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March 4, 2013

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – Selections for the 2013 NCAA Indoor Championships were released Monday night by the Division I Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Committee. South Carolina earned five individual entries and one relay invitation. The event takes place Friday-Saturday March 8-9, in Fayetteville, Ark., at the Randal Tyson Track Center.

Four Gamecocks from the No. 15 women’s squad earned individual entries in senior Kierre Beckles, juniors Jeannelle Scheper and Petra Olsen with sophomore Erika Rucker. The women’s 4×400 meter relay including Rucker, Beckles freshman Tyler Brockington and sophomore Christal Green also earned a bid. On the men’s side, senior Jarrod Hutchen will represent South Carolina.

This was the first year that the top 16 individual marks over the course of the indoor season advanced to NCAA’s while the top 12 relay teams were qualified.

Beckles returns to the NCAA Indoor Championships in the 60-meter hurdles for the third time in her three-year career at South Carolina. Beckles’ season-best of 8.17 at the Tyson Invitational earlier this season ranks seventh in the country this season.

For the second year in a row, Scheper will compete at the NCAA Indoor Championships. This year she enters the competition tied for the collegiate lead with a school-record clearance of 6-03.25 (1.91m). Scheper set the personal best at the facility in Fayetteville and has won her last two competitions at the Randal Tyson Track Center, including the first high jump SEC gold medal in school history just two weeks ago.

Olsen advanced to the NCAA Championships in the indoor season for the first time by holding the 12th spot after setting a new personal best last weekend at the VT Final Qualifier. Olsen cleared 13-11.00 (4.24m) on Saturday, bettering her second-place entry in the South Carolina record books.

Rucker, who owns the sixth fastest time of the season at 52.22, will make her second-consecutive NCAA Indoor appearance in the 400-meter dash. The Georgia native ran her collegiate-best time at the Randal Tyson Track Center at the 2013 SEC Championships just two weeks ago, finishing fourth in the event.

The women’s 4×400-meter relay ran the eighth-best time this season to qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships. The foursome of Rucker, Beckles, Brockington and Green are the first Gamecock 4×400-meter relay to qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships since 2010. Their qualifying time of 3:33.68 earned them silver at the 2013 SEC Championships.

Hutchen will make his NCAA Indoor Championships debut after his season-best of 26-01.75 (7.97m) at the 2013 SEC Indoor Championships ranked him 10th in the country. Hutchen, who already has an outdoor All-America certificate, from last season will attempt to add an indoor honor to his resume.

ESPN3 will stream the meet live on March 8 from 6:30-10:30 p.m. ET and March 9 from 7 p.m.-9:30 p.m. ET. A tape delay of the championship will air Sunday, March 17 from 7 p.m.-9:00 p.m. ET on ESPNU.

South Carolina Declarations
Name – Event – Competition Day & Time
Jarrod Hutchen: Men’s Long Jump – Friday, 5:30 p.m. (CT)
Kierre Beckles: Women’s 60m Hurdles – Friday, 6:00 p.m. (CT) Semis // Saturday, 6:20 p.m. (CT) Finals
Petra Olsen: Women’s Pole Vault – Saturday, 5:30 p.m. (CT)
Erika Rucker: Women’s 400-Meter Dash – Friday, 6:25 p.m. (CT) Semis // Saturday, 6:40 p.m. (CT) Finals
Jeannelle Scheper: Women’s High Jump – Friday, 3:15 p.m. (CT)
Rucker, Beckles, Brockington Green: Women’s 4×400-Meter Relay – Saturday, 8:05 p.m. (CT)