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USC Track & Field Heads To NCAA West Prelims In Texas

May 24, 2021

The No. 3-ranked USC men's and women's track and field teams will be competing at the 2021 NCAA West Preliminary Rounds at E.B. Cushing Stadium in College Station, Texas from May 26-29.  USC has 20 women entered in 27 individual events, plus the two relay teams, while the men's team has 15 athletes entered in 17 individual events, plus five more athletes are traveling as part of the two relay teams.

WOMEN WIN, MEN TAKE SECOND AT PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIPS -- The USC women's team won its third consecutive Pac-12 team title and the men's team scored its most points since 2010 to finish second at the Pac-12 Championships hosted by the Trojans May 14-16.  USC athletes won 15 event titles, set a school record, two meet records and two USC freshman records. TeeTee Terry earned co-Women's Athlete of the Meet as she scored 22 points and Davonte Burnett was the Men's Athlete of the Meet winner as he won 22.5 points.

TROJANS LOOKING TO PUNCH TICKET TO NATIONALS - Members of USC's 2021 track and field team schedule to compete this week at the West Preliminary Rounds and earn a trip to the NCAA Championships are:  

Women: Angie Annelus (200m), Breanna Bernard-Joseph (400m H), Alyssa Brewer (800m), Anna Cockrell (100m H, 400m H), Kyra Constantine (400m), Jan'Taijah Ford (400m), Karlee Freeman (DT), Kimberly Harris (400m), Jasmine Jones (100m H), Bailey Lear (400m), Joy McArthur (HT), Mecca McGlaston (100m H), Temi Ojora (HJ, TJ), Kaelin Roberts (400m), Jemima Russell (800m), Rae-Anne Serville (400m), Morgan Smalls (HJ, LJ, TJ), TeeTee Terry (100m, 200m), Lanae-Tava Thomas (100m, 200m, LJ), Nicole Yeargin (400m).

Men: Eric Allen Jr., Alexander Barnum, Nathan Bultman (HT), Davonte Burnett (100m, 200m), Kenan Christon, Brian Herron (400m), Jalyn Jackson (LJ, TJ), Isaiah Jewett (800m), McKay Johnson (SP), Matthew Katnik (SP), Trey Knight (HT), Tade Ojora (110m H), Nicholas Ramey (400m), Cameron Samuel (400m H), Jordan Scott (TJ), Earnest Sears III (HJ), Darryl Shaw (TJ), Zach Shinnick, Brendon Stewart, Sam VanDorpe (800m).

TROJANS LEADING THE WAY -  The Trojans enter this week's action with two NCAA leading times: Anna Cockrell (W-400m H, 54.77) and Isaiah Jewett (M-800m, 1:45.16).  Also, the Trojans currently have 40 times or marks within the top 30 on the NCAA descending order lists: Angie Annelus (T-26th - W-100m, 12th - 200m), Breanna Bernard-Joseph (27th - W-400m H),  Nathan Bultman (3rd - M-HT), Davonte Burnett (8th - M-100m), Anna Cockrell (1st - W-400m H, T-4th - W-100m H), Kyra Constantine (4th - W-400m), Jan'Taijah Ford (26th - W-400m), Brian Herron (23rd - M-400m), Isaiah Jewett (1st - M-800m, 30th - M-400m), McKay Johnson (8th - M-SP), Jasmine Jones (12th - W-100mH), Matthew Katnik (2nd - M-SP), Trey Knight (18th - M-HT),  Bailey Lear (15th - W-400m), Joy McArthur (21st - W-HT), Tade Ojora (T-21st - M-110m H), Temi Ojora (11th - W-TJ, T-24th - W-HJ), Kaelin Roberts (3rd - W-400m, 23rd - W-200m), Cameron Samuel (3rd - M-400m H), Jordan Scott (3rd - M-TJ), Earnest Sears III (11th - HJ), Morgan Smalls (T-10th - W-HJ, T-16th - W-LJ), TeeTee Terry (T-2nd - W-100m, 6th - 200m), Lanae-Tava Thomas (12th - W-100m, T-29th - W-200m, T-28th - W-LJ), Nicole Yeargin (10th - W-400m), W-4x100m (2nd, 8th), M-4x100m (T-18th), M-4x400m (14th), W-4x400m (9th, 13th, 15th).

USC'S NEW TRACK BUILDING --  USC's new track and field building was on display at the Pac-12 Championships, but will officially open in June, as the project is in its final phase.  Part of the renovation is the brand new scoreboard in the southeast corner of the track. The new building will house a team meeting room, a Hall of Fame, academic study rooms, coaches offices and a track viewing balcony.  The first phase of the project was the transformation of the old office space and locker rooms into enlarged and modern locker rooms and lounge area for the athletes.

COCKRELL NAMED PAC-12 SCHOLAR ATHLETE OF THE YEAR -- USC hurdler Anna Cockrell was named the 2021 Pac-12 Women's Scholar Athlete of the Year on May 16.  Also on that date, she sang the National Anthem to start the meet, won the 100m hurdles and won her third consecutive Pac-12 women's 400m hurdles title, this time with a school-record time of 54.77. Cockrell, from Charlotte, N.C., has received her master's in Public Policy after receiving an undergraduate degree in Communication with a Political Science minor.  She has been very active during her time at USC and wsa founder and leading member of the United Black Student-Athlete Association at USC.  She is a Dean's List student, member of Lambda Pi Eta, Academic All-America and in 2020 named the CoSIDA Academic All-America Women's Team Member of the Year for Track & Field.Cockrell is the defending NCAA and three-time Pac-12 400m hurdles champion and lead all hurdlers this season with a time of 54.77.  Cockrell also has a PR of 12.64 which ranks third on USC's all-time list and has run on three of USC's all-time top 10 4x400m relays.

QUITE A GROUP - USC's women's 400m runners are one of the more loaded event groups for the Trojans.  Currently, Kaelin Roberts (3rd - 51.14), Kyra Constantine (4th - 51.16) Nicole Yeargin (T-5th - 51.39) and Bailey Lear (8th - 51.57) all rank in USC's all-time outdoor top 10 in the event. So far this outdoor season, USC has four women's 400m runners ranking in the top 15 nationally: Roberts (3rd), Lear (15th), Constantine (4th) and Nicole Yeargin (10th).  At the Pac-12 Championships with Roberts sitting out, USC still finished 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th and 7th to earn 30 points and help secure the come-from-behind team title.

WHAT'S NEXT FOR BULTMAN -- USC hammer thrower Nathan Bultman has established a new personal best in each of his last four meets.  He began the season in 10th place on USC's all-time hammer throw list with a mark of 220-2 (67.12m) set in 2018. He then bettered his his standing with a throw of 220-9 (67.28m) at the Cal Dual Meet on April 10, then to 221-6 (67.51) at the Beach Invitational on April 16, improved to 231-1 (70.44m) at the USC-UCLA Dual Meet on May 2 and then won his second Pac-12 title in the event with a PR of 239-10 (73.12m) on May 14.  That moved him into fourth on USC's all-time list and to third on the 2021 NCAA descending order list.

DYNAMIC FRESHMEN DUO --  USC's dynamic freshman jumping duo of Morgan Smalls and Temi Ojora are perhaps the best tandem on a Trojan roster since Wendy Brown and Yvette Bates set the USC long jump and triple jump records in the late 1980s.  Already Smalls ranks tied for fourth on USC's all-time list in the long jump (21-5.25/6.53m), 10th in the triple jump (42-8.00/13.00m) and tied for 6th in the high jump at 6-0.00 (1.83m).  Meanwhile, Ojora ranks third in the triple jump (44-6.75/13.58m) and tied for 11th in the high jump (5-10.75/1.80m).  Ojora also in her only long jump competition of the season has jumped 19-8.25.  Both Smalls long jump mark set on May 15 and Ojora's triple jump mark set on May 16 were USC freshman records, surpassing jumps by Wendy Brown which had stood since the 1985 season.

NEXT MEET: NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS - USC will next be in action when it competes at the NCAA Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. from Jun 9-12.