All of the USC track team’s efforts have certainly paid off, earning members a long list of accomplishments in the last few months — but their hard work is not yet over. The NCAA Championships begin Wednesday in Fayetteville, Ark., and the team has a long road ahead of them.
This week has been met with some success already as the track tream is getting ready for the biggest meet of the year. Ron Allice, director of track and field for USC, was named the West Regional Men’s Head Coach of the Year by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Monday, which happened just days after Allice helped take the team to the fourth West Regional win in the last five years.
Beginning their journey early Sunday morning (and experiencing a few minor luggage setbacks), they departed from the Los Angeles International Airport and reached their Arkansas destination later that evening. After a night of rest and relaxation, the Trojans began to practice Monday afternoon in an effort to fine-tune technique and get their minds prepared.
With 13 female and 16 male individual athletes and four relay teams ready to compete, USC enters the championships with a large variety of talent in many different areas of the sport, and since the only way to qualify for this competition was to place in the top five of the regional (top three in the relays), the team has proved its grit.
Allice explained earlier this season that the team was not planning on focusing on any particular area of its technique prior to the meet, but just maintaining focus on the skills it has already accumulated throughout the season.
Both the men and women’s teams have used those skills to land themselves a No. 7 ranking, according to the final USTFCCCA scores, and they’re hoping to shoot up the ranks this week. USC just outran the No. 2 team, Oregon, in the West Regional, a feat that has them optimistic about this week’s final meet.
The top 10 teams for men going into this meet are: Texas A&M, Oregon, Florida, Arkansas, LMU, South Carolina, USC, Stanford, Nebraska and Arizona State; while the women’s top then are: Texas A&M, Oregon, LSU, Arizona State, Tennessee, Florida State, USC, Penn State, Baylor, and Texas.
CBS will be televising the last day of the championship (June 13) from 10 a.m. to noon and will air the next-to-last day events on the 12th on CBS College Sports beginning at 4 p.m.