May 28, 2011
By Miquel Jacobs
Media Relations Assistant
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – On the final day of competition at the NCAA Preliminary Round on the campus of Indiana University, the South Carolina Gamecocks advanced six entries that qualified to compete at the upcoming NCAA Outdoor Championships, including the individual duo of Antonio Sales and Kierre Beckles.
Overall, the Gamecocks advanced nine entries into the NCAA Outdoor Championships after three overcast and rainy days of competition at the Robert C. Haugh Track. The team earned three bids yesterday between Michael Zajac (hammer throw), Marvin Reitze (pole vault) and Lakya Brookins (100m) before earning six Saturday with Sales (200m) and Beckles (100m hurdles) joining the men’s and women’s 4×100-meter and 4×400-meter relays. The outdoor finals will be held at Drake University from June 8-11.
“We almost had 100 percent of our athletes advance today,” South Carolina head coach Curtis Frye said. “We’ve dealt with a lot of injuries this week, but our kids really stepped up. Radiance Basden was called in for the mile relay and did what we needed her to do. Sanura Eley-O’Reilly had to deal with (personal problems) but she learned a lot about herself today. She was able to block those things out and compete with her teammates. And Chris Maxwell showed that he had a lot of fight in him.”
Junior Kierre Beckles once again set a new Barbados national record in the 100-meter hurdles to finish fourth overall in the quarterfinal and advance to nationals. Beckles ran 13.01 to earn her bid and move to No. 5 in the Gamecock history books in the event. She’s the first Gamecock woman to qualify for outdoor nationals in the 100-meter hurdles since Chiquita Martin advanced in 2007.
The women’s 4×100-meter relay team of Lakya Brookins, Vashti Bandy, Gabrielle Glenn and Amber Allen were the first relay to advance after running 44.31 for the fifth-fastest time of the day. The men’s relay ran right after and qualified with the fourth-fastest time of the day at 39.54. The team was the same one that took bronze at the SEC Outdoor Championships and was comprised of Chris Royster, Chris Maxwell, Clayton Gravesande and Antonio Sales.
Both 4×400-meter relay teams ran season bests and advanced to Des Moines despite both using new lineup combinations. The men’s relay ran the quartet of Clayton Gravesande, Aaron Anderson, Andre Carter and Chris Maxwell for the first time this season, and the team ended with the 10th-fastest time of the day at 3:05.85. On the women’s side, the same foursome that ran at the SEC Outdoor Championships – Radiance Basden, Sanura Eley-O’Reilly, Vashti Bandy and Amber Allen – hit the track today for the second time but in a different order. They combined to run 3:36.72 and qualify with the 11th-fastest time of the day.
Antonio Sales earned an individual bid to nationals in his final season by placing seventh overall in the 200-meter dash with a time of 21.08. Teammate Chris Maxwell missed out on his first individual bid by two spots and .04 seconds after he placed 14th overall at 21.35 in his first NCAA Preliminary Round appearance.
In the women’s 200-meter dash, junior Kelsey McCorkle competed despite battling a leg injury after advancing to the quarterfinals yesterday. Noticeably injured from the start, McCorkle ran 25.25 to take 22nd overall.
Senior Aimee Kodat had a top throw of 159-1 (48.50m) in the women’s discus to place 22nd overall. Kodat has competed in four consecutive NCAA preliminary meets and finishes her career No. 7 in the Gamecock history books in the event.
The NCAA Outdoor Championships will be held at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa, from June 8-11.
|SATURDAY, MAY 28 – WOMEN|
|22. Kelsey McCorkle||25.25 (-1.3)|
|4. Kierre Beckles||13.01q PR|
|5. Brookins, Bandy, Glenn, Allen||44.31q|
|11. Basden, Eley-O’Reilly, Bandy, Allen||3:36.72q SB|
|22. Aimee Kodat||48.50m // 159-1|
|SATURDAY, MAY 28 – MEN|
|7. Antonio Sales||21.08q (+0.1)|
|14. Chris Maxwell||21.35 (-2.3)|
|4. Royster, Maxwell, Gravesande, Sales||39.54q|
|10. Gravesande, Anderson, Carter, Royster||3:05.85q SB|