USC Track & Field Travels To Florida Relays
April 3, 2013
The USC men's (No. 8) and women's (No. 25) track and field teams will be competing this week at the 69th Annnual Pepsi Florida Relays in Gainsville, Fla. and at the Cal State L.A. Invitational in Los Angeles, Calif. on April 6-7. Among the ranked men's teams joining USC at the Florida Relays will be No. 3 Florida, No. 6 Florida State, No. 11 Mississippi, No. 17 Indiana, No. 23 Baylor and No. 25 Oklahoma State. Among the other ranked women's teams competing are No. 4 Florida, No. 6 Texas, No. 12 Central Florida, No. 14 Baylor and No. 19 Georgia.
NELLUM IS BACK - USC redshirt senior Bryshon Nellum has been cleared for competition and will make his season debut at the Florida Relays running in the men's 400m dash. Nellum captured the 2012 Pac-12 400m title last season, then went on to claim a silver medal in the 4x400m relay for Team USA at the London Olympics. He also was the top American finisher at the London Games in the open 400m dash, placing ninth, one spot outside of reaching the finals. Nellum set a PR of 44.80 last year at the Olympic Trials and that time ranks fourth all-time by a Trojan.
COLLATZ CONTINUES STRONG 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 last April with a mark of 177-11 (54.24m). On March 29 this season at the Cal-Nevada Championships, Collatz set a collegiate PR in winning the discus throw competition with a mark of 178-6 (54.42m) to better her second-place standing on USC's all-time list. She has also won at the Trojan Invitational on March 23 with a throw of 176-4 (53.77m). Collatz also established a PR in the hammer throw with a mark of 174-2 (53.10m) on March 15.
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). She opened her season by winning at the Trojan Inviational on March 22 with a throw of 204-0 (62.17m). 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.
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 fourth-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, 2012. He 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 15 marks posted by Trojan athletes this season: Men: Davonte Stewart (200m - T-10th), Myles Andrews (800m - 3rd), Aleec Harris (110m HH - 15th), Reggie Wyatt (400m IH - 3rd), Remington Conatser (Hammer Throw - 4th), Viktor Fajoyomi (Decathon - 11th) and 4x100m (T-13th). Women: Jessica Davis (200m - 7th), Jenna Puterbaugh (200m - T-9th), Ashley Liverpool (400m - 7th), Akawkaw Ndipagbor (400m - 11th), Vanessa Jones (400m - 13th), Alitta Boyd (Triple Jump - 6th), Alexandra Collatz (Discus Throw - 2nd), Jenny Ozorai (Hammer Throw - 11th) and 4x100m (11th).
FAJOYOMI EXPANDS HIS REPERTOIRE - Junior Viktor Fajoyomi will compete this season as a decathlete, no longer focusing on the high jump and the horizontal jumps. In his first two seasons at USC Fajoyomi focused on the jumps, placing 16th in the high jump and 21st in the long jump at the 2012 Pac-12 Championships, after taking ninth in the high jump, seventh in the triple jump and 17th in the long jump at the 2011 conference meet. Fajoyomi has a PR of 7-1.50 (2.18m) in the high jump, 50-6.25w (15.40m) in the triple jump and 23-6.75 (7.18m)/24-4.50w (7.43m) in the long jump. For last year's Dual Meet against UCLA, Fajoyomi trained for the week in the javelin and threw it 159-11 to finish fourth. He claimed the decathlon title in his first career multi-events competition at the Cal Multi-Events Meet with a two-day score of 7,078. That total was 20 points outside of the USC top 10 in the event and would have placed him fourth at the 2012 Pac-12 Multi-Events Championships. His bests this season are 11.33 in the 100m, 50.28 in the 400m, 4:30.05 in the 1500m, 15.10 in the 110m HH, 6-11.00 in the high jump, 12-6.75 in the pole vault, 24-0.25 in the long jump, 38-10.25 in the shot put, 146-0 in the javelin and 114-9 in the discus throw.
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 30th 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).
Oluwakemi Olonade JUMPS BACK INTO THE TOP 10 -- Early last season, Oluwakemi Olonade posted a triple jump of 40-9.50 to move into 10th place on USC's all-time list. Later in the season, Melia Cox posted the eighth-farthest jump in USC history to knock Olonade out of the top 10...well, she's back! The junior Olonade placed third in the triple jump at the Trojan Ivitational on March 23 with a PR of 41-7.25 (12.68m) to move into ninth place.
STEWART PICKING UP WHERE HE LEFT OFF -- After an impressive freshman campaign where saw him earn honorable mention All-America honors in the 200m dash, sophomore Davonte Stewart seems to have picked back up where he left off. Stewart placed second in the 200m dash at the Trojan Inviational with a time of 21.04 which is tied for the 10th-fastest collegiate time this season.As a freshman Stewart placed third in the 200m dash and 12th in the 100m dash at the Pac-12 Championships and posted PRs of 20.55 in the 200m and 10.51 in the 100m races.
HALF-MYLES ANDREWS -- Sophomore Myles Andrews again will be USC's 800m specialist. He entered the season with a PR of 1:50.54 in the event set at the 2012 Mt. Sac Relays on April 20, but shattered that with a time of 1:48.95 to place second at the Stanford Inviational on March 30. He placed 15th in the 800m race at the 2012 Pac-12 Championships with a time of 1:53.17. Andrews opened up in the 800m race at the Trojan Invitational on March 23 and posted a time of 1:51.34.