White Team Wins 2012 Challenge Relays|
Dec. 6, 2012
Mike Pullins' White Team cruised to victory at the annual Challenge Relays held at Loker Stadium today (Dec. 6) to punctuate the end of the fall training session and signify that the 2013 USC track and field season is not far away.
In a USC track and field tradition, the squad is divided into four equal teams of runners (13 today), which compete in a relay format with each athlete running 400 meters. The winning White team was comprised of Kiana Henry, Kelly Owen, Doug Bogie, Myles Andrews, Joe Laetsch, Jenna Puterbaugh, Natasha Strickland, Kyle Connolly, Reggie Wyatt, Herbert Dew, Ariel Hayward, Katerina Berdousi and Surafael Yared.
Starting with the first lap run by Henry, the White team led after each lap except for the fourth lap in which Bryshon Nellum was able to give the Red team a brief lead. Laetsch ran the White team back into the lead in the fifth lap, Puterbaugh stretched it out a bit in the sixth lap and they held on the rest of the way.
Among the distinguished former Trojan runners in attendance to cheer on and support the 2013 USC track and field team were: Nia Ali, Shalina Clarke, Joey Hughes, Lionel Larry, Dalilah Muhammad, Jessica and Judith Onyepunuka, Ahmad Rashad, Carol Rodriguez, Duane Solomon and Duane Walker. Hughes and Walker also filled in for a leg on one of the teams.
Ashley Liverpool and Vanessa Jones won the award for the most outstanding performance by a female on a non-winning team and Aaron Brown won the same award for a male runner. The best performance award on the winning team for a female went to Puterbaugh, and for a male went to Dew.
Tomorrow the groundbreaking will begin on the renovations to Cromwell Field and Loker Stadium. A new Bynon BSS 2000 track will be laid down, the same kind of track as at Hayward Field in Oregon, site of the 2012 Olympic Trials and the 2013 NCAA Championships. In addition, a new all-weather Field Turf Revolution will be installed in the infield of the track. The project is expected to be completed by Jan. 6 in time for the second semester of the 2012-13 USC school year.