USC's Track & Field Team To Compete At 3 Meets This Week
March 27, 2013
The USC Trojans men's (No. 8) and women's (No. 23) track and field teams will be competing this week at three different meets in the state of California. Three athletes are competing on March 27-28 at the Cal Multi-Events Meet in Berkley, Calif., distance runners will be at the Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif. on March 29-30 and the throwers and some of the runners will compete at the Cal-Nevada Championships in La Jolla on March 29-30.
MULTIPLE MANIA - Last season USC had two freshmen competing in the multi-events for the first time in heptathlete Kiana Henry and decathlete Jemal Williams. Williams placed 17th at the Pac-12 Championships with a score of 6,188 in his first decathlon as a Trojan and became the first USC male to compete in the multi-event championships since 2003. This season he is joined in the multis by junior Viktor Fajoyomi, who focused on the high jump, long jump and triple jump in his first two seasons at USC. This week Henry, Williams and Fajoyomi are at the Cal Multi-Meets Championships in Berkley, Calif.
COLLATZ OFF TO A FAST START - Discus thrower Alexandra Collatz wasted no time in putting her name in the USC record books last season when she established the USC freshman discus throw record in her first meet with a throw of 176-5 and then bettered it in April with a mark of 177-11 (54.24m). That mark ranks second all-time by a Trojan female. Already this season, Collatz has a best discus throw of 176-4 (53.77m) in winning the Trojan Invitational on March 23 and set a PR in the hammer throw with a mark of 174-2 (53.10m) on March 15.
CONATSER QUICKLY ENTERS USC TOP 10 -- Junior Remy Conatser won the hammer throw at the Trojan Invitational on March 22 with a mark of 219-4 (66.85m) to move into 10th on USC's all-time list in the event. That mark is also the third-farthest by a collegian this season. Conatser comes to USC after two seasons at Saddleback College where he set the American junior college/community college record with a throw 215-9 at the 2012 Ben Brown Invitational. He then bettered that mark with a throw of 217-5 (66.26m) to win the Tiny Lister Invitational on April 6. Conatser did not even learn to throw the hammer until the 2011 season and played water polo and volleyball in high school at Capistrano Valley.
USC RANKING AMONG THE BEST -- There are currently 16 top 10 marks posted by Trojan athletes this season: Men: Davonte Stewart (200m - T-5th) Aleec Harris (110m HH - 6th), Reggie Wyatt (400m IH - 1st), Herbert Dew (High Jump - T-10th), Remington Conatser (Hammer Throw - 3rd) and 4x100m (7th). Women: Jessica Davis (200m - 6th), Jenna Puterbaugh (200m - T-8th), Ashley Liverpool (400m - 4th), Akawkaw Ndipagbor (400m - 8th), Vanessa Jones (400m - 10th), Alitta Boyd (Triple Jump - 2nd), Oluwakemi Olonade (Triple Jump - 7th), Alexandra Collatz (Discus Throw - 6th), Jenny Ozorai (Hammer Throw - 8th) and 4x400m (6th).
4x400M RELAY UNDER CONSTRUCTION - A definite strength of the USC men's team the last few seasons has been its 4x400m relay team of Bryshon Nellum, Reggie Wyatt, Joey Hughes, Josh Mance and Duane Walker (alternate) which combined in various groupings to post four of the top 10 all-time best 1600m relay times in USC history. Last year, Hughes, Mance, Wyatt and Nellum combined to run 3:00.64 which took second at the NCAA Championships and was just .06 off the school record set in 1992. Nellum and Wyatt are back, but Hughes, Walker and Scott DeYoung (the other alternate) all have graduated, while Mance has transferred to Florida State. That leaves the Trojans looking to fill two legs and both alternate spots on the 4x400m relay team. At the Trojan Relays on March 23, USC ran a team of Wyatt, Myles Andrews, Davonte Stewart and Aaron Brown, which finished second to Texas A&M, but was later disqualified.
MEN'S SPRINT RELAY MAY BE A FACTOR - USC has not entered a 4x100m relay team at the NCAA Championships the last two seasons, but that may be changing this year. USC has All-American sprinter Aaron Brown (10.18) back, as well as All-American transfer BeeJay Lee (10.26) to build around. Another key leg from last season's team is sophomore Davonte Stewart (10.51). Now USC also will have available redshirt freshman Jovante Slater (10.54), as well as football players George Farmer (10.40), D.J. Morgan (10.6) and Marqise Lee (10.74). At the Trojan Invitational on March 23, USC used a team of Bryan Mercado, Stewart, BeeJay Lee and Brown to run a season-best 40.07.
JENNA THE JET -- Junior Jenna Puterbaugh has bounced back from a season of dealing with injuries very nicely. While celebrating her 21st birthday on March 23, Puterbaugh had two PRs, first running 11.60 to place third in the 100m dash and then 23.48 to place second in the 200m race. Those times rank 19th and eighth nationally. She has also become a key member to USC's 4x400m relay team which ran 3:37.97 on March 23, which ranks sixth nationally. As a freshman, Puterbau placed 10th in the 200m, sixth in the 4x400m and first in the 4x100m at the Pac-10 Championships. She went on to earn All-America honors running the third leg for USC's 4x100m relay team which placed third with a time of 43.42, the fourth-fastest ever by a Trojan quartet.
BOYD BOUNCES TO TWO TITLES AT TROJAN INVITE - Senior Alitta Boyd won the triple jump with the second-farthest jump in the country this season of 42-10.25 (13.06m) and then won the long jump with a mark of 19-10.25 (6.05m). Boyd had a best indoor triple jump of 42-5.75 an 19-6.25 in the long jump and went on to place 16th in the triple jump at the 2013 Indoor Championships held in Fayetteville, Ark. Boyd took 10th in the triple jump at the 2012 Indoor Championships. Boyd took fourth in the triple jump (42-5.25) and fifth in the long jump (20-4.50) at the 2012 Pac-12 Championships and advanced to the NCAA finals in the triple jump where she earned honorable mention by finishing 22nd. Boyd established PRs in both the triple jump (43-8.50) and the long jump (20-6.50) at the NCAA Preliminary Rounds hosted by Texas. Her triple jump mark moved her into fourth place on USC's all-time list and she now stands just .75 inches outside the Trojans' top 10 in the long jump.
OZORAI WINS OPENER AT THE TROJAN INVITE - Two-time All-American hammer thrower Jenny Ozorai won the hammer throw at the Trojan Invitational on March 22 with a best mark of 204-0 (62.17m). The junior placed fourth at the 2012 NCAA Championships in the hammer throw of 216-3. She moved into second place on USC's all-time hammer throw list with a winning throw of 223-4 (68.08m) at the 2012 Ben Brown Invitational on March 9. Ozorai took third in the hammer throw at the 2011 Pac-10 Championships and then placed second at the 2012 Pac-12 Championships. In her two seasons of competing in the hammer, shot and discus throw in the USC-UCLA Dual Meet, Ozorai has garnered two first-place finishes and four second-place marks. Ozorai's top career mark in the discus is 161-10 and her shot put best is 45-8.
LIKE A SUPER NOVY, SHE BURSTS INTO TROJAN TOP 10 -- Trojan freshman thrower Tera Novy has already cracked the USC top 10 in the discus and is showing that she will be a force for USC in all the throws. She place second in the discus throw at the Trojan Invitational on March 23 with a throw of 166-8 (50.81m) to move into ninth place on USC's all-time top 10 list in the event. That throw currently ranks 21st in the country. Novy also won the shot put at the Trojan Invitational with a mark of 45-0.25 (13.72m). Novy is learning to throw the hammer this season and has a best mark so far of 145-3 (44.27m).
USC CONTINUES TO BRING THE HAMMER - The USC throws program under the direction of Dan Lange has been very strong, but none stronger than the success of the hammer throwers and this season should be no different. Junior Jenny Ozorai has finished sixth and fourth in her freshman and sophomore seasons respectively in the hammer throw at the NCAA Championships. Ozorai has also finished 3rd and 2nd respectively in the hammer throw at the Pac-12 Championships and ranks second all-time by a Trojan female with a best best toss of 223-4 (68.08m). Junior Remy Conatser transfered to USC from Saddleback College with a best hammer throw of 217-5 which is a JC record and would have been good for fourth at the 2012 NCAA Championships. He has already thrown 219-4 this season to move into 10th on USC's all-time list. Sophomore Daniel Szabo who placed 12th at the 2012 NCAA Championships and registered the eighth-farthest mark in USC history with a throw of 220-2 is coming off hip surgery and may have to redshirt this season. USC has had 12 women's athletes score at the NCAAs in the past 14 seasons and has had 16 men's athletes score in the last 20 seasons.