USC heads to a trio of crucial California meets

Injuries continue to hinder performances for the men’s and women’s track and field teams, becoming a growing concern as the season takes the team closer to the high-profile USC-UCLA dual meet.

This weekend, injuries might become more apparent, as the Trojans will be spread thin at three separate meets.

Despite the high risk for re-injury, the team will attend two Cal State meets: the Beach Invitational held by Cal State Long Beach on Saturday and the Cal State Los Angeles Twilight Open on Thursday.

Injury bug · Sophomore sprinter Aaron Brown was a freshman All-American in 2011. The entire Trojan squad has been hampered by injuries this season, resulting in some less-than-stellar finishes thus far. - Photo courtesy of Sports Information

Thursday through Saturday the team competes at the Mt. San Antonio College Relays in Walnut, Calif.

Acting as a final performance test before the big meet with UCLA, this weekend’s meets are crucial to the track and field department’s continued success.

Whether or not these injuries will affect the team’s performance as the outdoor season continues is a serious question.

A number of nagging hamstring injuries have kept many of USC’s top athletes from performing at the most recent meets, in track events as well as on the field.

The Trojans and the Women of Troy have set several personal records, but these achievements will mean little if many of teams’ athletes are performing at partial strength through the season.

Easter weekend was a rare break for the USC track and field squad; the weekend prior to that saw the team competing at three events across the nation.

Though the team should be well-rested following the holiday, it remains unclear whether injuries — both old and new — will continue to play a part in the team’s efforts. In particular, a number of aggravating hamstring injuries to both the men’s and women’s teams continue to hinder the efforts of USC’s prestigious outdoor track program in the 2012 season.

For the Trojans, star sophomore sprinter Josh Mance continues to fight a nagging hamstring injury.

The injury simultaneously disqualified the record-setting men’s 400-meter relay team at the Texas Relays, while raising questions about whether Mance should make attempts at recovery instead of competing.

Mance previously achieved leading 400-meter times, and his recovery is crucial to the relay team’s success.

Likewise, the Women of Troy face mounting issues regarding injuries. Sophomore sprinter Jessica Davis has not been competing in previous weeks because of a sore hamstring. Davis remains one of the Women of Troy’s top performers.

If Davis recovers by the time this weekend’s events roll around, it will be the first time she competes this outdoor season for USC.