Morozov, Collatz named USC’s top scholar-athletes

Junior swimmer Vladimir Morozov and sophomore discus thrower Alexandra Collatz were named USC Student Athletes of the Week on Monday after each shined in their respective competitions.

Morozov led the charge for the USC swim and dive team at the NCAA championship meet in Indianapolis last weekend.  The 2012 London Olympic bronze medalist broke the NCAA record in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 40.76. The historic performance earned USC its first NCAA title in the event since 1974.

But this was just one of Morozov’s many conquests. He also helped give the Trojans’ first 400-yard freestyle relay championship since 1977 when he teamed up with sophomore Cristian Quintero and juniors Dimitri Colupaev and Jack Wagner to post a school record time of 2:48.33.

Morozov led a USC team that broke 16 school records during the meet, including on all five relays. USC finished fourth overall in the meet, the school’s highest finish in 12 year’s and best since USC head coach Dave Salo took over in 2006.

In contrast to Morozov’s sensational finish to his season, Collatz’s track and field season is only just beginning, though the sophomore is off to a strong start. Last weekend, she won the discus title at the Cal-Nevada Championships in La Jolla, Calif., with a mark of 178-6, second furthest in the country by a college female this year.  The throw was also Collatz’s personal best.

The Bakersfield, Calif., native has already won the discus title in the Trojan Invitational and the Beach Classic during the month of March.  This early-season success comes on the heels of an impressive freshman campaign, in which Collatz set the school freshman discus throw record in her first collegiate track meet, only to best that mark later in the season with a 177-11 mark. That mark put her in second place on USC’s all-time list, trailing only Kate Hutchinson’s school record of 189-5 in 2006.