USC T&F Set For NCAA West Regional

May 26, 2009

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EUGENE, ORE. - The USC men's and women's track and field team will be competing this week at the NCAA West Regional being hosted by Oregon in Eugene, Ore. on May 29-30. To qualify for the NCAA Championships, athletes have to finish in the top five (top 3 in relays) in each of the NCAA Regionals or be in a group of 5-8 other athletes chosen from a pool of the next best seven finishers in each event from the four regionals.

TROJANS AT THE NCAA WEST REGIONAL - USC has 20 men and 15 women who have earned a berth at the regional as well as both relay teams. The USC men placed second at the 2008 NCAA West Regional, after having won it the three previous seasons. The USC women placed third at the 2008 NCAA West Regional. In the six years of regional competition the USC men's team has finished no lower than third place (2003), while the women's lowest finish was sixth (2003).

TROJANS AT THE PAC-10 CHAMPIONSHIPS - The USC men's team placed second and the women's team fourth at the 2009 Pac-10 Championship on May 16-17 in Eugene, Ore. Ahmad Rashad won the 100m and 200m dashes, Oscar Spurlock the 110m HH, Eva Orban the hammer throw and they were joined by the men's 4x400m relay team in collecting Pac-10 titles. Rashad's 10.13 time in the 100m was the fifth-fastest all-time by a Trojan and Spurlock's 11.56 time in the 110m HH was the seventh-fastest all-time by a Trojan. Rashad won the sprint double for the second time (2007) and Orban won the hammer title for the second time (2007). Corey White missed out on defending his 2008 Pac-10 javelin title when he was edged on the final throw by Oregon's Cyrus Hostetler.

RETURNING SCORERS FROM THE 2008 REGIONAL - Shalina Clarke in the women's 100m high hurdles, Eva Orban in the women's hammer, Corey White in the men's javelin and the men's 4x400m relay team are defending West Regional Champions. Other Trojan females who scored at the 2008 NCAA West Regional are: Nia Ali in the 100m HH (8th), Kristine Busa in the javelin (5th), Zsofia Erdelyi in the 3000m steeplechase (2nd), the 4x100m relay (2nd) and the 4x400m relay (3rd). Other returning Trojan male athletes who scored at the 2008 NCAA West Regional are: Aaron Dan in the discus (8th) and Manjula Wijesekara in the high jump (2nd).

TRACKTOWN HAS BEEN KIND - The Trojans have performed well at Hayward Stadium in Eugene, Ore. as the men's team won the 2000 and 2006 Pac-10 crowns and the 2005 and 2007 NCAA West Regional titles here. Also, the USC women's team won its only NCAA track and field championship in 2001 in Eugene.

YOUTHFUL USC - Out of USC's 15 females and 20 males qualifying for the NCAA West Regional, only two females (Eva Orban, Katalin Mate) and five males (Matthew Palmer, Irek Sekretarski, Corey White, Brian Wilhelm, Mike Curiel) are listed as seniors.

NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS ON DECK - The Trojans' track and field athletes which qualify this week will advance to the NCAA Championships being hosted by Arkansas on June 10-13 in Fayetteville, Ark. Last season, the USC men's team placed seventh and the women's team 11th. The Trojans had their nation's best streak of top 10 finishes by both squads snapped at three consecutive seasons. The men's team has finished in the top 10 four consecutive seasons and in 12 of the last 15 seasons. They also have won more titles than anyone with 26, the last coming in 1976. The women's team won the NCAA title in 2001 and have had five top five finishes in the last 11 seasons. In nine of the last 10 seasons (except 2004) , USC has had at least one athlete win an individual NCAA title (19 total, plus one relay).

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