A Very Good Year

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Written by Sarah Bergstrom, USC blog contributor

With 16 teams finishing in the nation's Top 20 of their respective sports this year, USC clinched third in the 2014-15 Division I Directors' Cup standings, its highest finish ever. The Directors' Cup ranks programs based on their athletic performance over the course of the entire year.

For the complete standings and more information, click here.

USC finished with 1,209 points, awarded based on the school's finish in NCAA championships in up to 20 sports (10 women's and 10 men's). Of the 16 teams that finished in the Top 20, 12 finished in the Top 10 including men's golf and men's water polo which finished second, women's water polo, women's tennis and women's golf which placed third and men's swimming which finished fourth.

"Congratulations go to our students and coaches, who put in the hard work for this best-ever finish in the Directors' Cup," said USC athletic director Pat Haden. "We are very proud of them. This is a testament to the broad-based excellence of the Trojan athletic program."


Nation's Best

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Written by Sarah Bergstrom, USC blog contributor

It's no secret that USC boasts one of the best track and field programs in the country, with athletes like Bryshon Nellum and Allyson Felix still representing Troy in meets all around the world. This weekend, 15 current Trojans competing in the USATF Outdoor Championships and USATF Junior Outdoor Championships will seek to earn the right to represent the USA at the World Championships in Beijing or the Pan Am Junior Championships in Edmonton, Canada.

Alexandra Collatz, Alexis Faulknor, Vanessa Jones, BeeJay Lee, Conor McCullough, Tera Novy and Jaide Stepter will compete in the Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon from June 26-28. The top three finishers in each event will qualify to compete for the U.S. at the World Championships in Beijing from August 22-30.

Competing in the Junior Outdoor Championships from June 25-27 in Eugene are Randall Cunningham, Kendall Ellis, Robert Ford, Dior Hall, Deanna Hill, Marquis Morris, Madisen Richards and Ky Westbrook. The top two finishers in each event will qualify for the Pan Am Junior Championships in Edmonton, Canada from July 31-August 2.

Be sure to follow @USC_Track_Field for updates from all of this weekend's events.


JuJu Smith Joins All-American Nominations

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Written by Caroline Deisley, USC blog contributor

More football All-American nominations keep rolling in as the Trojans continue to prepare for the upcoming 2015 season. Athlon Sports announced its 2015 Preseason All-American teams and the Trojans on the list are your usual suspects, except sophomore WR JuJu Smith joins the ranks for the first time as a second team offensive selection. 

Center Max Tuerk continued his quest to become the best center in the nation with another first team selection and the quarterback he's going to be snapping to all season, Cody Kessler, was named to the offensive third team. The man who can do it all, sophomore Adoree' Jackson, was named to two second teams both as an all-purpose offensive player and as a kick returner on the specialist team. Rounding out the Trojans' All-American nominations was the leader of the defense, LB Su'a Cravens, who was named to the third team defense.

Ohio State, the reigning national champions, top the list with the most nominations (11), followed by football powerhouse Alabama (7), but USC comes in third and leads the Pac-12 with six selections. 


Milestone Monday

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Preseason All-American center Max Tuerk and the USC offensive line snap into action in 75 days!


Summer in Serbia

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USC men's basketball junior Nikola Jovanovic made the Serbian National Team for the World University Games in Gwangju, South Korea, this summer. The big man will play in exhibition games in Shenzhen, China, before the tournament begins.

Such a big honor to be playing for my national team this summer! #Serbia #blessed

A photo posted by Nikola Jovanovic (@nikolajovanovic32) on

One More Lap

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Written by Sarah Bergstrom, USC blog contributor

On the heels of his historic NCAA Track & Field National Championships performance, in which he was named the 2015 National Men's Track Athlete of the Year, junior Andre De Grasse announced he will return to USC for his senior season. The sprinter, who recorded the second fastest 100m and the fastest 200m any condition times in the history of college track, believes there's even more to be accomplished in his amateur career - including the completion of his college degree. De Grasse is expected to lead the USC men's track and field team which finished fifth at the 2015 NCAA Championships.

Troy Transfers

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Written by Caroline Deisley, USC blog contributor 

USC women's soccer will add two players to its 2015 roster as the Women of Troy look to build on their impressive 2014 season that led them to their first NCAA playoff appearance since 2010.

New York native Amanda Rooney comes from the University of North Carolina where she played two seasons as a midfielder. Rooney didn't see the field as a freshman, but played in six games in her sophomore campaign. She finished the season with one assist and attempted one shot and one shot on goal in 2014. 

Utah native Sydney Myers comes to USC from Santa Clara University where she played her freshman season. The midfielder appeared in eight games, attempting five shots and two on goal. Prior to her collegiate career, Myers won the state championship with her high school in 2010 and 2013 earning Rookie of the Year honors in 2010 and making the All-State team in 2013. 

Photo by Jeffrey A. Camarati 

First Time's a Charm

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USC men's golf alum Jamie Lovemark is playing in his first ever major championship this week, going up against the game's best at Chambers Bay. While he has spent most of his professional career battling to earn his PGA Tour card, he looks at home in the U.S. Open, posting 2-under (138) through 36 holes to stay in contact with the leaders.

Lovemark will stay in contention if he can continue to make highlight reel shots like his hole out on No. 7 today from the bunker.

Fast in the Class Too

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USC track & field had 14 student-athletes make the Pac-12 honor roll led by junior Jaide Stepter who earned a spot on the conference's academic first team. Stepter, the 2015 Pac-12 champion and All-American in the 400m IH, sports a 3.81 GPA in communications.

Click here for all the honorees.

Senior Conor McCullough, who won the 2015 NCAA hammer throw title, was named to the Pac-12 All-Academic Second Team as he maintained a 3.38 GPA in history. McCullough also captured the 2015 Pac-12 title in the event and won every hammer throw competition he was in this season.


Harris on the Mend

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USC sophomore wide receiver Ajene Harris is out for the season after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right hip. He will also have the same surgery done to his left hip in July.

Dr. Jason Snibbe, a former USC athletic department student trainer back in the early 1990s, performed the surgery.

Harris, a high school quarterback turned college receiver, made four catches for 38 yards as a freshman. He appeared in five games in his first season.