move up farther on USC's all-time list, he will have to improve more than 10 feet to catch Bengt Johansson who threw 236-11 in 1998. Midles has the fourth-farthest throw by a collegian this season.

BRYANT SETS SCHOOL RECORD WHILE WINNING INDOOR SHOT TITLE - Senior Noah Bryant won the 2007 NCAA Indoor Shot Title with a career-best throw of 67-5 1/4 (20.55m) to defeat the favorite Russ Winger of Idaho at the NCAA Indoor Championships held March 9-10 at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, Ark. Bryant's winning shot mark was nearly three feet farther than his previous career best and set a new USC indoor record and is better than any outdoor distance in school history. That is saying a lot, considering that USC has had numerous Olympic champions and world record-holders in the event, including Parry O'Brien, Dallas Long, Wilbur Thompson and Bud Houser. The redshirt senior becomes the first Trojan to win an NCAA shot title since Doug Lane won the 1972 indoor title with a throw of 64-3 1/2. Bryant's throw was farther than Lane's school-record outdoor shot of 66-11 1/4. Bryant has continued his impressive comeback from a freak accident in 2005 which required major surgery after the hammer bounced off the cage and struck him in the face.

DAVIS ALSO EARNS INDOOR ALL-AMERICAN HONORS - Senior Candice Davis joined Bryant in gaining Indoor All-America honors with a fourth-place finish in the indoor finals of the women's 60m hurdles, posting a time of 8.05. Davis was actually leading over the final hurdle, but stumbled and had to settle for fourth. Last season, she ran an 8.32 time to place eighth at the indoor championships. Davis ran a PR of 12.91 in the 100m HH on March 31. That mark improved her second-place standing on USC's all-time list and is the top mark among collegiate hurdlers this season. Last week at Mt. SAC, she ran a wind-aided time of 12.88.

RODRIGUEZ LEAVING HER MARK - Junior Carol Rodriguez has had an outstanding career as a Trojan in just her first two and one-half seasons. Rodriguez already owns the USC school record in the 200m with a time of 22.23 and the 400m with a time of 51.51, a Puerto Rican national record. Rodriguez also sits atop the charts as part of USC's fastest 4x100m Relay Team of Virginia Powell, Jessica Onyepunuka, Candice Davis and Rodriguez which ran a school-record time of 42.96 last year at the NCAA Championships. Rodriguez also owns the seventh-fastest 100m time, running an 11.24 hand-held time on April 7 at the Pepsi Team Invitational.

WHAT IS NEXT FOR ORBAN - After a fantastic freshman season, one might wonder what is next for sophomore hammer thrown Eva Orban. Last season, she won the Pac-10 hammer title, the NCAA West hammer title and placed second at the NCAA Championships. Along the way, she established a new USC, Pac-10 and NCAA West Regional hammer throw records, with a toss of 226-8 at the NCAA West Regional. The All-American from Papa, Hungary originally set the school record on May 14, 2006 at the Pac-10 Championships with a throw of 221-7, surpassing Julia Tudja at the top of the Trojan hammer chart. Orban had her top hammer throw of the season last week in the Mt. SAC Invitational (219-9) and ranks third this season among NCAA women in the hammer.

LIGHTNING Lionel Larry - Junior Lionel Larry won the 400m race at the Pepsi Team Invitational on April 7 in Eugene, Ore. with a time of 45.67. He followed that up with his second consecutive Mt. SAC 400m Invitational win with a time of 45.72 on April 15. His season-best time is 45.43 set on March 17 at the Willie Williams meet in Tucson, Ariz. which is the second-fastest 400m NCAA time this season, trailing Lesiba Masheto of Illinois by .02. Larry also led the 4x400m relay team to a win at the Pepsi Team Invitational with a time of 3:08.58, running down Washington's Alex Harcourt on the final leg to give the Trojans the victory.

HEP TO IT! - Trojan heptathletes Shana Woods and Lindsay Oman took part in their first heptathlon competition of the season last week at Mt. SAC. Woods scored 5,393 points, good for fourth in school history and a regional povisional mark. Oman scored a career-best 4,891 points, good for eighth best in USC history.

LONG-STANDING MARK GOES DOWN - Trojan junior transfer Irec Sekretarski of Poland set the USC one-mile run record with a time of 4:01.89 on April 15 at the Mt. SAC Relays. His time bettered Bruce Bess' old school mark of 4:02.0 which was set in 1966.

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