Track and field teams have strong showings in Texas

Junior sprinter Twanisha “TeeTee” Terry earned the top spot in the tournament with an impressive time of 7.19 seconds in the 60-meter dash. (Ling Luo | Daily Trojan)

The USC track and field teams finished their second official tournament of the 2020 season at the Texas Tech Invitational Saturday afternoon at the Sports Performance Center in Lubbock, Texas.

Expectations are high once again for both the USC men’s and women’s teams for the upcoming season, as both were ranked in the preseason top 5 by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.

Day one of the competition was highlighted by junior sprinter Twanisha “TeeTee” Terry posting a mark of 7.19 seconds in the women’s 60-meter dash, good for the top spot at the tournament.

Terry is aiming to become the first female Trojan to take home the Bowerman Award for the nation’s top track athlete in program history. She was named to the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association’s preseason watch list for the award, earning a spot on the list along with senior sprinter Angie Annelus and junior hurdler Chanel Brissett.

The last Trojan to win the award was sprinter Michael Norman, who became the first male to take home the award for USC in 2018.

A close second to Terry in the 60-meter was fellow USC sophomore sprinter Lanae-Tava Thomas, who posted a personal best mark of 7.24 seconds, giving her a second place finish and placing her at sixth on USC’s all time 60-meter list.

Sophomore sprinter Bailey Lear and junior sprinter Kaelin Roberts finished first and second for USC in the women’s 400-meter, as Lear ran a career-best 52.74 seconds to claim the top spot.

Another impressive showing for the Trojans came from redshirt freshman jumper Jalyn Jackson, who finished fourth in the men’s triple jump after posting a mark of 52 feet and 4 inches, or 15.95 meters.

Despite not making the podium, Jackson’s mark was the top score recorded among collegiate athletes at the event.

Day two of the competition was headlined by the breaking of the USC men’s high jump record by junior jumper Earnest Sears III, who cleared a height of 7 feet, 6.5 inches to secure a first place finish and a school record.

Sears came close but was ultimately unable to clear 7 feet, 7.75 inches, a mark which would have tied him for fourth on the all-time collegiate indoor high jump list.

USC’s women’s 4×400-meter relay team took home first place following strong legs from all four sprinters involved, including stellar sub-53-second legs from sophomore Bailey Lear and senior Kyra Constantine.

Junior Kaelin Roberts and senior Anna Cockrell ran the middle two legs of the relay, combining with Lear and Constantine to post a combined first-place mark of 3 minutes, 32.87 seconds. 

Senior distance runner Isaiah Jewett finished first in the men’s 800-meter race, posting a time of 1 minute, 47.12 seconds — just a few tenths of a second off his career best time of 1 minute, 46.11 seconds posted last season.

Annelus — a two-time NCAA 200-meter outdoor champion and defending Pac-12 women’s track athlete of the year — did not compete in the tournament.

The Trojans will be in action in two weeks as they head up north to Seattle for the Husky Classic Feb. 14 and 15.