The Trojans headed into last weekend’s Beach Invitational and Mt. SAC Relays with high expectations and did not disappoint, putting up impressive performances in both meets. The team combined for six first-place finishes, breaking school records along the way. The team heads into its last meet of the regular season next Sunday at UCLA with the No. 9-ranked men’s team and the No. 2-ranked women’s team in the nation.
The Trojans’ performance at the Mt. SAC Relays was headlined by the women’s 4x100m relay team’s victory with a school record-setting time of 42.57. Redshirt sophomore Angie Annelus, seniors Kendall Ellis and Deanna Hill and freshman TeeTee Terry ran blistering times against elite competition, including a USA team featuring former Trojan and Olympic gold medalist Allyson Felix.
Terry went on to break another school record individually, as she blazed a time of 10.99 in the women’s 100m dash invitational. Remarkably, she beat out 2016 Olympic silver medalist Tori Bowie, who finished second with a time of 11.04. Terry’s time is the best in the country this season. Annelus also secured a victory in the women’s 100m open dash the day before, with a time of 11.44.
Unsurprisingly, sophomore Michael Norman won the men’s 400m race once again, running a time of 44.53. Junior Rai Benjamin gave the Trojans a second-place finish in the event as well, on a time of 44.74. Freshman Cameron Samuel won the men’s 400m hurdles, setting a PR of 50.95. His performance put him into the top-15 times of the season nationally.
Sophomore Anna Cockrell finished third in the women’s 400m hurdles, with a season-best time of 56.66. Senior Kendall Ellis placed third in the women’s 400m invitational, running a 51.43. Redshirt senior Nick Ponzio placed second in the men’s shot put invitational, with a best distance of 62-1.75. Redshirt senior Breana Jemison rounded out the meet for the Trojans with a second-place finish in the women’s shot put invitational, with a best throw of 54-11.25.
The Trojans made their presence felt at the Beach Invitational held in Long Beach last weekend as well. Sophomore Courtney Corrin won the women’s long jump, with a best leap of 21-2.25, which is a season best. Senior Madisen Richards came in second behind her, with a PR of 20-8.00. Redshirt senior Eric Sloan took third in the men’s triple jump with a best of 51-9.75, the best among collegians at the meet. Redshirt sophomore Nathan Bultman placed ninth in the men’s hammer throw with a best mark of 208-2, which was also the best among collegians.
This weekend, the Trojans head into their last meet of the regular season with the Dual Meet against UCLA, an annual tradition. This year’s iteration of the event will be held at UCLA’s Drake Stadium. School pride will be on the line as the two bitter rivals battle for dominance once again in direct competition. The Trojan women won last year’s meet, while the men fell to the Bruins. Both teams will look to bring home victories and bragging rights on Sunday.