Track and field dominates elite competition in Miami

Redshirt junior thrower Matthew Katnik earned one of 14 victories for USC at the Power 5 Trailblazer Challenge. (Daily Trojan file photo)

Despite top-tier competition from Tennessee, Ole Miss, Miami and Ohio State, the USC track and field team turned in another dominant performance at the Power 5 Trailblazer Challenge in Miami. The Trojans won 14 of the 26 events they competed in over the two-day meet.

Redshirt junior thrower Matthew Katnik, the only Trojan in action during the first day of competition on Friday, shattered his personal record en route to a victory in the men’s shot put. With a throw of 19.67 meters, Katnik also climbed to fifth on the all-time USC records list.

On Saturday, USC expanded its success with a series of dazzling performances in the jumps and track events. Sophomore jumper Earnie Sears earned the Trojans’ first win of the day, clearing the 2.17-meter bar in the men’s high jump.

USC also dominated the women’s long jump. Freshman Lanae-Tava Thomas took first place, and senior Margaux Jones finished in third with jumps of 6.02 meters and 5.86 meters, respectively.

Freshman Omotade Ojora easily dispatched his competition and earned another win for the Trojans in the men’s 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.16 seconds, despite running into a strong headwind.

USC also finished with elite performances in the 400-meter dash. On the women’s side, freshman Bailey Lear won the event and earned the second-fastest time in the NCAA this season, clocking in at 52.86. In the men’s 400-meter race, junior Isaiah Jewett took home first place with 2019’s third-best time in the NCAA with a personal record of 46.29.

Sophomore sprinter TeeTee Terry added to the Trojans’ tally of victories, winning the women’s 100-meter dash with a time of 11.21. Redshirt junior Angie Annelus and redshirt senior Dior Hall also finished in the top five of the crowded 100-meter field with times of 11.50 and 11.61, respectively.

A pair of Trojan women rewrote USC’s all-time record book in the 800-meter dash: Freshman Alyssa Brewer emerged victorious in the event with the seventh-fastest time in school history of 2:04.73, while fellow freshman and third-place finisher Jemima Russell secured the 11th spot on the list by clocking in at 2:06.09.

Redshirt senior Isabella Marten impressed in the women’s triple jump with her 13.09-meter leap, winning the event and marking the third-best finish in the women’s triple jump nationally this year.

Sophomore Kaelin Roberts blew away her competition in the women’s 200-meter dash to the tune of a 0.48-second margin of victory. Roberts’ 22.97 finish ranks first among NCAA sprinters this season. Junior Mecca McGlaston and Hall — two Trojans who primarily compete as hurdlers — seamlessly transitioned to the 200-meter dash, finishing fourth and fifth in the 19-woman field with times of 23.70 and 23.72, respectively.

The defending NCAA champion USC women’s 4×400-meter relay team, this year comprising junior sprinter Kyra Constantine, Terry, Russell and Brewer, earned third place with a season-best time of 3.339.21.

On the men’s side, freshman Sam VanDorpe completed a Trojan sweep in the 800-meter dash, winning the event with a time of 1:51.64.

Sophomore hurdler Cameron Samuel extended the Trojans’ prolific results to the 400-meter hurdles, registering first place at the Trailblazer Challenge and the fourth-fastest time in the NCAA this season with a time of 51.25 seconds.

The 4×400-meter team of freshman sprinter Eric Allen, junior distance runner Matthew Myrtue, Samuel and Jewett rounded out the weekend’s action with the Trojans’ final victory; the team clocked in at 3:10.36.

With the outdoor season in full swing and the USC track and field team aiming to secure another national championship, the Trojans will compete at the California Collegiate Invitational starting Saturday.