The Arizona Wildcats have lost two of their top runners to a Pac-12 rival.
USC announced Wednesday that it has signed sprinter Johnnie Blockburger and his twin sister Alyssa, a distance runner, as transfers. Both are Tucson High graduates who competed for the Wildcats last season.
"USC is excited to add the Blockburgers to our roster," USC coach Quincy Watts said in a news release."Johnnie will be one of the most versatile sprinters in USC history. As a freshman he had times of 10.28 in the 100m, 20.70 in the 200m and 44.71 in the 400m dashes. We are also ecstatic about signing Alyssa. She will add tremendous depth to our women's distance program."
Johnnie Blockburger ran the fastest 400-meter dash (45.57 seconds) in the Pac-12 last season, and was named the conference's male freshman of the year. Alyssa Blockburger finished in the top six in every regular season 800-meter race she entered.
The Blockburgers have ties to USC. Their father, Sheldon, was the Trojans' assistant coach for jumps and multi-events from 2016-18. Sheldon Blockburger returned to the UA in 2018 — he had coached 10 seasons in Tucson before leaving for USC — before parting ways with the Wildcats last fall.
No reason was given for Sheldon Blockburger's departure, with coach Fred Harvey saying that the split was amicable.