USC To Host Trojan Invitational This Weekend

    Redshirt junior Tynia Gaither was a 3-time outdoor All-American last season, scoring at the NCAA Championships in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay.
    March 18, 2015

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    The USC track and field team begins to transition into the outdoor season full-time by hosting the annual Trojan Invitational at Loker Stadium on March 20-21. The hammer and discus throw competitions will be held at Cal State Los Angeles starting at 1 p.m. on March 20, followed by the 3000m steeplechase races held at Loker Stadium beginning at 6 p.m. The majority of the meet will take place at Loker Stadium on March 21 beginning at 10 a.m. As part of the annual festivities, there will be L.A. City high school relay races throughout the day. Among the teams joining USC are Oregon (2014 men's outdoor & 2015 men's indoor champions), Washington State, BYU, Hawai'i and Long Beach State. Admission is $10 for adults and students with a valid USC ID are allowed in free. For children 3-12 and seniors 65 and over, the admission is $5. Children under 3 are admitted free.

    2015 NCAA INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS RECAP - The USC men's team tied for ninth and the women's team tied for 12th at the NCAA Indoor Championships held in Fayetteville, Ark. on March 13-14. Conor McCullough was second in the men's weight throw with a school-record throw of 80-3.75 (24.48m) and Andre De Grasse was second in the 200m dash with a school and Canadian-record time of 20.26. Ky Westbrook was second in the women's 60m dash with a time of 7.21, Dior Hall was eighth in the women's 60m HH (8.48) and the 4x400m relay team of Jaide Stepter, Amalie Iuel, Kendall Ellis and Vanessa Jones took third with a school-record time of 2:29.63.

    USC'S RETURNING ALL-AMERICANS - USC has six 2014 first-team All-Americans on this season's team, including Alexandra Collatz (women's discus), Alexis Faulknor (women's 4x100m), Tynia Gaither (women's 100m, 200m, 4x100m), Vanessa Jones (4x400m), BeeJay Lee (men's 4x100m) and Akawkaw Ndipagbor (4x400m). In addition, 2011-13 All-American hammer thrower Jenny Ozorai returns after missing last season due to back surgery.

    CANADIAN CANNON II - Junior sprinter Andre De Grasse from Markham, Ontario, Canada comes to USC from Coffeyville Community College in Coffeyville, Kan. as a five-time NJCAA Champion. He arrives at USC with big shoes to fill with the graduation of All-American sprinter Aaron Brown, also from Canada, who ranks third on USC's all-time 100m and 200m lists. If the indoor season is any indication, the Trojans are in good shape. De Grasse posted an indoor best of 6.60 in the 60m dash and placed second in the 200m race at the NCAA Championships with a school and Canadian indoor record of 20.26, both marks previously held by Aaron Brown (20.53). De Grasse has outdoor PRs of 10.15 in the 100m dash and 20.28 in the 200m. De Grasse ran a 9.96 (+5.0w) 100m dash to win the 2013 NJCAA title.

    ACTION JACKSON - USC freshman Adoree' Jackson not only is a starting cornerback on the football team, but also a force in the long jump for the track and field team. Jackson has a personal best of 25-5.25 (7.25m) in the long jump set at the Chandler Rotary Elite Session last year, the second-farthest jump by a high school athlete in 2014. Jackson won the 2012 CIF State long jump title with a leap of 25-0.50. He also has a best 200m time of 21.59. Jackson has not competed outdoors this season, but had an indoor best of 24-7.75 (7.51m) at the McCravy Memorial Invitational on Jan. 23.

    HALL SETS USC FRESHMAN INDOOR HURDLES RECORD - Freshman Dior Hall came to USC as the all-time U.S. high school record-holder in the 100m HH and demonstrated in the indoor season that she is going to be a force immediately. Hall won the MPSF 60m HH title with a time of 8.11. She set the USC freshman hurdles record at the Husker invitational with a time of 8.14, then broke it three more times, the last being an 8.01 clocking in the semifinals at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Unfortunately for Hall, she clipped the third hurdle while leading in the finals and placed eighth with a time of 8.48. Hall's high school record in the 100m HH is 12.92 set in placing second at the 2014 IAAF World Youth Championships , which broke the previous record of 12.95 set by Candy Young in 1979. Hall was a three-time state 100m HH champions and a two-time Colorado Gatorade Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year honoree.

    WESTBROOK EARNS INDOOR ALL-AMERICA HONORS - Freshman Ky Westbrook placed second at the 2015 NCAA Indoor Championships with a time of 7.21. Five of the eight runners in the race had competed in the 2014 final, including the top three finishers from last season. Westbrook became the first Trojan to score in the 60m dash since Virginia Powell placed seventh in 2006. The last Trojan to place higher than Westbrook was all-time great and USC record-holder Angela Williams who won the event in 2002. Westbrook had an indoor best of 7.18 in the 60m and won the MPSF indoor title with a time of 7.23. Westbrook enters the 2015 outdoor season with high school PRs of 11.33 in the 100m and 23.37 in the 200m. She led her Chandler High team to the state title and was named the Gatorade Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year for Arizona as she won the 100m, 200m, 100m HH and the shot put competitions at the state meet.

    WOMEN'S 4X400M RELAY SETS SCHOOL RECORD - USC's 4x400m relay team of Jaide Stepter, Amalie Iuel, Kendall Ellis and Vanessa Jones placed third with a school record time of 3:29.63 at the 2015 NCAA Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. on March 14. That time was also the 11th-fastest ever run at the NCAA Indoor Championships.

    USC RANKING AMONG THE BEST - There are currently 33 NCAA top 25 marks posted by Trojan athletes early in the outdoor season: Men (13): Myles Andrews (1500m - 17th), Randall Cunningham (HJ - 4), Robert Ford (400m - 18th), Michael Krone (HJ - T9th), Bryan Mercado (100m - 4th, 200m - 13th), Ricky Morgan (200m - 2nd), Dominic Smallwood (LJ - 17, TJ - 18), Allen Williams (TJ - 10th), Jemal Williams (110m HH - T-22nd), the 4x100m relay (1st), and the 4x400m relay (9th). Women (20): Katerina Berdousi (1500m - 25th), Erica Capellino (800m - 7th, 1500m - 17th), Alexandra Collatz (Discus - 2nd, Hammer - 9th), Melia Cox (200m - 9th, TJ - 11th), Malia Cravens (HJ - T-9th), Felicia Horvath (PV - T24th), Reika Kijima (800m - 6th), Tera Novy (Discus - 3rd), Jenny Ozorai (Hammer - 4th), Cameron Pettigrew (200m - 12th), Madisen Richards (100m - 20th, LJ - 8th), Tanya Sapa (Hammer- 25th), Kira Soderstrom (800m - 21st, 1500m - 19th), the 4x100m relay (1st) and the 4x400m relay (5th).

    UP NEXT - USC's track and field team will compete at the Florida Relays in Gainesville, Fla. on April 3-4 and at the Cal-Nevada Championships in San Diego, Calif.