USC T&F Celebrates Renovation With Topping Off Ceremony
Much of the normal hustle and bustle around the beautiful USC campus has come to a halt due to COVID-19, but there are the distinctive sounds of construction coming from the southwest corner of Loker Stadium as part of USC's comprehensive renovation project to its track and field facility.
On Oct. 7 at 1 p.m., those noises will be replaced by the sound of celebration during the Track & Field Topping Off Ceremony, as the highest beam of the office building will be put in place. The construction noise won't end until the full renovation of the complex is complete in the Spring of 2021.
USC president Carol L. Folt, Charles Griffin Cale Director of Athletics Mike Bohn, Director of Track & Field Caryl Smith Gilbert and All-America athletes Matthew Katnik and Angie Annelus will speak during the virtual event on October 7. The event is open to the public and fans and media may register for the event here: https://usc.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_5CDpuRzXRfeIRbfEFPXxqw
The new building being built on the southwest corner of Loker Stadium, replaces the equipment storage building with a newly-constructed building that will house a team meeting room, a Hall of Fame, academic study rooms, coaches offices and locker rooms, and a track viewing balcony.
"Our new facilities will have an immediate impact on every student-athlete who comes through our track and field and cross country programs," said eighth-year USC Director of Track and Field Caryl Smith Gilbert, who led the Women of Troy to the 2018 NCAA outdoor title. "My coaching staff and I are so appreciative of the support for the project thus far – a great deal of which has come from former USC track and field athletes who are now paying it forward to the next generation of students."
Some 80 percent of the funding raised for the renovation has come from former members of the Trojan track and field teams. Former USC track and field athlete John Colich and his wife, Janine, provided the lead gift for the renovation, while Trojan track and field alumnus Joe Antunovich designed the project.
The USC men's and women's track and field program is the most successful in the nation. The men have won 26 outdoor and 2 indoor NCAA team championships, while women have won a pair of NCAA team outdoor crowns, including in 2018. The Trojan men have captured an unprecedented 139 NCAA outdoor and indoor individual and relay titles and the Women of Troy have added 27. USC also has had 137 track and field Olympians, male and female.
Some of the sport's most iconic athletes have competed for the Trojans, including Quincy Watts, Louis Zamperini, Bryshon Nellum, Felix Sanchez, Andre De Grasse, Bob Seagren, Charles Paddock, Mel Patton, Parry O'Brien, Jesse Williams and Dallas Long on the men's side and Angela Williams, Inger Miller, Virginia Powell, Dalilah Muhammad and Nia Ali on the women's side (Allyson Felix attended USC after turning pro). USC's most recent track stars include Michael Norman, the 2018 NCAA outdoor and indoor 400-meter champion, and Kendall Ellis, whose dramatic comeback to win the 1600-meter relay clinched the 2018 women's NCAA team title.
The first phase of construction was completed in 2019 with the unveiling of the new state-of-the-art locker rooms and student-athlete lounges.