Trojans win eight events at the Beach Classic
Trojans perform well in the Big Apple
Trojans open indoor season in style
Mance and Ndipagbor post fastest times
Tina Fernandes is in her 13th year as the women's sprints assistant coach at USC. She was the 2008 Olympic coach and Team Leader representing Puerto Rico at the Beijing Games.
Under her guidance, USC's sprint team has been one of the best in the nation the past several years. That fact has not gone unnoticed as Fernandes was named the West Region Sprints Assistant Coach of the Year by the USTFCCCA two times in the last six seasons (2005 & 2007).
Last season the USC sprinters excelled with Aareon Payne taking fifth and Jessica Davis eighth in the 200m at the NCAAs, and those two teaming with Loudia Laarman and Jenna Puterbaugh to place third in the 4x100m relay with the fourth-fastest time in school history. With three of those runners being freshmen and all four joined by a strong recruiting class featuring Akawkaw Ndipagbor and Vanessa Jones, it looks like the nation will be hearing from the USC sprinters for awhile. The quartet also took home a Pac-10 4x100m relay title and Davis captured the 200m crown. Davis also set a USC freshman 200m record with a time of 22.84, breaking the USC Queen of sprints Angela Williams' 12-year-old record. Payne earned her ticket to the 2012 USA Olympic Trials in the 200m and Davis earned her way in two events (100m and 200m).
Her sprinters were also a force on the national scene in 2008 as Jessica Onyepunuka placed fifth in the 100m dash and Carol Rodriguez stretched it out to run the 400m and placed a close third. The pair won the same events at the 2008 West Regional to help lead USC to a third-place finish. Onyepunuka qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 100m and Rodriguez became an Olympian for Puerto Rico in the 200m and 400m.
2007 was a banner year for the sprint corps as Rodriguez and Onyepunuka finished first and second respectively in both the 100m and 200m at the Pac-10 Championships and at the NCAA West Regional. Rodriguez went on to place fourth at the NCAA Championships in the 100m dash, while Onyepunuka took seventh. The pair teammed up with Shalina Clarke and Candice Davis to place third in the 4x100m relay at the NCAAs.
The 2006 women's sprints team also had a stellar campaign for USC as Rodriguez placed third at the NCAAs in the 100m and fourth in the 200m, while the 4x100m relay team of Virginia Powell, Davis, Onyepunuka and Rodriguez took third with a school-record time of 42.96. At the NCAA West Regional, Rodriguez won the 100m (11.09w) and 200m (22.23) and the 4x100m relay team also took first place. Rodriguez winning time in the 200m race set the USC and Pac-10 record.
With Rodriguez' win in the conference 100m dash race in 2007, she became the eighth Trojan in nine seasons to win the event. She followed three-time winner Powell (2004-06), only the second Pac-10 runner to win the event three straight seasons. In 2003, Miya Edmonson won the NCAA West Region 200m title and qualified for both the 100m and 200m at the NCAA Championships, while Natasha Mayers finished ninth in the NCAA 100m final, the 10th time in 11 seasons a Women of Troy sprinter reached the NCAA 100m final.
The year 2002 was a special season as senior Angela Williams won an unprecedented fourth NCAA 100m title. Williams also went on to win the prestigious Honda/Broderick Cup honoring the nation's top female collegiate athlete, joining basketball's Cheryl Miller as the only USC athletes to win the award. But it wasn't just Williams who acheived excellence in 2002. Mayers became the first USC woman ever to win the NCAA 200m title and then placing second to her teammate in the 100m. Kinshasa Davis finished eighth in the 200m, while the 400m relay squad finished third at the NCAAs. At the 2002 Pac-10s, five USC sprinters made the final of the 100m--a dominating tour de force for the Women of Troy sprint corps. In 2001, Angela Williams won her unprecedented third consecutive NCAA 100m title, while Kinshasa Davis took third in the 200m at the NCAAs and the women's 400m relay placed second. At the 2000 NCAAs, the 400m relay squad finished undefeated on the season by winning the NCAA title with a then school-record time of 43.14, while Davis, who had run a nation-leading 22.69 earlier in the year, took second in the 200m. Williams won her second-straight NCAA 100m title. A fine sprinter herself in college, Fernandes competed at Long Beach City College and later at Fresno State. She has a Masters Degree in Education and a teaching credential in Physical Education. Chosen as one of the 2006 sprint coaches for the Puerto Rican NACAC and Pan American Championships. Fernandes also was selected to be a Mentor for Women in Coach by the USOC. She also was chosen for 2007 and 2008 Marquis Who's Who for Women. Coach Fernandes and her husband share a passion for coaching as he in the head football coach of El Camino College-Compton Center. They have two children: one son, Twin, age 20, who is a defensive back on the Youngstown State football team after earning Defensive Player of the Year honors for his conferene his last season at El Camino College Compton Center and one daughter, T'Icis, age 17, who competes in varsity track and field.
All-Americans Coached By Tina Fernandes: