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USC-UCLA track showdown arrives

Trojans have snapped Bruins streaks in the past couple of seasons.

May 02, 2009|Gary Klein

The annual USC-UCLA track and field dual meet rarely lacks for drama.

In 2005, athletes from the rival schools engaged in a shoving match. Two years ago, USC's men team clinched victory with a win in the final event. Last year, USC's women defeated the Bruins for the first time since 1992

More drama is expected today when the Trojans and Bruins compete at USC's Loker Stadium.

Ron Allice, in his 15th season as USC's director of track and field, is certain that Coach Jeanette Bolden will have the Bruins women ready to avenge the 2008 defeat, which ended her streak of 73 consecutive dual-meet victories.

"I know how bitter she is about last season," Allice said this week during a luncheon attended by coaches and athletes from both teams. "I know how bitter she is about breaking the streak."

Bolden just smiled.

"Last year, it just kind of slipped by us kind of early, but I think it's going to come all the way down to the end this time," she said.

That happened on the men's side two years ago, when USC's 1,600-meter relay team won to break a tie that ended the Trojans' five-year losing streak against the Bruins.

UCLA's men's team features, among others, jumper Taylor Hobson and sprinter Karlton Rolle. The women are led by hurdler Nicole Leach and jumper Rhonda Watkins.

Javelin thrower Corey White and sprinter Ahmad Rashad are among USC's top men's performers. Pole vaulter Brysun Stately, hurdler Shalina Clarke and sprinter Aareon Payne lead the Trojans women.

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gary.klein@latimes.com

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