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Jan. 14, 2011

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By Miquel Jacobs
Media Relations Assistant

BLACKSBURG, Va. – South Carolina senior sprinter Lakya Brookins ran the first automatic time of the year in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.25 to book her ticket to the NCAA Indoor Championships after only one race. Brookins led the No. 20 Gamecock women in opening day action and senior Michael Zajac led the men at the Virginia Tech Invitational in Blacksburg, Va.

Brookins, the 2009 NCAA Champion and 2010 NCAA bronze medalist in the event, led a 1-2 finish in the 60-meter dash as classmate Shayla Mahan took second at 7.33. Tatiana Fisher (7.68), Vashti Bandy (7.78) and Asia Delaney (7.99) also ran in the prelims and placed 10th, 14th and 28th, respectively.

Zajac earned a win in the men’s weight throw with a toss of 65’9 (20.04m) to pace the Gamecock men’s team. Other top five finishes for the men included a trio of sophomores from Lincoln Carr in the triple jump (50’10 ¾), Andre Carter in the 500-meter dash (1:04.85) and Robert Razick in the mile run (4:20.08), as well as from senior Aaron Anderson in the 300-meter dash (34.51.).

A pair of freshmen claimed top 10 finishes in the women’s 300-meter dash as Junior World Championships competitor Sanura Eley-O’Reilly and teammate Vashti Bandy finished fourth and ninth. Eley-O’Reilly ran 39.44 and Bandy ran 39.82 with a pair of seniors also competing in Porche Byrd (41.44) and Janica Austin (41.16).

Junior Radiance Basden led South Carolina’s women in both the triple jump and 500-meter dash. Basden placed fifth in the triple jump at 39’7 ¾ (12.08m) and finished 12th in the 500-meter dash at 1:18.25. Juniors Beatrice Biwott and Stacee Roberts rounded out the top 10 finishes for the Gamecock women with identical seventh place finishes as Biwott ran 5:00.50 in the mile and Roberts threw 50’7 ¼ (15.42m) in the weight throw. Sophomore Cheslie Kryst led Carolina in the 60-meter hurdles at 9.52.

In the men’s field events, Carr’s second place finish in the triple jump was followed by freshman Dorian Johnson in fifth at 47’11 ¾ (14.62m). Jarett Gerlad (43’5 ¼) and Joshua Jones (42’11 ¼) placed 13th and 14th, respectively. Zajac’s top mark in the weight throw was followed by Louis Day’s toss of 45’11 ¾ (14.01m) to place 12th.

In the running events, senior All-American Antonio Sales competed in the 60-meter dash along with sophomore Chris Maxwell and freshman Eyong Oma. Oma also ran in the 300-meter dash, placing 10th at 35.43 behind Anderson’s fourth place run. Carter placed fourth in the 500-meter dash with his 1:04.85 run, and freshman Clayton Gravesande followed thousandths of a second behind in sixth at 1:04.88. Freshmen Nejmi Burnside (1:06.23) and Patrick Price (1:11.15) placed 11th and 19th.

Alex Bermudez was the lone Gamecock competitor in the 1000-meter run and placed 17th (2:39.46), and two Gamecocks ran in the 60-meter hurdles in Jerry Thompson III (17th, 8.58) and Chris Sharp (24th, 8.82).

The Gamecocks return to action Saturday morning in to complete the first weekend of the track and field season for South Carolina. Sharp and David Wilkins will be the first Gamecocks in action with the men’s high jump at 11 a.m.