March 2014 (1) Candygrams

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014---USC Pro Day

Robert Nelson and Christian SuttonTrojan Candy was on campus for another Trojan Guild board meeting today when I walked over to the USC Pro Day. It was impossible to see anything that was happening on the track field. Trojan Candy did see a familiar football face. Christian Sutton (2/3/2012) walked by with his friend Robert Nelson, who was visiting from Arizona. FIGHT ON, Christian!

Sunday, March 9, 2014---Another Heritage Hall Medallion Recipient and New Friends, Too!

Trojan Candy and my husband Jim stood outside of Town and Gown. We were looking for Heritage Hall Medallion recipient and Olympic Gold medalist Feliz Sanchez to arrive soon. New USC Track and Field Coach Caryl Smith Gilbert scheduled the USC Men's and Women's Track and Field banquet at Town and Gown today.

There was a definite bonus for Trojan Candy! Several track and field friends arrived for the banquet, so I was able to visit with them and naturally, take their pictures!

Terence Abram and family
Friend Terence Abram (12/3/2010) arrived first with his grandmother, mom and dad. Terence is a red-shirt Senior, and he runs in the sprints. FIGHT ON, Terence!
Reggie Wyatt and family
The next friend to arrive was Reggie Wyatt (12/9/2011). Reggie arrived with his family. Reggie has used up his eligibility but is still attending classes at USC. FIGHT ON, Reggie!

Kemi Olonade, Jenna Puterbaugh, Ashley Liverpool, Samantha Ojo, and Jaide StepterThree lovely friends and two new friends walked up next. It was so nice to see Kemi Olonade (10/28/2011), Jenna Puterbaugh (9/23/2010), and Ashley Liverpool (10/25/2012) again and to meet Samantha Ojo and Jaide Stepter. Kemi competes in the Triple Jump and is a Senior this year. Senior Jenna competes in the 100m, 200m, 400m and relays. Samantha, who is a Junior, competes in the 400m and jumps. Sophomore Jaide competes in the hurdles. Ashley, who is a Senior, competes in the 400m and 4x400m relay. FIGHT ON, Kemi! FIGHT ON, Jenna! FIGHT ON, Samantha! FIGHT ON, Jaide! FIGHT ON, Ashley!

Diane and Alitta BoydI recognized her mom before I saw Alitta Boyd (3/11/2010)! Alitta has used up her eligibility, just like Reggie, but she is training in the long jump and triple jump. I met Alitta's mom Diane at a USC home track meet last year. FIGHT ON, Alitta!

Feliz SanchezMy husband Jim saw him first. Two time Olympic Gold Medalist Feliz Sanchez walked up to the check-in table. Feliz knew that we were going to give him his Heritage Hall Medallion at this banquet. Feliz was an Olympic 400m hurdles champion in Athens in 2004 and in London in 2012. Kim, Feliz Sanchez, and Carina BritoHe, his fiancee Carina Brito, and friend Kim posed for this picture. Carina is an athlete, painter and model. FIGHT ON, Feliz!

The last two friends to arrive before Jim and I left for the USC Men's Tennis Match vs. Baylor were Aaron Brown (9/8/2011) and Davonte Stewart (2/23/2012). Aaron Brown, Davonte Stewart, and friendSenior Aaron competes in the Sprints and 4x100m. He is a 3-time All American, and he competed in the 2012 London Olympics for Canada. Junior Davonte Stewart competes in the 100m and 200m. He is an Honorable Mention All-American. FIGHT ON, Aaron! FIGHT ON, Davonte!

Jim and I went to the Men's Tennis match. Trojan Candy stayed for only some of the Men's Tennis Match because I was scheduled to take a tour of Heritage Hall with USC Men's Volleyball parents and supporters at 2:30 p.m.

Mario Rivas Sr., Mario Rivas Jr., Brittney Tavison, Ashley Nevarez and Luis NevarezWhen I entered the west doors of Heritage Hall, there was good friend Luis Nevarez (9/8/2011). Luis was showing his family (Mario Rivas Sr., Mario Rivas Jr., Brittney Tavison, and Ashley Nevarez) the beautiful Heritage Hall lobby. They posed for this picture, but couldn't join our group for the entire tour. FIGHT ON, Luis!

Our men beat Baylor 5-2 in tennis. FIGHT ON, USC Men's Tennis!

So nice to see "old friends" and meet "new friends". Best of all, they are all fellow Trojans!

Thursday, March 6, 2014---Women of Troy Sand Volleyball Kickoff Reception

Trojan Candy arrived at the Lab Gastropub for the Sand Volleyball Kick-Off reception at 4:40 p.m. There were a few players and guests on the patio already. I started taking pictures as fast as I could take my camera out of the bag.

Alexa Strange, Brooke Fournier, Sara Hughes, Kati Duddridge, Natasa Siljkovic, and Kirby Burnham
I gathered six teammates together for a picture: Alexa Strange, Brooke Fournier, Sara Hughes (1/31/2014), Kati Duddridge, Natasa Siljkovic (9/2/2010), and Kirby Burnham (5/6/2013)
Alexa Strange, Brooke Fournier, Eve Ettinger, Kati Duddridge, Sara Hughes, Kirby Burnham, and Sam Hirschmann
Eve Ettinger (8/30/2012) and Sam Hirschmann joined in on this picture.
Sara Hughes and Kirby Burnham
It was fun to talk with friends Sara Hughes and Kirby Burnham. Sara and Kirby are new partners this season. Sara is a Freshman and Kirby is a Senior. Good Luck, Sara and Kirby!
Allie Wheeler and Alexx Murphy
Trojan Candy took these next five pictures of teammates who were visiting among themselves. Allie Wheeler and Alexx Murphy
Sara Hughes and Geena Urango
Sara Hughes and USC alumna Geena Urango (9/9/2010)

I had a chance to visit with Geena. She is working for the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP). AVP manages American professional athletes abroad. Basketball, soccer, volleyball and water polo are some of the sports that are represented. Nice job and FIGHT ON, Geena!

Rich, Christy, and Paige Hines
Friend Paige Hines (1/31/2014) and her parents Rich and Christy
Alexx Murphy and Nicolette Martin
Alexx Murphy and Nicolette Martin
Lauren Sieckmann and Kelly Claes
Lauren Sieckmann and Kelly Claes
Lauren Sieckmann and Mary Buckingham
The finger food and salad was yummy. As we were eating, two teammates---Lauren Sieckmann and Mary Buckingham---collected tickets or business cards for a raffle. More about the raffle later.

After I finished eating, it was time to roam around again. I was able to talk to USC volleyball alumnus Tony Ciarelli and, naturally, to take his picture. Tony said that he is currently playing on the USA National Team that is training in Anaheim. He told me that his USC teammate Murphy Troy is also playing on the USA National Team. FIGHT ON, Tony! FIGHT ON, Murphy!

Tony Ciarelli
USC alumnus Tony Ciarelli
Pierson Clair and Nikki BorchardAs I turned to my left I saw good friend Pierson Clair (9/23/2010), a real USC photographer, sitting with a new SID intern. Nikki Borchard is a USC sophomore who is majoring in Communications. She is from Orange County and wants to work in sports media. Nikki works with Jeremy Wu (8/16/2012) and Tim Tessalone. Nice job and FIGHT ON, Nikki!
Head Coach Anna Collier had the team line up for introductions. Click the picture above to view a video of the introductions.
Spirit of Troy
After the introductions, we heard the beat first. The Spirit of Troy came marching down the street.
Team with Spirit of Troy
The team joined the band for the mini-concert.
Team with Spirit of Troy
After the mini-concert, the team walked across Figueroa to begin practice.
Eloy Lopez
As friend Eloy Lopez was cleaning up the tables, USC Trustee Bob Padgett drew the raffle tickets.
Sand volleyball ball
The last prize was a sand volleyball ball autographed by the team. Believe it or not....yours truly won the ball!

CookieThen, I also got a scrumptious USC cookie for dessert!

Maddison McKibbin and Tri BourneBefore Trojan Candy left the reception to see the kick-off scrimmage, I said, "Hello" to two more USC Men's Volleyball players. Current player Maddison McKibbin, who is a RS Senior, posed for a picture with alumnus Tri Bourne (11/18/2010). After posing for the picture, Tri looked at me and smiled. Then he said, "I remember you." Yes, Tri, I remember you too! I interviewed you at Heritage Hall in 2010. Then, I asked him what he is doing now. Tri said that he is playing beach volleyball on the AVP and FIBB tour. Tri had even a bigger smile when I told him that it is so nice to be paid to do what you love! FIGHT ON, Maddison! FIGHT ON, Tri!

Stevi Robinson and Misty May-TreanorNow it was time to walk over to the Merle Norman stadium. As Trojan Candy walked out, I took a picture of alumna Stevi Robinson and current coach Misty May-Treanor.

Farren Benjamin and Tim TessaloneThen I saw two friends who are both alumni. Farren Benjamin (8/20/2009) competed in the hammer throw and the javelin. She is now earning her Master's Degree at USC while she is working for Twitter in Santa Monica. Farren told me that she is still training. The other friend is Tim Tessalone. He is the Sports Information Director at USC. FIGHT ON, Farren! FIGHT ON, Tim!

The stadium was bright and shiny. New awnings were covering the spectator benches. They will be very welcome on those bright, hot day matches!
Bria Russ and Alexx Murphy
The Spirit of Troy played the Star Spangled Banner as Bria Russ (3/23/2012) and Alexx Murphy stood at attention, USC style.
Kirby Burnham and Sara Hughes
Kirby Burnham and Sara Hughes were at attention too!
Geena Urango and April Ross
USC alumna and 2012 London Olympian Silver Medalist April Ross (1/12/2013) partnered with Geena Urango on Court number 1.
Kirby Burnham and Sara Hughes vs Geena Urango and April Ross
Let the Exhibition Match begin!

Check my Google Plus album for more Match #1 action photos.

TeamTrojan Candy did not stay for the second match. I left after the conclusion of Match #1 to go home and watch our men's basketball team play Washington State on television. We won 79-68!

One last picture of the entire team before I left.

FIGHT ON, Women of Troy Sand Volleyball Team!