The USC women’s track and field team arrived in New York on Friday, ready to compete in the New Balance Collegiate Invitational. The event at The Armory is one the largest indoor meets of the season, bringing in top-25 teams including Lousiana State University and Arkansas.
Despite being ranked 109th by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, the women’s team sought to carry over a strong performance from its latest meet at the Run For The Dream event, three weeks prior.
During the two-day Run For the Dream event in Fresno, Calif. the team broke several meet records and posted seven wins. The event, Jan. 20-21, was the first indoor meet of the season. Sophomore Lauren Blackburn competed in the 55-meter hurdle, breaking the record twice and posting a final overall time of 7.83 seconds. Sophomores Jessica Davis and Loudia Laarman also ran record-breaking times in the 55-meter dash, although Davis would go on to match Laarman’s time in the final heat for the win.
Senior Anniya Louis ran a winning time of 2:19.06 in the 800-meter. Freshmen Erin Robinson and Vanessa Jones both won in their events, the 3000-meter and 600-yard dash respectively.
Additionally, the relay team won in the 4×145-meter and 4×400-meter relay, breaking a meet record in the former. Though these were big wins for the women’s indoor track and field team, the Women of Troy’s skill would be put to the test during the New Balance Collegiate Invitational.
At the New Balance Collegiate Invitational, the team finished 18th. Despite a strong start to the season, sophomore Alitta Boyd would be the only USC athlete to win any of the championship events, posting a 6.33-meter jump to win women’s long jump. Davis would finish sixth in the women’s 200-meter dash and senior Dalilah Muhammad finishing eighth in the 60-meter hurdle.
These rankings should not be taken out of context; the competition at a national event such as the New Balance Collegiate Invitational is far superior to the competition at a smaller meet such as Run For The Dream.
Despite competition from some of the country’s best teams, the USC women’s track and field team gave a strong performance at this year’s New Balance Collegiate Invitational and will look to build upon the showing on Friday at the Texas A&M Indoor Challenge.