July marks the best of Trojan athletics
Until we meet again, USC.
Wednesday marked the last night of production of The Daily Trojan for the spring semester, which means the semester is coming to a close. We all know what that means for students:
But for many USC students, alumni and fans, the end of the semester means something else: no more Trojan athletics until football season begins.
The thought of it scares some, including myself.
No Disco Dave.
No Tommy Trojan or Traveler.
No bacon-wrapped hot dogs on Exposition Blvd.
No one representing the Cardinal and Gold.
But the summer can be saved.
There are plenty of USC athletes to watch as the school year comes to a close. The top-ranked menâs volleyball team is still fighting for a national championship and will likely be battling for the next couple of weeks. If coach Frank Cruz and the Trojan baseball team can get the bats swinging once again, a trip to the postseason is not out of the realm of possibility for them, either.
The three-time defending champion menâs tennis team and the highly ranked womenâs tennis team have the opportunity to play their way into late May if the tennis balls bounce the right way. The golf teams will have a chance to swing their clubs into June. The list goes on.
But that being said, Trojan athletics will come to an end sometime in June, right?
We have the 2012 London Olympics to look forward to. Though usually thought of as a country-against-country battle, spread among the participating nations are Trojans from around the world looking to bring pride to not only their homelands, but also to their alma mater as well.
If USC was a country, it would have the 12th-most medals in the world. This year could raise that statistic drastically.
Sophomore goalkeeper Flora Bolonyai from the womenâs water polo team will compete for her home country Hungary, which is one of eight teams to make it to the Olympics in this category. Senior utility Sofia Konoukh will be playing for her home country of Russia. Sophomore swimmer Vladimir Morozov will take to the pool for his native Russia.
Alumna track star Zsofia Erdelyi will likely be running for Hungary as well, as will alumnus Jesse Williams, who is currently the world champion in the high jump and will likely compete for team USA. Corey White, who lettered at USC in 2008 and 2009, will likely participate in the javelin throw, as he was ranked second in the United States last year.
Senior Joey Hughes (400-meter), junior Reggie Wyatt (400-meter hurdles) and senior Bryshon Nellum (400-meter) will all have a chance to compete on the worldâs highest stage for the United States.
Former womenâs soccer star Amy Rodriguez has already locked up a spot on the United Statesâ team. Rebecca Soni, who is an assistant on swim coach Dave Saloâs staff, will likely be swimming for the U.S. in the breaststroke, as she won the 2011 World Championships.
Speaking of Salo, he will be on the Olympic staff, too.
Sophomore sprinter Jessica Davis will potentially make the trip to London, as will senior sprinter Aareon Payne and sophomore hurdler Lauren Blackburn.
Four-time NCAA champion water polo player Joel Dennerley, who recently graduated will likely make the Australian national team as the goalkeeper. Senior swimmer Katinka Hosszu, who participated in 2008 in Beijing, will likely be in the water for Hungary.
And the list goes on.
USC athletics might be on a temporary hiatus for the summer, but the athletes who have made their mark on campus will be on the worldâs biggest stage come July 27 when the games begin. No, not all these Trojans will make the games. We will not officially know all of the Olympians until mid-July. But the fact that so many Trojans are in contention is astounding.
The Olympics are reserved for the best athletes in the world. There is no questioning that. And without a doubt, USC churns out some of the best athletes in the world. Though many of these athletes go unnoticed because they do not play in high-revenue sports, come July, they will get their due. We donât see them on ABC or ESPN every Saturday, but the world will soon be watching.
So if you think that there isnât anything to look forward to until summer practice begins for senior quarterback Matt Barkley and the rest of the football team, you are mistaken.
USCâs best will be on the other side of the world, hoping to make their countries proud. As Trojans, we have a responsibility to root for them, cheer them on and recognize how incredibly difficult it is to be among the best in the world. Trojans everywhere deserve to be proud.
This summer is the best time to be a USC fan. Itâs where the greatest action happens. Those passes that Barkley throws on Howard Jones Field starting in early August are just the icing on the Cardinal and Gold cake.
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