Another Big Weekend On Tap For The Trojan T&F Team|
April 15, 2015
The USC track and field team will compete at the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif. from April 16-18, at the Beach Invitational on April 17-18 in Norwalk, Calif. and at the CSULA Twilight Meet on April 16 in Los Angeles. In addition, many former Trojan track greats like Aleec Harris, Ginnie Powell, Carol Rodriguez and Duane Solomon are scheduled to compete at the Mt. SAC Relays.
ELLIS EARNS PAC-12 HONORS - Trojan freshman Kendall Ellis was named the Pac-12 Women's Track Athlete of the Week for the week of April 6-12. Ellis won the 400m dash at the Jim Click Shootout in Tucson, Ariz. on April 11 with a time of 53.01, 1.26 seconds ahead of the next closest finisher. Her time set the USC freshman record, which had been held by Malika Edmonson since 1998 (53.02). She also now ranks ninth on the USC women's all-time 400m dash list. Ellis' time also ties her for 11th in the country and is the fastest freshman time by over a second this season. A USC track and field athlete has won eight of the 16 conference athlete of the week awards given out this outdoor season.
DUAL MEET TWO WEEKS AWAY - The Trojans will be hosting the annual USC-UCLA Dual Meet at Loker Stadium on May 3 from 2-6 p.m. The hammer throw competition will be held at Cal State L.A. on May 2 from 2-4 p.m. The meet will be televised live on the Pac-12 Network from 4- 6 p.m. on May 3. The complete meet schedule is posted on the USC website: USCTrojans.com under the track and field page.
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 arrived 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, but has proved to be up for the challenge. In his first outdoor individual races at the Florida Relays on April 3, De Grasse ran the eighth-fastest 100m (10.11) and fourth-fastest 200m (20.20) times in USC history, both legal PRs. He also ran on the 4x100m relay which ran the eighth-fastest time in school history of 38.97. During the indoor season, he posted a best of 6.60 in the 60m and placed second in the 200m at the NCAA Championships with a USC and Canadian indoor record of 20.26, both marks formerly held by Brown (20.53). De Grasse ran a 9.96 (+5.0w) 100m dash to win the 2013 NJCAA title.
STEPTER & IUEL POSE QUITE A HURDLE FOR THE OPPOSITION - Junior Jaide Stepter and sophomore Amalie Iuel currently rank second and third respectively among college 400m hurdlers and tied for third and fifth in the world with times of 55.83 and 55.92 run at the Florida Relays on April 3. Those times also place Stepter third and Iuel fourth on USC's all-time list and they are less than one second off the school record of 54.95 run by Natasha Danvers in 2000.
SCHOOL FRESHMAN RECORD HOLDERS - Kendall Ellis set the USC women's 400m freshman record with a time of 53.01 on April 11. She joins senior teammate Alexandra Collatz who set the freshman discus throw record in 2012 (177-11) as current Trojans who hold USC outdoor freshman records. During the 2015 indoor season three USC freshman records were set: Dior Hall in the 60m HH (8.01) and Ricky Morgan in the 400m (47.14) and Robert Ford in the 800m (1:49.21).
REMEMBER ME? - USC redshirt senior Conor McCullough returned to action in the indoor season, but now will take aim at an NCAA title in the men's hammer throw. In his first collegiate meet since 2012, he threw an NCAA-leading 233-7 (71.21m) to win and had four throws over 231, while only nine athletes have even thrown 220 or more feet and none over 230 feet this season. McCullough began his career at Princeton in 2010 and won the NCAA East Region hammer throw competition in 2012, but did not compete at the NCAA's that season. McCullough enrolled at USC last year and was not able to compete, but was granted a sixth year of eligibility for this season. McCullough competed indoors this season and placed second at the NCAA Indoor Championships in the weight throw with a school-record toss of 80-3.75 (24.48m), but had not competed collegiately outdoors since winning the NCAA East Region hammer throw title on April 24, 2012. He has won his last nine collegiate hammer throw competitions and 10 of 12 overall since he began at Princeton in 2010. McCullough has a college-best throw of 242-10 (74.01) set on April 6, 2012. McCullough has a personal-best of 253-3 (77.20m) which he threw at the at the Edmonton International Track Classic in Edmonton, Canada on July 6, 2014.
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 had an indoor best of 24-7.75 (7.51m) at the McCravy Memorial Invitational on Jan. 23 and jumped 24-4.25 (7.42m) to win the long jump at the Trojan Invitational on March 21, which currently ranks tied for 39th in the country. Spring football ended on April 11, so Jackson will be able to focus on track the rest of the semester.
HALL QUICKLY HURDLING INTO RECORD BOOKS - 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. Hall opened up her 2015 outdoor season by running a then PR of 23.90 in the 200m at the Trojan Invite on March 21. Hall ran her first collegiate 100m HH race at the Florida Relays on April 3 and placed third with a wind-aided time of 13.00 (+2.1w). Her time ranks sixth nationally and would have been a USC freshman record if not for the slightly high wind. In her second 100m HH race, Hall ran 13.17 (+0.1) to win at the Jim Click Shootout on April 11 and move into 8th on USC's all-time list. She also set a 200m PR that day of 23.79 (-1.7).
USC RANKING AMONG THE BEST - There are currently 40 NCAA top 30 marks posted by Trojan athletes early in the outdoor season: Men (13): Randall Cunningham (HJ - T-4th), Andre De Grasse (100m - 5th, 200m - 1st), Michael Krone (HJ - T-26th), BeeJay Lee (100m - 3rd, 200m - 2nd), Conor McCullough (HT - 1st), Nick Ponzio (Shot - 26th), Just'N Thymes (100m - T-23rd, 200m - 5th) and the 4x100m relay (3rd, 13th, 29th). Women (27): Gabriella Cantrell (100m - 27th, 200m - 18th), Alexandra Collatz (Discus - 7th), Melia Cox (100m HH - T-21st), Kendall Ellis (400m - T-11th), Alexis Faulknor (100m - T-3rd, 200m - 30th), Tynia Gaither (100m - 5th, 200m - 6th), Dior Hall (100m HH - 6th), Deanna Hill (100m -T-11th, 200m - 2nd), Amalie Iuel (400m IH - 3rd), Vanessa Jones (400m - T-11th), Tera Novy (Discus - 4th), Jenny Ozorai (Hammer - 21st), Madisen Richards (LJ - 26th), Jaide Stepter (200m - 27th, 400m IH - 2nd), Ky Westbrook (100m - 24th), the 4x100m relay (4th, 8th, 26th, 27th, 30th) and the 4x400m relay (7th, 10th).