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Jan. 18, 2014

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BLACKSBURG, Va. – In her 2014 debut, senior Jeannelle Scheper outclassed the field and cleared a NCAA-leading height of 6′ 2″ 3/4 (1.90m) in the women’s high jump to claim one of two Gamecock wins on the final day of competition at the Virginia Tech Invitational. The women’s 4×400-meter relay ran the second-fastest time in the NCAA based on times entering the weekend for the second win of the day.

In total, South Carolina brings home four wins after junior Erika Rucker won the 300-meter dash and freshman Natasha Dicks took the top spot in the triple jump last night. The meet was a strong start for the women’s team who was ranked No. 11 in the USTFCCCA’s preseason rankings earlier this week.

After passing the first four bars, Scheper entered the competition at 5’7″ and promptly recorded six-straight first-attempt clearances. Having wrapped up the competition with her second clearance, Scheper continued to raise the bar. With the bar set at 6’4″ ¾ (1.95m), the St. Lucia native looked to set a new school and personal record, but could not get over on three tries. With her mark of 6’2″ 3/4, Scheper set a new facility and meet record.

The height of 6’2″ ¾ eclipses Kent State’s Dior Delophont NCAA-leading mark of 6′ ½ (1.84m) entering the weekend. Scheper raised her own school record last season to 6’3″ ¼ (1.91m)

The women’s 4×400-meter relay blasted the field for the second win of the day, turning in the second-fastest time in the NCAA based on times entering the weekend. The quartet of freshman Precious Holmes, Rucker, freshman Briana Haith and redshirt freshman Maris Bellamy led the entire way, clocking in at 3:39.95. The second Gamecock squad finished in fifth place with a time of 3:53.40.

On the men’s side, the group of sophomore Jermaine Collier, juniors Eric Winfrey and Chris Walker along with senior Chris Royster posted the second-fastest collegiate time of the meet and finished third overall with a time of 3:11.51. The time is the eighth fastest in the country this season. A second South Carolina relay grabbed fourth place with a time of 3:16.87.

Junior Petra Olsen cleared a season-best height of 13-07.25 (4.15m) for a second-place finish in the seeded pole vault division. The mark ties her with a handful of other athletes for third on the Division I qualifying list.

Rucker added a second-place finish to her weekend, running a 24.15 in the 200-meter dash. It was her first collegiate race at the distance.

In the women’s 400-meter dash, Bellamy and Holmes captured top-five finishes. The Gamecocks went 4-5 in the event, with Bellamy at 55.88 and Holmes at 55.96.

After a fourth-place finish in the 60-meter dash with a time that matched his lifetime best last night, Royster captured fifth place in the 200-meter dash this afternoon with a 21.70.

Redshirt junior Kaysee Sullivan added another Gamecock top-five finish as her mark of 44’5″ 1/4 (13.54m) got her fifth place in the shot put.

Sophomore Alexis Murphy tried her hand at the long jump for the first time in the Garnet and Black, and brings home a fourth-place finish with her leap of 18’3″ ¼ (5.57m).

Both South Carolina distance medley relay teams also tallied a top-five finish. Redshirt junior Drew Ricci, redshirt sophomore Juan Stenner, freshman Greg Lowing and redshirt freshman Eric Goings posted a time of 10:36.34 for fourth place in the men’s race. The women’s quartet of sophomore Anna Todd, freshman Mary Reiser, sophomore Ashley Miller and freshman Martha McCoy finished in fifth place with a time of 12:28.40.

Up next, the Gamecocks host their second home meet of the season on Wed., Jan. 22. Action begins with the long jump at 2 p.m. at the USC Indoor Complex. Running kicks off at 4:30 p.m. with the 55-meter hurdle semifinals.

Men’s 200m
5. Chris Royster 21.70
7. Ryan Bermudez 21.81
16. Dondre Echols 22.37 Personal Record
Men’s 400m
18. Nigel Redic 51.50
Men’s 800m
13. Miles Laubinger 2:01.49
Men’s 3,000m
12. Sango Asante 9:46.56
Men’s 4x400m Relay
3. Collier, Winfrey, Walker, Royster 3:11.51
4. Echols, Stenner, Bermudez, Kanervo 3:16.87
14. Redic, Asselin, Goings, Ricci 3:23.79
Men’s Distance Medley Relay
4. Ricci, Stenner, Lowing, Goings 10:36.34
Men’s High Jump
Jesse Wideman NH
Men’s Pole Vault – Seeded
6. Austin Eckenroth 5.08m // 16-08.00 Personal Record
Men’s Long Jump
9. Alexandre Asselin 6.83m // 22-05.00
14. Joshua Jones 6.62m // 21-08.75
24. James Adams 6.02m // 19-09.00
Women’s 200m
2. Erika Rucker 24.15
6. Vashti Bandy 24.71
9. Alexis Murphy 24.82
11. Briana Haith 25.10
Women’s 400m
4. Marisa Bellamy 55.88
5. Precious Holmes 55.96
Tyler Brockington DNF
Women’s 800m
10. Kaleigh Higgins 2:22.24
Women’s 3,000m
8. Mary Reiser 10:26.94
Women’s 4x400m Relay
1. Holmes, Rucker, Haith, Bellamy 3:39.39
5. Evans, Bandy, Williams, Gray 3:53.40
Women’s Distance Medley Relay
5. Todd, Reiser, Miller, M. McCoy 12:28.40
Women’s High Jump
1. Jeannelle Scheper 1.90m // 6-02.75
Nancy Caroline Cann NH
Women’s Pole Vault – Seeded
2. Petra Olsen 4.15m // 13-07.25 Season Best
8. Megan Wall 3.75m // 12-03.50 Season Best
Women’s Long Jump
4. Alexis Murphy 5.57m // 18-03.25
10. Natasha Dicks 5.40m // 17-08.75
23. Sarah Graham 4.96m // 16-03.25
Women’s Shot Put
5. Kaysee Sullivan 13.54m // 44-05.25