Jan. 26, 2008
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The South Carolina men’s and women’s track teams posted five NCAA provisional qualifying times Saturday at the Tom Jones Memorial Classic, led by Jason Richardson’s second-place finish in the 55-meter hurdles with a time that ties his personal-best.
Richardson ran a 7.18 in the finals to tie his personal best and finish second in the event. He was one-hundredth of a second shy of recording an automatic qualifying time for the NCAA Indoor Championships in March. Johnny Dutch also set a provisional time in the event, running a 7.38 to finish eighth in his first collegiate meet.
On the women’s side, Brittney James finished third in the long jump with a distance of 20-5, setting a new personal-record with a provisional qualifying mark for the second consecutive week. Her jump bets her distance from last weekend by 2 Â½ inches. James also competed in the 55-meter hurdles, leading the Gamecocks in 13th place with a time of 8.12.
The women’s 4x400m relay team placed first with a provisional time of 3:37.94 to round out the qualifying marks for the Gamecocks. Carolina shaved close to nine seconds off its time from last weekend’s performance at the UNC Classic.
Brandi Cross set an indoor PR in the 400-meter dash with a provisional qualifying time of 54.31. Lakya Brookins, the current SEC Freshman of the Week, recorded a qualifying time for the second consecutive week. She ran the 55-meter dash in 6.89 to finish sixth, marking the seventh best time in Carolina indoor history. She qualified in the 60-meter dash last weekend at the UNC Classic. Following Brookins in the 55-meter was another freshman in Shayla Mahan, whose 6.90 time was a provisional mark that goes down as the eighth-fastest time in Carolina history.
“Getting top three in any event is hard to do,” head coach Curtis Frye said. “We had one win today. Being a young team is hard. We have a lot of work to do to continue to compete in the SEC. This was an awakening for some of the them. Jason Richardson was our male athlete of the meet and Brittney James was our female athlete of the meet. Michael Zajac was our field athlete of the meet with a good mark in the weight throw.”
In the women’s mile run, senior Rebecca Chain set an indoor personal-best with a time of 5:02.68 to finish ninth.
Redshirt freshman Michael Zajac got the Gamecocks going quickly in the early field events, placing third in the weight throw with a distance of 61-10 Â¾. David Zaycek finished sixth in the event at 55-0 Â¾ and was Carolina’s sole competitor in the shot put, throwing it at a distance of 48-8 Â¼ to place 11th. Freshman Matt Shuler paced USC in the pole vault with a height of 14-11. Derek Pressley rounded out the top field event marks with a fifth place finish as the collegiate winner in the triple jump with a distance of 49-3 Â½.
Jussi Heikkila recorded Carolina’s best time of the season in the 400-meter dash, finishing fourth with a time of 48.13. Keith Hinnant (7th – 48.53) and Jamil James (8th – 48.54) also placed in the top 10 in the event. The men’s 4x400m relay team finished third with a time of 3:11.58.
The women’s pole vault saw the trio of Liza Todd, Sallie Gurganus and Vica Shobe each clear 11-7 Â¾ for the second consecutive week, with Todd placing fourth and Garganus and Shobe tying for sixth. Freshman Kayla Blake finished 10th in the high jump at 5-5.
Men’s Pole Vault
10. Matt Shuler – 14-11
Men’s Triple Jump
5. Derek Pressley – 49-3 Â½
Men’s 4x400m Relay
3. South Carolina – 3:11.58
Women’s High Jump
10. Kayla Blake – 5-5
Women’s Mile Run
9. Rebecca Chain – 5:02.68
8. Gabrielle Glenn – 24.80
Women’s Long Jump
3. Brittney James – 20-5
Women’s 4x400m Relay
1. South Carolina – 3:37.94 P