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May 14, 2010

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Three Gamecock men scored and four South Carolina athletes qualified for finals to complete the second day of competition at the SEC Outdoor Championships at Tom Black Track on the campus of the University of Tennessee. Michael Zajac placed fourth in the hammer throw, and Scott Pierce and Eddie Stoudemire came back from a one-hour weather delay to place fourth and fifth in the decathlon, respectively.

Junior Michael Zajac put the first points on the board for the Gamecocks in taking fourth overall in the hammer throw. Zajac tossed the hammer 206-05 (62.92m) to earn five points for the men’s team and improve his conference standing in the hammer for the third consecutive year. As a freshman in 2008, Zajac placed eighth in the event before taking sixth last year as a sophomore.

Pierce’s fourth-place finish in the decathlon (7,056 points – personal best – No. 4 on South Carolina all-time list) is the best finish for a Gamecock since Greg Royster also took fourth in 2006, and it’s the first time a Gamecock scored in the event since the 2007 season. With Stoudemire taking fifth with 6,858 points, it is just the third time that two Gamecock men scored in the decathlon at the SEC Outdoor Championships. The first instance occurred in 1995 when Steve Owens and David Carnes took fifth and seventh. The second came in the 2001 season at Weems Baskin Track when C.J. Anderson placed sixth and Chris Machol placed seventh.

Junior Antonio Sales and senior Obakeng Ngwigwa both qualified for the final in the men’s 200-meter dash on a rain-soaked track late Friday night. Sales ran the third-fastest time of the day at 20.85, and Ngwigwa won his heat at 21.02 to place fifth. The final will be run Sunday at 7:35 p.m. Also competing were a duo of freshmen in Chris Maxwell and Andre Carter. Maxwell ran 21.77 to place 22nd, and Carter was disqualified due to a lane violation after running 21.92.

Two Gamecocks – one male and one female – qualified for the finals in the 400-meter hurdles. Junior Johnny Dutch breezed to a time of 50.52 in the men’s 400-meter hurdles to win the prelims and advance to Sunday’s final. Classmate Janica Austin ran a personal best 58.60 to place fifth and qualify for the final in the women’s 400-meter hurdles. Also competing in the women’s 400-meter hurdles were Radiance Basden (12th, 1:00.72), Trier Young (17th, 1:04.20) and Ashley Hunter (22nd, 1:07.87).

Eddie Stoudemire opened his second day of competition in the decathlon by taking fourth in two consecutive events. The junior claimed second in the 110-meter hurdles at 14.75 as well as in the discus throw at 122’4 (37.28m). Scott Pierce claimed seventh in the hurdles with a time of 15.37 before taking eighth in the discus throw at 112’6 (34.30m). In the pole vault, Pierce cleared 12’3 ½ (3.75m) to take ninth, and Stoudemire cleared 10’8 (3.25m) to take 11th.

Stoudemire claimed seventh in the javelin with a throw of 150-04 (45.82m) while Pierce threw it 144-01 to take ninth. Both used a strong final push with their times in the 1,500-meter run to jump in the overall standings. Pierce once again won the distance run in an SEC multi-event by taking the 1,500-meter run at 4:16.12, accumulating 838 points and jumping up to fourth in the overall standings with 7.056 points. Stoudemire ran 4:47.92 to take fifth in the event and move ahead of Mississippi State’s Trevarius Christian in the overall standings with a fifth place finish at 6,858 points.

Freshman Sierra Henderson ran a collegiate best 2:10.78 in the 800-meter dash to place 11th, falling two spots and less than one second shy of qualifying for the finals in her first SEC Outdoor Championship appearance. On the men’s side, junior R.J. Walling ran 2:01.99 to place 22nd in what was also his first SEC Outdoor Championship appearance.

Six Gamecocks competed in the women’s 200-meter dash with Kelsey McCorkle leading the way with an 11th-place finish at 23.87. Shayla Mahan took 13th at 23.90 and was immediately followed by Tatianna Fisher in 14th at 23.98. Gabrielle Glenn placed 16th overall at 24.05. Breehana Jacobs (23rd, 24.53) and Asia Delaney (38th, 24.70) rounded out the Gamecock effort in the event.

Kettiany Clarke began the second day of the heptathlon with a fifth place finish in the long jump at 19’2 (5.84m), and Ceci Kryst took eighth at 18’4 ¼ (5.59m). Misfortune came in the javelin throw where both Gamecocks fouled out their three attempts after the wind direction changed between the first and second attempts. With a storm approaching the Knoxville area, Clarke and Kryst saw their throws sail in the wind and out of bounds after initially toe-fouling their first throws. Without scoring in the penultimate event, Clarke dropped from third to ninth in the overall standings, and Kryst dropped to 15th overall with one event to go.

Concluding with the 800-meter dash, Clarke ran 2:29.56 and Kryst ran 2:49.37 as the duo finished 12th and 15th, respectively, in the overall heptathlon standings.

Competition resumes Saturday at 2:30 p.m. when Andrew Vaughan competes in the javelin throw. Running events start at 6 p.m. as Dani Barnes competes for the women’s team in the 1,500-meter run.

11. Kelsey McCorkle 23.87
13. Shayla Mahan 23.90
14. Tatianna Fisher 23.98
16. Gabrielle Glenn 24.05
23. Breehana Jacobs 24.53
38. Asia Delaney 24.70
11. Sierra Henderson 2:10.78
W-400m Hurdles
5. Janica Austin 58.60q
12. Radiance Basden 1:00.72
17. Trier Young 1:04.20
22. Ashley Hunter 1:07.87
10. Kettiany Clarke 2:29.56 (698 pts)
14. Ceci Kryst 2:49.37 (470 pts)
5. Kettiany Clarke 19-02.00 // 5.84m (801 pts)
8. Ceci Kryst 18-04.25 // 5.59m (726 pts)
10. Kettiany Clarke FOUL
14. Ceci Kryst FOUL
12. Kettiany Clarke 4,898 pts
15. Ceci Kryst 3,631 pts
M-200m Prelim
5. Obakeng Ngwigwa 21.02Q
6. Antonio Sales 20.85q
22. Chris Maxwell 21.77
25. Andre Carter DQ (21.92)
M-800m Prelim
22. R.J. Walling 2:01.99
M-400m Hurdles Prelim
1. Johnny Dutch 50.52Q
M-Hammer Throw
4. Michael Zajac 206-05 (62.92m)
1. Scott Pierce 4:16.12 (838 pts)
5. Eddie Stoudemire 4:47.92 (631 pts)
M-110m Hurdles DECATHLON
4. Eddie Stoudemire 14.75 (880 pts)
7. Scott Pierce 15.37 (805 pts)
9. Scott Pierce 12-03.50 // 3.75m (549 pts)
11. Eddie Stoudemire 10-08.00 // 3.25m (418 pts)
M-Discus Throw DECATHLON
4. Eddie Stoudemire 122-04 // 37.28m (609 pts)
8. Scott Pierce 112-06 // 34.30m (550 pts)
7. Eddie Stoudemire 150-04 // 45.82m (527 pts)
9. Scott Pierce 144-01 // 43.91m (499 pts)
4. Scott Pierce 7,056 pts
5. Eddie Stoudemire 6,858 pts