The USC track and field team spent Memorial Day weekend up north, competing in the NCAA West Regionals at Sacramento State. In the penultimate meet of the season, USC saw 20 of its athletes punch their tickets to the NCAA Championships, which take place in Eugene, Ore. next week.
A highlight for USC last weekend was a standout performance from freshman Twanisha “TeeTee” Terry. On Saturday, she helped her team of redshirt junior Dior Hall and seniors Kendall Ellis and Deanna Hill reach the NCAA Championships for 4x100m relay, with the group running a second-best time of 43.58.
Terry was far from finished. In addition, she placed second at the regionals for 200 meters, clocking at 22.74 and marking a freshman record for the Trojans. Terry had previously qualified for the NCAA Championships for 100 meters on Friday, meaning she will compete in three events in Eugene.
Unlike the women’s 4x100m relay team, the men’s group had a tough day in Sacramento. Sophomore T.J. Brock, junior Raj Benjamin, freshman Zach Shinnick and sophomore Michael Norman failed to qualify for the NCAAs. The team was unable to finish, dropping the baton early in its run.
Despite the setback, USC looks to make a major impact at the NCAA Championships. Freshman Chanel Brissett, sophomore Anna Cockrell, sophomore Mecca McGlaston and Hall all qualified for 100m hurdles event, with Brissett finishing second at Regionals with a stellar time of 12.86.
And while the 4x100m relay group fell short, members of the team still have the chance to shine next week. Brock will compete in 100m, after finishing seventh at regionals and recording a personal record of 10.19 seconds on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Benjamin turned in a strong performance in the men’s 400m hurdles. He advanced to the NCAA Championships, after placing first with a school record time of 47.98. According to USC Athletics, his time is the second-best in the world. He looks to continue his impressive times with another standout performance in Eugene.
Outside of track, redshirt senior shot putter Nick Ponzio finished eighth at regionals. He’s not a stranger to the big stage, as his throw earned him a fourth-consecutive ticket to the NCAA Championships. Ponzio looks to improve upon a sixth place finish last year.
On Thursday, junior Lyndsey Lopes earned a spot at the NCAA Championships for high jump, narrowly making the field with an 11th place finish in Sacramento. For senior long jumper Madisen Richards, there was much less doubt she would punch her ticket to Eugene, as she finished second in qualifying.
The NCAA Championships begin June 6 and last until June 9. USC will field athletes in 28 different events.