USC T&F Will Compete At The Florida Relays This Week

    Akawkaw Ndipagbor is expected to run her first outdoor 400m race of the season. The junior placed seventh in the 400m dash at the 2014 NCAA Indoor Championships to pick up her first individual All-America honor.

    April 1, 2014

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    The No. 13 USC men's and No. 7 women's track and field teams will travel to Gainesville, Fla. to compete in the Florida Relays on April 4 and 5. The Florida Relays began in 1939 and this year will feature many of the top teams in the country as well as several professionals and international athletes.

    AZTEC INVITATIONAL RECAP - USC's Viktor Fajoyomi won the decathlon, Melia Cox the women's triple jump, Alexis Faulknor the women's long jump and Vanessa Jones the women's 400m race to highlight USC's efforts at the Aztec Invitational from March 27-29. Fajoyomi ran away with the decathlon by scoring a PR of 7,439 points to move from fifth to fourth on USC's all-time list. Cox won the triple jump with a best leap of 40-3.50 (12.28m), Faulknor won the long jump with a jump of 20-3.75 (6.19m) and Jones the 400m dash with a time of 53.29. Faulknor also placed second in the 200m dash with a time of 23.57. Jemal Williams placed fourth in the decathlon with a PR of 6,769 and Amalie Iuel in her first heptathlon took second with 4,877 points, 11th all-time by a Trojan female.

    FAJOYOMI NAMED PAC-12 FIELD ATHLETE OF THE WEEK - Senior Viktor Fajoyomi was named the Pac-12 Male Field Athlete of the Week for the period of March 24-30, it was announced on April 1. Competing at the Aztec Invitational in San Diego, Calif. on March 27-28, the native of Hungary ran away with the decathlon victory by scoring 7,439 points, moving him from fifth to fourth on USC's all-time list in the event. His point total currently ranks sixth in the country and is tops among Pac-12 athletes. He won at San Diego State with 440 more points than the second-place finisher. Fajoyomi set four PRs during the two-day competition, including three on the final day when he secured the victory. Fajoyomi had a personal best of 11.28 in the 100m dash, 126-3 in the discus throw, 13-9.25 in the pole vault and 165-8 in the javelin throw. He is the second consecutive Trojan to win Pac-12 Field Athlete of the Week honors, as hammer thrower Remington Conatser won during the conference's first week (March 17-23) of awarding track and field recognitions. Also, sprinter Jessica Davis won Female Track Athlete of the Week during the first week of weekly honors.

    USC'S RETURNING ALL-AMERICANS - USC has eight 2013 first-team All-Americans on this season's team, including Aaron Brown (100m & 200m), Alexandra Collatz (Discus), Remington Conatser (Hammer), Melia Cox (4x100m), Vanessa Jones (4x100m), Loudia Laarman (4x100m), Jenny Ozorai (Hammer), Jenna Puterbaugh (4x100m).

    BROWN POISED FOR SPECTACULAR SENIOR SEASON - Senior All-American sprinter Aaron Brown has established himself as one of the top sprinters in the country and is coming off an outstanding indoor season. Brown placed fourth in the 60m dash (6.60) and sixth in the 200m race (20.64) at the NCAA Indoor Championships to earn All-America honors in both events. He now has earned four first-team All-America honors and six All-America selections overall. Brown set the USC indoor records in both the 60m (6.60) and 200m (20.55) this indoor season. Last season Brown placed fifth in both the 100m and 200m dashes at the NCAA Championships. He moved into third on USC's all-time 100m dash list when he ran 10.05 in the NCAA semifinals. He also took second place at the Pac-12 Championships in the 100m and 200m dashes, including setting the Loker Stadium record of 10.07 in the semifinals, which teammate BeeJay Lee tied in edging him out in the finals. Brown also ranks ninth on USC's all-time list in the 200m dash with a time of 20.42.

    CONATSER NOT SETTLING FOR SECOND - USC senior hammer thrower Remington Conatser placed second at the 2013 NCAA Championships with a then-PR of 224-1 (68.30m) which was the eighth-farthest throw all-time by a Trojan, but seems to have elevated his game. In his first meet this season, he threw 217-10 to win at the Rossi Relays. His next meet was even more impressive as he PR'd by more than six feet to win at the CS Los Angeles Invitational with a throw of 230-4 (70.21m) to take the collegiate lead and move into fourth-place on USC's all-time list. Apparently he was just warming up as he won the Trojan Invitational hammer throw competition on March 21 with a PR of 238-8 (72.76m) to move into fourth place on USC's all-time list and seventh on the Pac-12 all-time list. Conatser did not even learn to throw the hammer until the 2011 season and played water polo and volleyball in high school at Capistrano Valley.

    COLLATZ CONTINUES GREAT START TO SEASON - All-American junior discus thrower Alexandra Collatz began the 2014 season by winning both the hammer throw and discus throw competitions at the Rossi Relays on Feb. 22. She then won the discus throw at the CS Los Angeles Invitational on March 7 with a PR of 187-6 (57.15m) to better her second-place standing on USC's all-time list and close the gap on Kate Hutchinson's school record (189-5). She also placed second in the hammer throw with a PR of 181-5 (55.29). Collatz then bettered her hammer throw PR with a mark of 183-3 (55.85m) in finishing fourth at the Ben Brown Invitational on March 14. Another week, another PR for Collatz in the hammer as she tossed the "ol' ball and chain" 185-8 (56.60m) to place fifth at the Trojan Invitational on March 21. She currently ranks third in the discus and 43rd in the hammer throw among college females.

    IUEL IMPRESSING - Freshman Amalie Iuel (Ah-mah-lee Yule) from Oslow, Norway has had a great start to the season. She already has run 58.98 in the 400m IH which rank 10th all-time by a Trojan and ninth in the country this season. She then competed in her first-ever heptathlon and place second at the Aztec Invitational with 4,877 points, the 11th-most ever by a Trojan female.

    USC RANKING AMONG THE BEST -- There are currently 19 NCAA top 20 marks posted by Trojan athletes early this season: Men: Remington Conatser (Hammer - 1st), Viktor Fajoyomi (Decathlon - 6th, LJ - 14th), Aleec Harris (110m HH - 3rd), Davonte Stewart (200m - 11th) and the 4x100m relay (T-7th). Women: Lauren Blackburn (100m HH - 12th), Lauren Chambers (Hammer - 8th), Alexandra Collatz (Discus - 3rd), Jessica Davis (100m - T-9th), Alexis Faulknor (200m - T-11th, LJ - 11th), Tynia Gaither (200m - 5th), Amalie Iuel (400m IH - 9th), Vanessa Jones (400- 4th), Ashley Liverpool (400m - 8th), Akawkaw Ndipagbor (200- T-8th), Jaide Stepter (400m IH - T-5th) and the 4x100m relay (6th).

    NEXT WEEK - USC's track and field team will train through next week until competing at the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif. from April 17-19 and at the Long Beach Invitational in Long Beach, Calif. from April 18-19.