Pac-12 announces outdoor track & field athletes of the week

SAN FRANCISCO – The Pac-12 Conference outdoor track and field athlete of the week honors for the week of April 13-April 19:

Men’s Track Athlete of the Week: ANDRE De GRASSE, USC (Jr., Toronto, Canada). Junior Andre De Grasse won the men’s Invitational 100-meter, 200-meter and was part of the winning 4×100-meter relay at the Mt. SAC Relays on Saturday. He beat a strong 100-meter dash field with a wind-aided personal-best time of 9.87 (+4.0w). His time moves him into a tie for the world-leading all-conditions time. De Grasse then came back to win the men’s Invitational 200-meter race with a legal personal best of 20.16 (+0.3). That time tied Aaron Brown’s Canadian record and third-place standing on the Trojans’ all-time 200-meter dash list. He now has the world-leading, wind-legal 200-meter time, as well. He began the day by running the second leg of USC’s winning 4×100-meter relay which posted a time of 38.98. The HSI/Nike team of Tyson Gay, Gil Roberts, Remontay McClain and Yousef Masrahi placed second with a time of 39.14. USC became the first collegiate relay team to win the Mt. SAC Invitational 4x100m relay race since 2002 and became just the second college team in the last 29 years. USC last won the event at Mt. SAC when it was the 4×100-yard relay back in 1973. It is the second time this season and second time in three weeks De Grasse has been named the Pac-12 Men’s Track Athlete of the Week. Also Nominated: Miles Parish, ARIZ; Marcus Chambers, ORE; Izaic Yorks, WASH; CJ Allen, WSU.

Women’s Track Athlete of the Week: JENNA PRANDINI, ORE (Jr., Clovis, Calif.). On a weekend where the Ducks racked up 18 event wins at Hayward Field during the Oregon Relays, junior Jenna Prandini carried the torch at the Mt. SAC Relays where she set two school records and posted two world-leading times on Saturday. Prandini highlighted the day by winning the 100-meter race with a wind-legal time of 10.92, breaking the previous school record and Pac-12 record of 10.96 set by former Duck English Gardner in 2013. The Clovis, Calif., native is now tied with Elaine Thompson for the fastest time in the world this season, and now owns the second-fastest time in NCAA history, the best since Dawn Sowell in 1989. Prandini owns sole possession of the world-leading mark in the 200 meter after winning in 22.42, breaking her own school record of 22.60 set last season. It is the second-consecutive week Prandini has earned a weekly nod, last week earning the Pac-12 Women’s Field Athlete of the Week honor. Also Nominated: Elvin Kibet, ARIZ; Dior Hall, USC; Alissa Atisme; UTAH; Haley Jacobson, WASH.

Men’s Field Athlete of the Week: CONOR McCULLOUGH, USC (Sr., Canoga Park, Calif.). Senior Conor McCullough won the men’s Invitational Hammer Throw competition at the Mt. SAC Relays on April 18. McCullough won with a best throw of 241-9 (73.70m), the third-farthest throw in USC history, third-farthest by a U.S. male this year and currently 16th in the world. The Canoga Park, Calif., native had a strong series, improving with each throw while moving up the USC all-time list. With his second throw of 237-6 (72.39m), McCullough moved from fifth to fourth on the USC list, then with his fifth throw of 239-11 (73.13m), he moved into third on the list and bested it on his final attempt of 241-9. The competition also included Diego A. Del Real of Mexico who placed second with a throw of 238-5 to set the Mexican national record. McCullough wins the Conference honor for the second time this season. Also Nominated: Gerhard De Beer, ARIZ; Andrew Ghizzone, COLO; Trevor Ferguson, ORE; Nick Pfeiffer, WASH; Brad Stevens, WSU.

Women’s Field Athlete of the Week: TERA NOVY, USC (Jr., Montesano, Wash.). Junior Tera Novy won the women’s discus throw at the Cal State L.A. Twilight Meet in Los Angeles on April 16 with a personal best and new USC school record of 193-10 (59.12m) in her first attempt. Novy beat former Trojan Kate Hutchinson’s mark of 189-5 (57.73m) set during the 2006 season and surpassed her previous best of 186-0 set at the Trojan Invitational on March 21 by nearly eight feet. Novy had four throws over 180 feet in her series and now ranks second in the country in the discus throw. The following day, she participated in the invitational discus throw at the Mt. SAC Relays. She faced an elite field, which included five of the top 10 U.S. throwers (including Novy) and posted a best mark of 189-1 (57.64m) to earn fifth overall and first among college throwers. Novy had another very strong series with her shortest throw going 179-7 and all of the other five throws surpassing 180 feet. This week’s honor marks the third time she has earned the recognition this season. Also Nominated: Ashlee Moore, ORE; Kara Hallock, OSU; Tatum Souza, UCLA; Iise Kaaja, UTAH; Diamara Planell Cruz, WASH.

2015 Pac-12 Track & Field Athletes of the Week
Men’s Track: March 24 – BeeJay Lee, USC; March 30 – Harrison Williams, STAN; April 6 – Andre De Grasse, USC; April 13 – Thomas Joyce, CAL; April 20 – Andre De Grasse, USC.

Women’s Track: March 24 – Amalie Iuel, USC; March 30 – Shelby Houlihan, ASU; April 6 – Deanna Hill, USC; April 13 – Kendall Ellis, USC; April 20 – Jenna Prandini, ORE.

Men’s Field: March 24 – Jax Thoirs, WASH; March 30 – Nicholas Scarvelis, UCLA; April 6 – Conor McCullough, USC; April 13 – Pau Tonnesen, ARIZ; April 20 – Conor McCullough, USC.

Women’s Field: March 24 – Tera Novy, USC; March 30 – Abrianna Torres, COLO; April 6 – Tera Novy, USC; April 13 – Jenna Prandini, ORE; April 20 – Tera Novy, USC.

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