USC Announces 2013 Track & Field Recruiting Class
July 26, 2013
The USC track and field team has signed women's thrower Tanya Sapa, women's 400m runner Cameron Pettigrew, men's 400m runner Alexander Rohani, men's sprinter Armon Owens and women's 400m runner Stephanie Wicksell, announced Director of Track & Field Caryl Smith Gilbert on July 26.
Sapa graduated La Sierra High in Riverside, Calif. and is widely regarded as one of the top high school shot putters in the country, posting the fourth-farthest throw in 2013. Sapa placed second with PRs in both the shot put of 50-0.25 and the discus throw with a mark of 151-2 at the 2013 CIF State Championship on June 1. Sapa went on to take fourth in the California State Hammer Championships with a throw of 141-5 on June 15. Sapa was named the 2012 Co-Riverside Country Athlete of the Year as she broke her own Riverside County record in the shot put with a throw of 47-10.25 and finished the season with a best of 47-10.75 at the Mt. SAC Relays. The previous record had stood for 28 years. Sapa placed second at the 2012 state meet with a mark of 47-1.75 and had bests in the discus of 149-6 and 51-8 in the weight throw.
Pettigrew attended Walter Payton College Prep in Chicago, Ill. and placed 11th at the 2013 USA Junior Track & Field Championships in the 400m dash with a time of 55.60. Pettigrew won the 2013 Illinois Indoor Class AAA title in the 400m dash with a time of 56.22. As a junior she placed second in the 400m dash at the Illinois' state meet with a PR of 54.41 and again took second as a senior with a time of 54.84. In 2013, Pettigrew established a 200m PR of 24.85 and took sixth at the state meet with a time of 25.15. Pettigrew is also a talented high jumper winning the 2012 Illinois High School Indoor Championship and owning a best clearance of 5-6. In 2011 Pettigrew claimed the 15- and 16-year-old intermediate division national championship in the 400m race at the USA Track and Field Junior Olympics competition in Wichita, Kan.
Pettigrew's grandfather George Kerr ran for Jamaica in the 800m and 4x400m relays at the 1960 Rome Olympics, earning a bronze medal in both events. Her mother Karyn ran track in high school, and competed in both field and running events. She competed in the long jump, 100m Hurdles, 4x100m relay, and 100m dash. Her mother also competed in the Junior Olympics and Jesse Owens Games. Pettigrew has also excelled in the classroom where she is an honor roll student and was named a World Sport Chicago Scholar.
Rohani, from Beverly Hills High in Beverly Hills, Calif., posted a PR of 46.71 in the 400m dash to place third at the 2013 California State meet. He was the reigning state champion in the 400m dash as he won in 2012 with a time of 47.34. Rohani also won the 400m title in 2012 for the Ocean League, CIF-Southern Section Division III and CIF Southern Section Masters Meet. Rohani has a PR of 21.79w in the 200m.
Owens finished his sophomore season at Central Arizona College following a season at Western Texas College in Snyder, Texas. He graduated in 2011 from Cypress Falls High in Houston, Texas. Owens is the top three event sprinter in the 2013 U.S. junior college rankings and has a best 100m time of 10.43, 200m time of 20.87 and 400m time of 46.03. He ranked No. 2 in the 400, No. 5 in the 200m and No. 10 in the 100m. Owens also excels in the classroom, posting a 3.0 GPA in his first semester at Central Arizona.
Wicksell, from Pretoria South Africa, has PRs of 24.23 in the 200m and 54.91 in the 400m dashes. She is the daughter of Ilse and Ray Wicksell. Ilse was the first South African athlete to ever break 2 minutes in the women's 800m and still holds the South Africa record for the 1000m. Ray competed at the U.S. Olympic Trials in 1980, 1984 and 1988.
Smith Gilbert and her staff are still working on adding to this group before the season.