USC Morning Buzz: Why Balance Matters

The USC women’s finished No. 2 and the men 37th at the NCAA track and field championships in Austin, Texas.

USC and Arkansas were tied, 56-56, entering the 4 x 400 relay and whoever finished first would win the NCAA title. USC’s Anna Cockrell, who ran the third leg, stumbled, fell and dropped the baton with about 100 meters to go. She looked fatigued after winning the 400-meter hurdles about 40 minutes earlier.

Now, this is where USC football fans who know nothing about track and field will simply praise everyone on a great meet.

But readers of this blog will know that in April I pointed out USC coach Caryl Smith-Gilbert has not put together a balanced team and it caught up with the Trojans at the end.

How so? Arkansas had sprinters, distance runners and field specialists score points in the NCAA championships. USC scored all its points relying on sprinters to run multiple events. So everything has to go perfect. It did last year. It didn’t this year.

Right before the 4 x 400 relay, Arkansas won the 5,000-meter race. USC doesn’t even care about distance events.

Oh, and no one wants to talk about the state of the men’s program.

  • St. Mary’s baseball coach Eric Valenzuela, who interviewed at USC on Friday, was hired by Long Beach State on Saturday night. The frontrunners remain Andy Stankiewicz (Grand Canyon) and Andrew Checketts (UC Santa Barbara). No one has been offered the job yet.

9 thoughts on “USC Morning Buzz: Why Balance Matters

  1. Coach Smith – Gilbert is over her head on the Men side. She blew it last year under using Norman and Benjamin with a chance to win both sides
    of the Title. It seems the Trojans have a risk factor this year in all the sports with one calamity after another preventing a national title since
    their involvement with medical and ethical issues making all the headlines. Glad Valenzuela was not hired to coach baseball. West coast
    guys go nowhere in the playoffs outside of Savage recently. Alvarez is
    recruiting the Hispanic players enough already. Time for a major outside
    influence from a consistent winning program like TCU’s Mosiello.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Does Mosiello work cheap because if he doesn’t he won’t be hired.
      My money is on the guy from Grand Canyon, Swann likes hiring coaches from obscure schools because they come cheap, just look at his women’s tennis and volleyball hires.

      Maybe if SC didn’t treat he women’s cross county team like a joke and actually tried to recruit and field a top team then they might score some points in the distance events.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I talked to the previous head track coach, Ron Allice, at several Trojan Clubs over the years. He would always preach to me that the key to winning Championships was having excellent athletes in every event. USC will always be a sprint power. But that is enough. To win NCAA Championships, you need points in other areas like the middle distances, jumping events, and throws.
    USC had a decent women’s cross country team in previous years. And some of those girls scored points at the NCAA Meet. The same goes with the throws and jumps. USC always used to have good throwers. The hammer throw used to be an event that USC did very well in at the NCAA Meet. Let’s hope the red light went on for coach Smith-Gilbert, and she will make the necessary adjustments to win championships!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When did USC ever have a decent women’s XC team ??? They treat it like a club sport. Look at the other PAC 12 schools then look at SC, our team is a JOKE. I think there are a lot of good high school teams that could beat our XC team.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. USC track coach did a great job of coaching and recruiting to place second with a chance to win it all. Wolf is there anything that USC can do to make you happy and less critical of the coaches especially when USC is competing for a championship.? Don’t you think that Coach Smith is aware that it would be nice to have a team that is balance with top athletes in the field and distance events? Some athletes never pan out due to injury or are just not gifted at the collegians level so don’t blame the coach for not winning the NCAA’s. There are only a few world class athletes available and USC competed like champions.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree there is no mention of what would have happened if the runner hadn’t stumbled. That’s the rub, in sports as in all human endeavors, they were only human.

      Liked by 3 people

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