USC Heads To Oregon Today For NCAA T&F Championships|
June 8, 2015
THIS WEEK - USC's No. 5-ranked women's and No. 6-ranked men's track and field teams will compete at the 2015 NCAA Track & Field Championships at historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. from June 10-13. USC has 12 women qualified into 14 semifinals, plus two relays, while the men's team has nine athletes entered in 11 events, plus the 4x100m relay. In all, USC is sending 14 women and 11 men to the NCAA Championships. At least one Trojan man or woman has won an individual NCAA title in 18 of the last 23 championships.
WHERE TO WATCH THE MEET - The entire 2015 NCAA Track & Field Championships will be televised on one of the ESPN network platforms. The coverage on June 10 will be from 11 a.m.-7:45 p.m. on ESPN3 and from 4-7:30 p.m. on ESPNU, on June 11 from 10 a.m.-7:45 p.m. on ESPN3, 4-5:30 p.m. on ESPNU and 5:30-7:30 p.m. on ESPN, on June 12 from 4-7:15 p.m. on ESPN3 and 4:30-7 p.m. on ESPN and on June 13 from 1:30-4:45 p.m. on ESPN3 and 2-4:30 p.m. on ESPN2. For the first time, the men's and women's meets will be contested on alternate days with the men's semifinals on June 10, the women's semifinals on June 11, the men's finals on June 12 and the women's finals on June 13. All field events are completed the day they start.
USC AT THE NCAA T&F CHAMPIONSHIPS - The USC men's track and field team has won 26 NCAA outdoor titles, more than double the next-best program Arkansas, which has won 12. USC won a record 9-straight titles from 1935-43. USC also has the most individual men's titles with 113. The Trojan women's team won its only team title in 2001. USC's men's team finished tied for fourth in 2014 and has finished in the top 10 in 15 of the last 20 seasons. The women's team tied for 16th last season, but has finished in the top 10 in 11 of the last 20 seasons.
TROJANS WIN FOUR PAC-12 YEARLY HONORS - USC's Director of Track & Field Caryl Smith Gilbert was named 2015 Pac-12 Men's & Women's Coach of the Year, Andre De Grasse was named the conference's Men's Track Athlete of the Year and Marquis Morris was named the Pac-12 Men's Freshman of the Year on May 20. Smith Gilbert became the first woman ever to be named the Pac-12 Men's Coach of the Year. USC won four of the Pac-12's eight yearly honors.
2015 TROJANS AT THE NCAAS - USC men: Randall Cunningham (high jump), Andre De Grasse (100m, 200m, 4x100m), Robert Ford (800m), Adoree' Jackson (long jump), BeeJay Lee (100m, 200m, 4x100m), Conor McCullough (hammer throw), Bryan Mercado (4x100m), Ricky Morgan (400m), Marquis Morris (110m HH), Nick Ponzio (shot put) and Just'N Thymes (4x100m). USC women: Destinee Brown (4x100m-alt.), Alexandra Collatz (discus throw), Melia Cox (100m HH), Kendall Ellis (400m, 4x400m), Alexis Faulknor (100m, 4x100m), Tynia Gaither (100m, 4x100m), Dior Hall (100m HH), Deanna Hill (100m, 200m, 4x100m), Amalie Iuel (400m IH, 4x400m), Vanessa Jones (400m, 4x400m), Akawkaw Ncha-Ndip (4x400m-alt.), Tera Novy (discus throw), Jaide Stepter (400m IH, 4x400m) and Ky Westbrook (100m, 200m, 4x100m).
TOP 10 TROJANS - USC had eight spring semester teams ranked in the top 10 in the country: Sand Volleyball (1, NCAA Champions), W-Golf (1, T-3rd at NCAAs), W-Tennis (1, T-3rd at NCAAs), W-Water Polo (4, 3rd at NCAA Championships), W-Track (5), M-Track (6), M-Tennis (7, Round of 16 at NCAAs), M-Volleyball (7). Also, M-Golf was ranked No. 13 and finished second at the NCAAs.
FOUNDATION FOR SUCCESS - During the 2015 outdoor season USC has had four athletes set USC freshman records, after claiming the first-season record in three indoor events. Six of USC's nine men to qualify individually for the NCAA Championships are freshmen and four of the 12 women, in six individual events and as parts of both relays.
USC'S RETURNING ALL-AMERICANS - USC has six 2014 first-team All-Americans on this season's team, including Alexandra Collatz (women's discus), Alexis Faulknor (women's 4x100m), Tynia Gaither (women's 100m, 200m, 4x100m), Vanessa Jones (4x400m), BeeJay Lee (men's 4x100m) and Akawkaw Ncha-Ndip (4x400m). In addition, 2011-13 All-American hammer thrower Jenny Ozorai returned after missing last season due to back surgery.
SCHOOL FRESHMAN RECORD HOLDERS - Kendall Ellis set the USC women's 400m freshman record with a time of 53.01 on April 11, then improved to 52.96 at the Mt. SAC Relays on April 18, the same day Dior Hall set the USC freshman 100m HH record with a time of 12.89. Ellis improved her record to 52.88 at the Pac-12 Championships on May 17 and then bettered that with a time of 52.58 at the NCAA West Prelimins on May 30. They join senior teammate Alexandra Collatz who set the freshman discus throw record in 2012 (177-11) as current Trojans who hold USC outdoor freshman records. Trojan men setting freshman records during the outdoor season are Nick Ponzio in the shot put with a mark of 63-8.75 (19.42m) on May 29 and Marquis Morris in the 110m HH with a time of 13.79 on May 29 and then bettered it with a time of 13.77 on May 30. During the 2015 indoor season three USC freshman records were set: Hall in the 60m HH (8.01), Ricky Morgan in the 400m (47.14) and Robert Ford in the 800m (1:49.21).
WOMEN'S 4X400M RELAY WINS PAC-12 TITLE, THEN SETS SCHOOL RECORD - USC used a team of Jaide Stepter, Amalie Iuel, Kendall Ellis and Vanessa Jones to win the Pac-12 4x400m race with a of 3:32.11 on May 17. It was the first meet during outdoor season which the Trojans ran the team which set the school indoor record with a time of of 3:29.63 at the 2015 NCAA Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. on March 14. That time was also the 11th-fastest ever run at the NCAA Indoor Championships. They proved to just be hitting their stride as they won the NCAA West Preliminary 4x400m relay with a USC-record time of 3:27.86, .02 seconds off Florida's NCAA-leading time this season. The Trojan quartet topped the school's previous record of 3:28.08 set in 1999.
DE GRASSE NAMED MEN'S ATHLETE OF THE MEET AT PAC-12s - Junior Andre De Grasse turned heads at the Pac-12 Championships by winning the 100m title in 9.97 seconds and winning the 200m title with a time of 20.05, after running 20.03 in the prelims. He also ran a leg for USC's winning 4x100m relay which clocked 39.17. For his efforts, De Grasse was named the Pac-12 Men's Track Athlete of the Meet. De Grasse's 100m time of 9.97 broke the USC school record, the Pac-12 Meet record and set the UCLA Drake Stadium record. His best 200m time of 20.03 is a Canadian record and ties him for second on USC' all-time list.
McCULLOUGH ADDED TO THE BOWERMAN WATCH LIST - USC redshirt senior Conor McCullough was added to the Bowerman Men's Watch List on May 6 for the prestigious award as the top college track and field athlete in the country. He won the hammer throw at the USC-UCLA Dual Meet on May 2 with a college-best throw of 248-11 (75.88m) to move into second on USC's all-time list and seventh on the NCAA's all-time list. That mark is the second-farthest American throw this season. The last college athlete to throw farther was Andras Haklits' of Georgia who had a mark of 257-11 on May 4, 2002. McCullough won the Pac-12 hammer throw title on May 16 with a mark of 236-10 (72.20m). He cruised through the NCAA Prelims with a series of 242-1, 246-1 and 244-3, the top three throws by two meters. McCullough returned to action in the indoor season, but now will take aim at an NCAA title in the men's hammer throw. In his first collegiate outdoor meet since 2012, he threw 233-7 (71.21m) to win and had four throws over 231. His second meet was the Mt. SAC Relays and he won the Invitational with a best throw of 241-9 (73.70m), the third-farthest throw in USC history. He had a very strong series, improving as he went and systematically moving up the USC all-time list. With his second throw of 237-6 (72.39m), McCullough moved from fifth to fourth on the USC list, then with his fifth throw of 239-11 (73.13m) he moved into third on the list and bettered it with his final throw of 241-9. McCullough began his career at Princeton in 2010 and won the NCAA East Region hammer throw competition in 2012, but did not compete at the NCAA's that season. McCullough enrolled at USC last year and was not able to compete, but was granted a sixth year of eligibility for this season. McCullough competed indoors this season and placed second at the NCAA Indoor Championships in the weight throw with a school-record toss of 80-3.75 (24.48m), but had not competed collegiately outdoors since winning the NCAA East Region hammer throw title on April 24, 2012. He has won his last 13 collegiate hammer throw competitions and 14 of 16 overall since he began at Princeton in 2010. McCullough has a personal-best of 253-3 (77.20m) which he threw at the at the Edmonton International Track Classic in Edmonton, Canada on July 6, 2014.