Jan. 19, 2008
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Senior Jason Richardson and freshman Lakya Brookins both logged NCAA provisional qualifying times as two of seven Carolina winners in the South Carolina men’s and women’s track season opener at the UNC Classic.
Richardson finished first in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 7.84 to best the provisional mark by .07 seconds. Brookins ran the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.37 to win the event and make the provisional time in her first collegiate meet. The NCAA provisional qualifying time is 7.44.
“We had a lot of kids give good efforts,” South Carolina coach Curtis Frye said. “I’m happy a freshman in Kya had a great meet and that Jason came back to compete well. He’s our leader and it’s good to see him run well.”
The women won six events on the day, including a sweep of the sprinting events. Brookins began by winning the 60-meter dash and almost won the 200-meter dash before finishing in second behind freshman teammate Gabby Glenn, who led all runners with a time of 25.08. Brandi Cross completed the Carolina sweep with a time of 56.12 in the 400-meter dash to win the event.
The South Carolina pole-vaulters also began their season well, finishing 1-2-3 with identical heights of 3.55m (11-7 Â¾). Sophomore Sallie Gurganus claimed the victory, followed by juniors Liza Todd and Vica Shobe. Junior Brittney James won the long jump with a distance of 6.15m (20-2 Â¼) while the women’s 4x400m relay team rounded out the winners with a time of 3:46.08.
Other highlights on the women’s side include 12 second and third place finishes. Faraign Giles placed second in the 400-meter dash (56.13) and third in the 200-meter dash (25.22). In distances, senior Rebecca Chain ran a 5:06.71 mile and Callie Rabun ran the 5000-meter in 19:05.47 to give both of them second place finishes. Trier Young (8.76) and Bianca Blair (8.94) finished second and third, respectively, in the 60-meter hurdles.
Richardson’s mark in the hurdles gave Carolina its seventh win of the day and first on the men’s side. The men’s team overall posted 13 top five finishes. Mike Zajac placed second in the weight throw at 18.75m (61-6 Â¼) while Dave Zaycek’s distance of 15.61 (51-5) in shot put placed third. Kevin Brinkley cleared a height of 4.40m (14-5 Â¼) to also take give Carolina a bronze in pole vault.
South Carolina returns to action next Saturday when they travel to Gainseville, Fla., for the Tom Jones Memorial Classic.
“We’ll be ready for Gainesville,” Frye said. “We have a lot of work to do to take on SEC competitors. It was a good first meet. I’m not overly pleased. It was a beginning meet and we look to improve week to week.”