Safe Summer Tip-Off

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One month from today, USC's Galen Center will host the 2017 Safe Summer-Tip Off Event in conjunction with the LAPD and LAFD.

The event is free and will take place on July 9 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Galen Center on Figueroa St.

The event will feature a free barbecue lunch as well as fitness and chili cook-off competitions between the LAPD and LAFD as a way to kick off the summer in a fun and safe way, and allow children to learn more about their local police and fire departments.

Click here to RSVP before June 22.

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Finish Line In Sight

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Two days in and with two days to go at the NCAA Track & Field Championships, the Trojans have put themselves in good position to take home some hardware.

Click here for the Day 1 recap and here for the Day 2 recap!

USC's throwers have already wrapped up, as outgoing senior Brittany Mann placed third to become a four-time All-American and redshirt junior Nick Ponzio placed sixth to become a two-time All-American. Matthew Katnik finished 16th.

Eric Sloan, who was recently named the West Region Men's Field Athlete of the Year, placed sixth in the long jump, earning All-American status himself.

Tonight, the Trojan men will compete in the finals of their events. Sloan will participate in the triple jump, Michael Norman will run in the 400m and Marquis Morris will race in the 100m hurdles. The events will be broadcast on ESPN 3 and WatchESPN.

Click here for the full schedule of events!

After impressive performances last night, eight Women of Troy advanced to tomorrow night's women's finals.

Kendall Ellis (400m), Anna Cockrell (400m hurdles) and USC's 4x400 team (Ellis, Cameron Pettigrew, Amalie Iuel and Kyra Constantine) each won their heats to advance to the final. Cockrell also advanced in the 100m hurdles, as did Iuel in the 400m hurdles and Pettigrew in the 400m dash.

Ky Westbrook (100m) and Deanna Hill (200m) sprinted their way into tomorrow night's final, as did Dior Hall, who will compete alongside Cockrell in the 100m hurdles.

USC team photographer John McGillen captured all the best moments from the Women of Troy's dominant opening night:

Academic All-American Apostalon

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aika.jpgRecent USC swimming & diving alum Anika Apostalon can add yet another accolade to her impressive resume, as she was named a CoSIDA Academic At-Large First Team All-American today.

Click here for the full release!

Apostalon, who graduated from USC last month with a 3.92 GPA in psychology, was also named the 2017 Pac-12 Women's Swimming Scholar Athlete of the Year, a Pac-12 All-Academic first teamer, and USC's Willis O. Hunter award winner, given to the senior student-athlete with the highest cumulative GPA.

The at-large teams for the Academic All-America program include fencing, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, rifle, skiing, swimming & diving, tennis and water polo for both men and women, as well as beach volleyball, bowling, crew and field hockey for women, and volleyball and wrestling for men.

Apostalon is one of six swimmers to make the 2017 Academic All-America Division I Women's At-Large First Team. She's USC's 35th first teamer and the first since 2015.

USC also placed two student-athletes on the 2017 Academic All-America At-Large Third Team.

Three-time beach volleyball national champion Nicolette Martin, a recent graduate of USC's Roski School of Fine Arts, picked up her first such honor. The team captain, who finished with a 3.70 GPA, was also named the Pac-12 Beach Volleyball Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

Men's water polo player Mihajlo Milicevic picks up his second straight CoSIDA Academic All-America Division I At-Large honor, after being named a second teamer last year. The Serbian import boasts a 3.72 GPA as a business administration major. The rising senior will have one more crack at All-American status when he returns next season.

All-American Brandon

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freshman all-american.jpgSam Darnold wasn't the only USC freshman to have a breakout rookie season this year. Brandon Holt of USC men's tennis caught the nation's attention, and earned ITA All-American status today for his impressive season.

Click here for the full release!

Holt finished his freshman season with a 35-9 overall record in singles and a 25-8 mark in doubles. The Rolling Hills, CA native was good enough to play on Court 1 nearly all season, becoming the first USC freshman to do so since 2003.

To be named an All-American, a player must finish in the Top 25 in the final ITA rankings. Holt finished at No. 17 and led his team to the No. 6 slot.

Holt also finished at No. 11 in doubles alongside fellow freshman Riley Smith. Nick Crystal and Laurens Verboven earned the No. 73 slot in the final ITA rankings, while Crystal tapped out at No. 107 in singles.

Logan Smith earned a No. 94 final singles ranking as well.

Holt and his teammates will take the offseason to gear up for yet another title run under 16th-year head coach Peter Smith.

Aces In The Classroom

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On the same day that USC women's tennis welcomed a new head coach in Alison Swain, four members of the team earned Pac-12 Academic honors for the 2017 season.

Click here for the full release!

Gabby Smith, Madison Westby and Rianna Valdes all earned All-Academic Second Team recognition. Smith, an accounting major, and Westby, a communication major, both earned their second straight academic honor.

Valdes, a health promotion and disease prevention major, made the cut in her first year of eligibility. All three of those Women of Troy boast above a 3.5 GPA.

Jessica Failla, meanwhile, earned Pac-12 All-Academic honorable mention as an international relations major.


Cardinal, White and Blue

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Melton-USD.jpgAfter an impressive rookie season in cardinal and gold, USC men's basketball guard De'Anthony Melton accepted an invitation to the USA Basketball U19 World Cup Team Training Camp this month.

Click here for the full release!

Melton is one of 28 players aged 19 and under who will attend the camp in Colorado Springs, hoping to make the 12-man roster, which will compete at the 2017 FIBA U19 World Cup for Men.

Melton appeared in all 36 games for the Trojans last year, starting 25. He was USC's fifth-leading scorer (8.3 PPG) and ranked first on the team in steals (69), second in rebounds (4.7 RPG) and second in assists (3.6 APG) en route to Pac-12 All-Defensive honorable mention.

Melton is one of 14 current college players to accept an invitation to the training camp, and one of just three Pac-12 players vying to make the team, which is coached by Kentucky's John Calipari.

Melton will have to make it past two more rounds of cuts before the official 12-man roster is named on June 22. Should he make the team, he'll be off to the 2017 FIBA U19 World Cup in Cairo, Egypt next month. From July 1-9, Team USA will compete against host Egypt, Angola, Iran, Japan, France, Lithuania, New Zealand and more teams in hopes of earning a third straight gold medal.

Follow Melton and USC Hoops on Twitter to stay in the loop!

McGillen Gallery: NCAA Track & Field Championships - Day 1

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USC kicked off competition at the NCAA Track & Field Championships in Eugene, OR yesterday, scoring six points on opening night.

USC team photographer John McGillen was there to capture all the sprints, jumps and throws:

Alison Swain Named USC Women's Tennis Head Coach

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IMG_8345.JPGAfter winning eight national titles in 10 years at Williams College, Alison Swain is joining USC as head coach of the women's tennis team.

Click here for the full release!

Swain posted a 224-28 (.889) record, never finishing worse than third place at the NCAA Championships, during her decade with the D-III Ephs.

"She is a proven winner as a head coach," USC Athletic Director Lynn Swann said of Swain. "Winning a national championship at any level is difficult to do; winning eight of them like Alison has done in a 10-year span is beyond impressive. We are confident that she can bring the Women of Troy to that championship level."

If Swain can come in and make an immediate impact at USC like she did at Williams, the Trojans are in luck. During her first six seasons with the Ephs, Swain won six consecutive national titles -- a D-III record and tying Stanford for the longest streak at any NCAA level.

Swain produced 20 All-Americans during her time at Williams and won ITA National D-III Coach of the Year once, ITA Northeast Coach of the Year twice and NESCAC Coach of the Year five times.

"I have had an incredible 10 years at Williams and am so grateful for the opportunity I was given to coach high-caliber student-athletes and be part of a close-knit and driven athletic department," Swain said. "It is exciting for me to enter into a similar environment at USC. I am honored to have this opportunity to work with the players to create an exciting future for USC women's tennis. I can't wait to meet the entire team and get started."

Swain replaces Richard Gallien, who served as head coach at USC for 22 seasons before stepping down last month. She takes over a team that went 13-11 (6-4 Pac-12), sent two players into the NCAA Singles bracket last season and has made the NCAA Team Championships 26 years in a row.

Garrick Gets Real

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USC_Womens_Volleyball_UCLA_mcgillen_DSC_2767.JPGWritten by Rachel Frain, USC blog contributor

Victoria Garrick is the starting libero for the USC women's volleyball team, a rising junior and a broadcast and digital journalism student. Garrick also has major depressive disorder, single episode, with anxious features. This April, Garrick took the opportunity to share her experience at the TEDxUSC event, which featured speakers from all walks of life within the Trojan community.

"I'm a big advocate for being an open book," Garrick said prior to her TED Talk. "I think the more we can all talk about our problems, the better our world is going to be. So many people go through things and they just hide it."

In August of 2016, Garrick was diagnosed with depression and anxiety, something she realized she had been fighting for far too long.

"I started to become overwhelmed with my schedule, performing well, being on one of the best teams in the country, and that all sort of came at me so fast and because of that, I developed my own anxiety issues," said Garrick.

Though her experience as a student-athlete at USC seemed like too much to handle at first, Garrick acknowledged that the program was also fundamental in helping her heal. In fact, the USC Athletic Department has the largest and most integrated sport psychology program in the country. Through team psychologists and support from fellow student-athletes, Garrick is seeking the help she needs.

But the fight for Garrick doesn't end here. Now that she's sparked the conversation about mental health in athletes, she next seeks to tackle body positivity, which she wrote about on National Girls & Women in Sports Day, and the misuse of social media.

"I just think Facetune, editing our bodies, following girls and looking at their pictures, then feeling bad about ourselves is just so negative," said Garrick. "Why was I looking at things every single day that made me feel bad about myself? I think it's so true especially at USC, that's a big thing that needs to change."

Watch Garrick's full speech, entitled "Athletes and Mental Health: The Hidden Opponent," here:

Cream Of The Crop

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DBmENbQUMAA9pU5.jpgAfter yet another stellar season, five members of USC women's water polo earned All-American recognition from the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches.

Click here for the full release!

Outgoing senior Stephania Haralabidis was named a First Team All-American for the second straight year, and finishes her career as a four-time All-American honoree (second team in 2015, honorable mention in 2014).

Haralabidis, who was born in Greece, led the MPSF in total goals this year, with 84. She posted the third-most goals in a single season in USC history, and moved into second place in career goals at USC, with 269. Her 269 goals are the sixth-most in conference history as well.

While Haralabidis' departure will leave a big hole in the Trojans' offense, Second Team All-American Maud Megens appears poised to fill it. The Dutch import had a breakout rookie season, ranking behind only Haralabidis on USC's scoring chart (58 goals).

Trojan goalkeeper Amanda Longan, who led the MPSF in saves (10.91 per game) and departing senior Brigitta Games earned Third Team honors for their efforts. Games scored 57 goals this season and ranks among USC's Top 20 all-time scorers.

Rising senior and 2016 team captain Brianna Daboub rounds out USC's five honorees, earning All-American Honorable Mention.

USC's five honorees are the second-most of any school in the nation, behind only national champion Stanford. After a T-3rd place finish at the NCAA Championships, the Trojans and their returning All-Americans will head into the 2018 season ready to get back on top.