USC Announces 2014 Track & Field Recruiting Class
Feb. 6, 2014
The USC track and field team has signed a talented group of 14 student-athletes to national letters of intent (NLIs) it was announced by Director of Track and Field Caryl Smith Gilbert today (Feb. 6). The men's team has added the top high school high jumper in the country, the 2013 JC 100m dash champion and the 2013 California hurdles champion, while the women's recruits include a World Youth gold and a silver medalist, as well as five athletes which combined to win eight individual state titles in 2013.
"I am very excited about this talented group of student-athletes," said Smith Gilbert about her first recruiting class. "We have added national-level talent which will make an immediate impact on our program academically and athletically and help lead us to our goal of winning championships. These athletes have competed on the highest levels both academically and athletically with successes in international competitions and I look forward to working with them and welcoming them to the Trojan Family.'
The following is a list of the newest Trojans and some of their athletic highlights:
Randall Cunningham of Gorman High in Las Vegas, Nev. is the top high school high jumper, clearing 7-3.25 (2.22m) last season. He was named the 2013 Nevada Track & Field Gatorade Athlete of the Year. As a sophomore he won the National Junior Olympic high jump competition with a clearance of 7-2. Cunningham broke the Sunset Region high jump record in 2013 which had stood for 36 years, the longest record in the regional books with a clearance of 7-0. Cunningham also played quarterback for the Gorman team which won its fifth consecutive state title. In the state championship game Cunningham rushed for 213 yards with four touchdowns and completed 9 of 11 passes for 111 yards and a touchdown. He received over 30 scholarship offers combined in the two sports and is the son of former NFL quarterback Randall Cunningham.
Andre De Grasse of Toronto, Canada via Coffeyville Community College in Coffeyville, Kan. has a best legal 100m time of 10.25 and a personal best in the 200m of 20.72. He won the 2013 National Junior Colleges 100m title with a windy 9.96 time in the finals. Already this indoor season he won the 200m dash at the JayHawk Classic with a time of 21.90. De Grasse also won the 2013 NJCAA indoor 55m title with a time of 6.21. This past summer De Grasse ran for his native Canada and won a silver medal in the 100m with a time of 10.36 and a bronze medal in the 200m with a time of 20.74 at the Pan American Junior Championships in Colombia.
Robert Ford of Claudia Taylor Johnson High in San Antonio, Texas won the 800m race at the USATF World Youth trials with a time of 1:51.13 and went on to represent the U.S. at the World Youth Games in the Ukraine. He went on to place 23rd at the IAAF World Youth Games in Russia with a time of 1:53.61. He took third at the 2013 UIL Texas 5A Championships and set a San Antonio city 800m record with a time of 1:51.49. Ford is a two-time district champion in the 800m. He has run the fourth-fastest indoor 800m race in the country this season.
Ricky Morgan of Forest Park High in Woodbridge, Va. has a best 400m time of 46.67 run last season which was the third fastest among athletes entering their senior high school season. He also has run a best 200m of 21.50. Morgan won the 400m race at the Caribbean Scholastic Invitational in Puerto Rico in the summer of 2013 with a time of 47.50. He also helped lead his team to the state track and field team title as a junior by placing second in the 400m dash with a time of 47.04 and scoring in the 200m.
Marquis Morris of De La Salle High in Concord, Calif. won the 110m HH at the California State Meet with a PR of 13.90. He also posted a top 300m hurdles time of 37.19 which ranked second in the state of California. Morris went on to run 13.96 (-3.1w) to take third place at the 2013 USATF World Youth trials in Edwardsville, Ill. Morris is also a star wide receiver on the De La Salle football team which finished second in the state this season, following four-straight state titles.
Jordon Wallin of Rocky Mountain High in Meridian, Id. has a PR of 1:51.85 in the 800m and took second place at the 2013 Idaho 5A State Championships with a time of 1:52. 95, the only junior in the top five places.
In addition to these signees, the men's team will have the services of 2014 football signee Adoree' Jackson who is one of the top long jumpers in the country and will add to USC's sprint strength:
Adoree' Jackson of Serra High in Gardena, Calif. has career bests of 10.68 in the 100m, 21.59 in the 200m and 25-0.5 in the long jump. He ranked third in the country among high school long jumpers in 2013 and helped Serra win the 2013 CIF state championship while he placed second in the long jump at 24-7.50. He won the 2012 state long jump title at 20-0.5. He was named the 2012 Cal-Hi Sports California Sophomore Athlete of the Year and 2013 Cal-Hi Sports California Junior Athlete of the Year.
Gabriella Cantrell of San Leandro High in San Leandro, Calif. took third place at the 2013 California State meet in the 100m dash with a time of 11.67 and also took third in the 200m race. She has a 200m PR of 23.77 and has an indoor 60m best of 7.55 in 2013.
Jerayah Davis of Kelly Walsh High in Casper, Wy. won the 2013 Wyoming Class 4A state title in the 100m, 200m (with a meet record time of 23.79) and the 400m (with a PR of 55.73) and placed second in the long jump and scored 38 points for her team. She also has a 100m PR of 11.63. Davis is a two-time Gatorade Wyoming Girls Track Athlete of the Year. She will add to the Trojan depth in the sprints all the way up to 400 meters. Davis also has a long jump PR of 19-4 and won the 2013 Wyoming state indoor title in the event.
Kendall Ellis of St. Thomas Aquinas High in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. is a three-time state champion in the 400m race, winning in 2012 as a sophomore with PR of 53.22 as well as taking home the title during her freshman and junior seasons. During the 2013 season she posted a best 400m time of 53.80. Ellis also has a best of 24.18 in the 200m dash.
Dior Hall of George Washington High in Denver, Colo. has a personal best in the 100m HH of 13.18 set in 2011. She placed second in the 100m low hurdles (30") with a time of 13.01 at the IAAF World Youth Championships in the Ukraine in 2013, breaking the U.S. Youth record in the event. She qualified for the World Youth Championships by winning the 100m hurdles at the USATF trials with a time of 13.53. She won the 2013 Colorado State 5A 100m HH title. Hall also has a personal best of 8.17 indoors in the 60m HH and already has run 8.18 this season which ranks No. 1 by a high school athlete. As a freshman, Hall won the Gatorade Colorado Track Athlete of the Year Award as she won the 100m HH and took third in the 200m dash at the state 5A meet.
Deanna Hill of Lake Highland Prep in Orlando, Fla. was the 2013 Florida state champion in the 100m dash with a time of 11.63 and placed second in the 200m race with a PR of 23.65. As a sophomore Hill also took second place in the 100m dash and third in the 200m race at the 2012 Florida state championship meet.
Madisen Richards of Simi Valley High in Simi Valley, Calif. is a jumper and sprinter with PRs of 19-5w in the long jump and 11.85w in the 100m dash. Took third at the CIF Southern Section finals in the long jump with a leap of 18-5.75 (5.63m).
Madison Ricks of California High in San Ramon, Calif. has a 800m best of 2:09.52 and a 1600m PR of 4:59. She took seventh at the 2012 CIF state meet in the 800m as a sophomore with a time of 2:11.28, the only underclassman in the finals.
Ky Westbrook of Chandler High in Chandler, Ariz. has a PR of 11.33 in the 100m dash which she set in winning at the 2013 IAAF World Youth Championships in the Ukraine. She won both the 100m and 200m dashes at the USATF World Youth Trials respectively with times of 11.65 and a PR of 23.37. She had the second-fastest 100m and the fourth-fastest 200m time among high school women last season. Westbrook also threw the shot 47-9 (14.55m) to set a state record in the event, breaking the mark which had stood since 1980. She won the 100m (11.45), 200m (23.39) and shot put (45-2.25) competitions at the 2013 Arizona Division I Championships, after winning the 100m and 200m and taking second in the shot put as a sophomore. Westbrook was named the Gatorade Arizona high school 2013 girls track Athlete of the Year. Her father is former NFL first-round draft pick, receiver Michael Westbrook.