Hurdling the Pack

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Written by Andie Hagemann, USC blog contributor

The USC-UCLA Dual Meet is this Saturday (April 27) starting at 11 a.m. PT at Loker Track Stadium on campus.

Wyatt-NCAA-KL.jpgBreaking records isn't anything new to Reggie Wyatt. During his fours seasons at USC, Wyatt has consistently edged out the competition, proving to be one of the top 400m hurdlers in the country.

As a freshman, the hurdler and sprinter moved into ninth place in USC history with a time of 49.97 in the 400m IH during the Pac-10 Championships. Aside from other accolades during his first year with the USC track and field program, Wyatt earned bronze while representing the United States at the U-23 NACAC Championships.

The immense success for Wyatt was not a case of beginner's luck.

During Wyatt's sophomore and junior seasons, he continued to break records. In 2011, he set a then-personal record in the 400m IH with a time of 49.41 at the Pac-10 Championships. The improvement moved Wyatt to the eighth spot on USC's all-time list. In 2012, he continued his streak of three consecutive seasons as a two-time winner at the USC-UCLA Dual Meet. On Saturday, Wyatt hopes to extend that streak to four.

"This is my last Dual Meet. It has been a great journey and Saturday will be a lot of fun," Wyatt said. "I'm not focusing on the streak. I am going to go out there, go all out and enjoy it."

Hailing from Riverside, the Dual Meet has always held great importance to Wyatt. "Before I even decided to come to USC, I would watch this specific track meet," Wyatt said. "Watching the rivalry then and now being a part of it feels so different. I take it seriously."

Wyatt credits his success throughout his past four seasons to the high level of competition at USC and within the conference.

"[What has stood out the most] is the level of competition. There are so many expectations that you want to meet," Wyatt said. "A lot of hard work and dedication are necessary to achieve that."

Wyatt has also offered advice to his younger teammates on how to handle the immense pressure. "I love to give advice when I can," Wyatt said. "I always tell them, 'Work hard, believe in yourself and have a great work ethic. Think of every practice and workout as the championship.' If you have that mindset, you'll go far."

Wyatt competed at the 2012 Olympic Trials and placed sixth with a time of 50.06 in the 400m IH. He fell short of the London games but is determined to compete in 2016.

"The Olympic Trials was a big stepping stone for me and my career. It has motivated me to do whatever it takes to become a member of the next Olympic team," Wyatt said.

Before wrapping up his collegiate career, Wyatt has some business to take care of first. "I would like to get a win at the Dual Meet, win the Pac-12 Championships and be an NCAA Champion," Wyatt said. "My ultimate goal is to make the World Championships in Russia."

Wyatt and the Trojans host crosstown rival UCLA on Saturday at the Loker Stadium at 11 am.

(Photo by Kirby Lee)

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