April 2019 (6) Candygrams

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Sunday, April 28, 2019---USC Track and Field Brunch and Tour

My husband Jim and I were invited to the USC Track and Field breakfast brunch and facilities tour. After the tour, we signed in to volunteer at the USC-UCLA Men's and Women's Track Meet. What a busy day it would be.

We checked in for the breakfast brunch at a table outside the Bashor Lounge of Heritage Hall. Trojan Candy took pictures of friends who were invited to the brunch.

Herb Goodman, Kandi Wopschall, Mel and Doris Hughes, Kathy Goodman, Lynn Swann and Patti and Dudley Poon
In the Heritage Hall lobby were Herb Goodman, Kandi Wopschall, Mel and Doris Hughes, Kathy Goodman, Lynn Swann and Patti and Dudley Poon.
Trojan Candy and Vanessa Jones
Trojan Candy saw a very familiar face. She was USC Track alumna Vanessa Jones (9/8/2011). At USC, Vanessa ran the 400 m. Jim took this picture of us. Vanessa told me that she works for Equinox as a personal trainer now. It was nice to catch up with Vanessa. FIGHT ON, Vanessa!
Michael Norman and Rai Benjamin
At the brunch, Trojan Candy took this picture of USC Track Alumni Michael Norman and Rai Benjamin.

Michael NormanJim and I sat with Herb and Kathy. While other guests were eating, Trojan Candy walked over to interview Michael Norman. Michael majored in Communications. He is a "food enthusiast." He likes to go out to eat at restaurants. His favorite restaurant is Blujen Cafe in downtown Los Angeles. Michael said that he likes their chicken, brown rice and steamed vegetables. As for music, Michael's favorite performers are Creed, War Dogs, Neighbors, Ariana Grande and Mariah Carey. He also likes rappers Meek Mill and G Herbo. Michael sure has many "likes!" FIGHT ON, Michael!

Rai BenjaminSitting next to Michael was Rai Benjamin. Rai told me that he transferred from UCLA to USC. We're so lucky that he did! Rai majored in Political Science. His specialty was the 400 m Hurdles. Rai's favorite food is "everything." He especially likes to eat oatmeal. As for musicians, Drake is Rai's favorite. Rai, like yours truly, loves to take pictures. He also likes to travel. He has just been to Switzerland, France and the Ukraine, with more countries to come. FIGHT ON, Rai!

Paul and Wyatt Schmidt
At the table next to ours, Trojan Candy saw two more familiar faces. They were USC Placekicker Wyatt Schmidt and his father Paul. Wyatt graduated in May 2018. It was so nice to visit with both of them again. FIGHT ON, Wyatt!
Track office
Paul went over to talk with Athletic Director Lynn Swann just before the program started. Then Lynn and Track and Field Head Coach Caryl Smith Gilbert showed us renderings of the Track and Field Renovation Phase 2. This will be the new office facility.
Balcony overlooking track
The Track office will have a balcony overlooking the track. The balcony will also have barbecue units.
Track Hall of Fame
There will be a Track Hall of Fame.
Rai Benjamin, Michael Norman and Kendall Ellis
Then they introduced three speakers: Rai Benjamin, Michael Norman and Kendall Ellis.
Lynn Swann, Caryl Smith Gilbert, and John and Janine Colich
After the program ended, guests were invited to the dedication of Phase 1 of the Track and Field Renovation. Trojan Candy just missed the ribbon cutting, but here were the dignitaries. Standing to the left of Lynn Swann were Coach Caryl Smith Gilbert and Major Donors John and Janine Colich.
Women of Troy Track and Field athletes
Before touring the new facility, I took a picture of some Women of Troy Track and Field athletes. BEAT THE BRUINS, ladies!
Men's Lounge
Let's go inside. Here is the Men's Lounge. On the wall is a mural which features Andre de Grasse, Michael Norman, Conor McCulough and Rai Benjamin.
Men's Locker Room
These lockers are in the Men's Locker Room.
Randall Cunningham
Here is a close-up of Randall Cunningham's (6/16/2015) name plate. Trojan Candy interviewed Randall when he was a Freshman.
Women's Locker Room
Next I walked over to the Women's Locker Room.
Kendall Ellis
Standing by her picture on the wall was Kendall Ellis (5/9/2018).

Trojan Candy had interviewed Kendall at the Women of Troy Student Athlete's Celebration on May 9, 2018. A few weeks later, Kendall ran the amazing anchor leg to the 4x400 meter relay that won USC the 2018 NCAA Track and Field title! FIGHT ON, Kendall!

Women's LoungeMy last picture was of this mural in the Women's Lounge.

What a remarkable new facility!