Track & Field
    USC Track & Field To Host Trojan Invitational This Weekend
    Team captain and All-American Joey Hughes is expected to run in the 400m and 4x400m relay races.
    Team captain and All-American Joey Hughes is expected to run in the 400m and 4x400m relay races.

    March 21, 2012

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    The USC Trojans men's and women's track and field team will be hosting the Trojan Invitational at Loker Stadium on March 23 and 24. The meet will feature some of the top teams and talent in the country. Also as is tradition, the Trojans' are hosting the L.A. Section high school relay championships as part of the meet. The hammer throw competition will be held on Friday, March 23 beginning at 2 p.m. at West L.A. College, while the javelin throw event will be contested starting at 6 p.m. Friday at Loker Stadium. A Distance Carnival of the 3000m and 5000m races will be held at Loker Stadium Friday beginning at 6:30 p.m. The majority of the meet will start at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday. A complete listing of the schedule of events can be found at USCTrojans.com under the schedule page for track and field.

    TROJAN INVITE OFFERS RARE VIEW OF THE TOP TALENT - USC is hosting only one track meet this season, but it is a doozy, featuring three-time defending NCAA men's and women's champion Texas A&M, three-time defending Pac-10 men's and women's champion Oregon, conference rivals Washington and Washington State, Big Ten power Michigan and the always tough BYU. The Trojan Invitational has the potential of having seven individual NCAA champions and 33 first-team All-Americans competing over the two days. In each of the last three seasons, at least four of the competing men's teams have finished in the top 15 at the NCAA's, and in the last three seasons these women's teams have had 11 top 15 finishes at the NCAA's.

    RETURNING ALL-AMERICANS - USC's 2012 track and field team features 13 athletes which have earned first team All-America status in their careers. Those athletes are, Men: Joey Hughes (400m, 4x400m), Josh Mance (400m), Bryshon Nellum (4x400m), Duane Walker (4x400m), Reggie Wyatt (400m IH, 4x400m) and Women: Kristine Busa (Javelin), Jessica Davis (200m, 4x100m), Zsofia Erdelyi (3000m SC), Loudia Laarman (4x100m), Dalilah Muhammad (400m IH, 4x400m), Jenny Ozorai (hammer throw), Aareon Payne (200m, 4x100m) and Jenna Puterbaugh (4x100m).

    COLLATZ SETS USC FRESHMAN RECORD IN FIRST MEET - Discus thrower Alexandra Collatz wasted no time in putting her name in the USC record books as she broke the USC freshman discus throw record with a mark of 176-5 (53.78m) in her first collegiate meet, the Rossi Relays on Feb. 25. Her throw broke the previous record of 169-4 set by Claudia Paris in 1986 and is the fourth-farthest throw all-time by a Trojan female.

    FOOTBALL AND TRACK GO HAND AND HAND - USC has a long tradition of football stars adding to the Trojans' great track and field heritage with crossover stars like NCAA champions Earl McCullouch, O.J. Simpson, Edesel Garrison and Kevin Young and this season USC has had several football players competing including D.J. Morgan, Marqise Lee, Nickell Robey and Tony Burnett. Burnett has already won two triple jump competitions with a best jump of 49-6.25 (15.08m) at the Beach Invitational on March 3 and Lee has placed second in two long jump competitions with a season-best of 24-4.25 (7.42m) on Feb. 25 at the Rossi Relays. Robey has a season-best long jump of 23-0.00 (7.01m) and football foursome teamed up to run a 41.05 4x100m relay at the Rossi Relays on Feb. 25. Lee, Robey and Burnett are expected to compete in the long jump competition which begins at 10 a.m.

    USC CONTINUES TO BRING THE HAMMER - The USC women's hammer throwers captured the top five spots in both of their first two competitions, then five of the top seven at the Ben Brown Invitational on March 9 and six of the top nine spots at the Northridge Invitational on March 16. At the Ben Brown Invitational, Jenny Ozorai won with a PR and the second-farthest throw in school history of 223-4. Also setting top 10 marks all-time by a Trojan were Marissa Minderler (212-8, 4th) and Jade Niemeyer (201-2, 9th). In addition, Tamara Baumann set a PR with a throw of 184-11. USC's current women's hammer throws group has four of the top 10 marks all-time by Trojans, which also includes Lauren Chambers at sixth (206-5).

    SCHOOL RECORD HOLDERS - The Trojans have two individuals on the current team who hold USC records: Zsofia Erdelyi (3000m Steeplechase, 5000m, 10000m) and Blake Shaw (1-Mile, Indoor). USC also has six athletes which hold USC freshman records: Lauren Blackburn (100m HH), Alexanda Collatz (discus), Jessica Davis (200m), Zsofia Erdelyi (3000m, 3000m SC, 5000m), Josh Mance (400m) and Dalilah Muhammad (400m IH).

    MEN'S RELAY TEAM EYES 3-MINUTE MARK - A definite strength of the USC men's team is its quarter-milers who team up to form quite a formidable 4x400m relay team. Five different runners (Joey Hughes, Bryshon Nellum, Josh Mance, Reggie Wyatt and Duane Walker) have teamed up to post parts of three of the top 10 1600m relay times in USC history. Hughes, Mance, Walker and Wyatt teammed together to run 3:02.87 on April 9, 2011 for the fourth-fastest time in USC history. In addition, seniors Scott DeYoung and Josh Tennefoss provide very capable depth to the unit.