May 2015 (1) Candygrams

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Monday, May 4, 2015---Women of Troy Sand Volleyball Banquet

Bria RussJust as Trojan Candy entered the Founder's Hall in the Galen Center, I saw a long-time friend. Bria Russ (3/23/2012), whom I have known and watched her play indoor and sand volleyball since she was a Freshman, posed for this beautiful picture. Trojan Candy will miss you, Bria! Congratulations and FIGHT ON, Bria!

Paige Hines and Sara HughesThen, I saw two more friends. They both gave me big hugs. Roommates Paige Hines (1/31/2014) and Sara Hughes (1/31/2014) posed together for this picture. Thank goodness that they are only Sophomores this year. Trojan Candy can watch them play for two more years! FIGHT ON, Paige! FIGHT ON, Sara!

Becky Gramstrup, Hayley Crone, and ?Next, I went out to the lobby to visit with two more friends. They were at the check-in table. Becky Gramstrup, Hayley Crone (4/16/2015) and ? stood up and smiled for yours truly. Becky plans and organizes the athletic banquets and Hayley is her assistant. It was so nice to meet ?.

2015 AVCA trophyAnna CollierThe Founder's Hall was filling up quickly now. I saw Head Coach Anna Collier and congratulated her on winning the 2015 AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Championships. Coach was gracious, as usual, but definitely happy!

Jenna Belton, Marielle Bagnard, Paige Hines and Lorna BrandtAs I walked around the room, I saw three Sand Volleyball Team members standing with Paige. Jenna Belton, Marielle Bagnard, Paige Hines and Lorna Brandt.

Alexa StonishI walked around looking for Seniors whom I could interview. There she was sitting at a nearby table. It was Paige's partner, Alexa Stonish. She said that I could interview her. Senior Alexa, who is from New York, majored in Fine Arts with an emphasis in Photography (another Trojan who is someone after my own heart). As a child, Alexa played soccer and lacrosse. She started playing indoor and sand volleyball when she was 12 years old. Alexa is the first Trojan in her family. Her parents and a sister live and work in Miami. For hobbies, Alexa enjoys photography, hiking, other words, she said that she is a "water baby" and loves to do anything as long as it is outdoors. She likes all music and likes to fall asleep with her headphones on. Alexa's favorite foods are New York pizza (I wonder why?) and chicken. Lastly, her favorite movie is "Chasing Mavericks." Thank you for the interview, Alexa. Congratulations and FIGHT ON, Alexa!

After dinner, Sand Volleyball announcer Leland Waters started the program. Next Athletic Director Pat Haden made a few comments. Senior Associate Athletic Director Donna Heinel followed Pat Haden. She said that this team is especially special. It took them only four years to win a National Championship!

After Donna's comment, Coach Anna Collier stood up and told the audience that when Pepperdine won its national championship, there were only eighteen sand volleyball teams in existence. When we won ours, there were forty-eight. Much applause ensued.

 Jo Kremer, Sophie Bukovec, Jenna Belton, Lorna Brandt, Olivia Asprey and Marielle BagnardAssistant Coach Andrew Fuller was next to the podium to introduce the Freshmen and award them their USC monogrammed blanket. They are Jo Kremer, Sophie Bukovec (3/5/2015), Jenna Belton, Lorna Brandt, Olivia Asprey and Marielle Bagnard. FIGHT ON, Sand Volleyball Freshmen!

John and Karen Bowman, Patti Poon, Ray Weber, Leland Waters, Larry Jung, Dudley Poon, and Wandy JungDuring the break, Trojan Candy took a picture of everyone else at our table. Sitting: John and Karen Bowman, Ray Weber, Larry and Wandy Jung; Standing: Patti Poon, Leland Waters and Dudley Poon. FIGHT ON, Sand Volleyball Supporters!

Sand Volleyball teamNext on the podium the entire team introduced themselves by partners. Each partner divulged a little secret about her partner. Some of the secrets were quite humorous. Trojan Candy is not going to reveal any of them. They're my secret! Sand Volleyball team and coaches

Here they are with the coaches.

Coach Anna Collier was next up to the podium. She introduced the Seniors. Each Senior received a gift bag with her jersey number on it. Alexa Stonish, Emily Young, Meg Norton, Bria Russ, Eve Ettinger, and Anna CollierOur Seniors are Alexa Stonish, Emily Young, Meg Norton, Bria Russ and Eve Ettinger (8/30/2012). FIGHT ON, Sand Volleyball Seniors!

Now, it was time to announce the Sand Volleyball 2015 Award Winners. The Awards are as follows:

Sand Volleyball award winners and coachesThe Winners posed with the coaches. Dain Blanton, Marielle Bagnard, Jenna Belton, Emily Young, Sara Hughes, Meg Norton, Anna Collier and Andrew Fuller.

Spirit of TroyThe program ended with an exciting video of the 2015 season, the AVCA National Championship and the AVCA Pairs National Championship. What a thrill!

The Finale was a mini rally with the Spirit of Troy.

When the Spirit of Troy finished, they marched out.

Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes
Then Trojan Candy ran over to the 2015 AVCA Pairs National Champions Sophomores Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes.
Here is the 2015 AVCA Pairs National Champion trophy.
All American trophy
Sara Hughes also won an All-American trophy.

Kelly Claes, Dain Blanton, and Sara HughesHere are Kelly and Sara with Dain Blanton, Volunteer Coach and 2000 Olympics Gold Medalist in Beach Volleyball. Congratulations and FIGHT ON, Kelly and Sara!

Meg NortonTrojan Candy was able to interview Graduate Student and MVP Meg Norton before I left. Meg had told the audience earlier that she, being a UCLA undergraduate, would have never thought she would hold up two fingers in Victory. But, being a converted Trojan, she does now! On a more personal side, Meg is earning a Masters degree in Strategic Public Relations. She is from Pacific Palisades and Harvard-Westlake High School. For hobbies, Meg likes to read, ride a paddleboard and scuba dive. 2015 AVCA trophyHer favorite movies are the "Italian Job" and "Imitation Game." Meg said that she likes all music, but does especially like Country and Alternative music. Her favorite food is Mexican food, especially guacamole. Trojan Candy told Meg that I am glad that she is a Trojan now! FIGHT ON, Meg!

Here is our 2015 AVCA National Championship Trophy. Congratulations and FIGHT ON, Women of Troy Sand Volleyball!

An additional Congratulations and FIGHT ON to the Women of Troy Sand Volleyball Seniors, Alexa, Emily, Meg, Bria and Eve!

Sunday, May 3, 2015---USC vs. UCLA Track & Field Meet

Track meetTrack meetTrojan Candy arrived at Loker Stadium for the annual Dual Track & Field Meet against the Bruins.

Our Men and Women were favored to win. However, we didn't start out very well. The Bruin women led 39-6 after five events.

The Women's Javelin and Pole Vault were two of the first events.

During the women's field events, Director of Track and Field Caryl Smith Gilbert introduced the Track and Field Seniors. Trojan Candy met several of the Seniors when I was volunteering at the Heritage Hall desk. Here are pictures of those Seniors whom I have interviewed.

Myles Andrews
Myles Andrews (1/26/2012)
D.J. Morgan
D.J. Morgan (8/12/2010)
Davonte Stewart
Davonte Stewart (2/23/2012)
Allen Williams
Allen Williams (8/19/2011)
Melia Cox
Melia Cox (9/8/2011)
Vanessa Jones
Vanessa Jones (9/8/2011)
Jenny Ozorai
Jenny Ozorai (9/30/2015)
 Julia Tseng
Julia Tseng
Coco Ndipagbor and Mom
CoCo Ndipagbor (7/14/2011) and her Mom

FIGHT ON, USC Track and Field Seniors!

Just after the Seniors were announced, Trojan Candy saw a familiar face. Defensive Tackle Antwaun Woods walked up into the stands where I was sitting. He posed for the picture at right. FIGHT ON, Antwaun!

 Antwaun Woods
Antwaun Woods (1/26/2012)
Adoree' Jackson
On the field, Adoree' Jackson won the long jump. Congratulations, Adoree'!

Back in the stands, Trojan Candy met up with three more friends.

Eloy Lopez and Kelly Dormandy
Eloy Lopez (4/9/2015) and Kelly Dormandy (2/15/2015) said hello.
Tony Burnett
Then, a dear friend walked up into the stands. It was so nice to see Tony Burnett (9/9/2010) again. He told me that he plays football in Canada.
400 meter dash
On the track, our Women of Troy swept the Bruins in the 400 m dash.

Women 400 m resultsVanessa Jones, Kendall Ellis and CoCo Ndipagbor were the winners. FIGHT ON, Vanessa, Kendall and CoCo!

Trojan Candy and Emmet FortuinIt was quite crowded along the stadium rails now, so I would have to slide in wherever I could to take pictures. This is how I met a new friend. USC Sophomore Emmet Fortuin let me slide in to take a picture of the action. Then, we began to talk. Naturally, I gave him my Trojan Candy card; then, I proceeded with his interview. Emmet is majoring in Entrepreneurial Business. From Idaho, he said he learned to ski as soon as he could walk. Emmet loves all kinds of food. He likes Rap and Hip-Hop music. His favorite movie is "Snatch." Emmet is quite an entrepreneur! He already owns a skateboard business. His company is named Equilibrium Boards. Check it out at FIGHT ON, Emmet!

Adoree' Jackson
After winning the Long Jump, Adoree' Jackson stopped by to see his father who was sitting by the railing. Adoree' posed for this picture.

The final event of the Meet is always the 4x400 m relay. The Women of Troy had already clinched the meet and ran the race by themselves. The Bruins refused to run the race. What poor sportsmanship.

Our Women of Troy beat the Bruins 93-70. What a comeback!

Whoever wins the Men's relay would win the meet. That's how close it was.

4x400 m relay
Here is one leg of the Women's 4x400 m relay.
Ricky Morgan
Finally, the Men's 4x400 m relay began. Freshman Ricky Morgan ran the first leg.
Just'N Thymes
The second leg was run by Junior Just'N Thymes. The race was close!
Andre DeGrasse
Andre DeGrasse ran the third leg with a narrow lead for SC.
Last turn
Davonte Stewart (2/23/2012) ran the anchor leg and pulled away on the last turn. You can barely see him at the far left.
Davonte Stewart
Davonte reached the finish line first. Our men beat the Bruins 82-81! What a fantastic finish!
Click the thumbnail above to view a video of our team celebrating the victories with the band playing "Conquest."
Video of victory lap
Click the thumbnail above to view a video of our teams' victory lap.
CLICK HERE to view a Google Plus album of track and field action and of my friends.

FIGHT ON, Men of Troy Track and Field!

FIGHT ON, Women of Troy Track and Field!