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April 3, 2014

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina track and field team will face its steepest challenge of the outdoor season this weekend at the 75th edition of the Florida Relays on the University of Florida’s campus in Gainesville, Fla. The meet at Percy Beard Track on Friday and Saturday is one of two US Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National Meets of the Week.

Date: April 4-5
Time: Friday – Field at 12 p.m., Running at 12:35 p.m. | Saturday – Field at 10 a.m, Running at 12 p.m.
Location: Gainesville, Fla.
Facility: Percy Beard Track
Live Results:
Meet Schedule Get Acrobat Reader | Meet Central

The field features seven of the USTFCCCA’s top 25 women’s teams, including the No. 20 Gamecocks, along with eight nationally ranked men’s teams. Four of the ranked women’s teams sit in the top 10.

Events featuring Gamecocks kick off on Friday with the men’s hammer and women’s discus at 12 p.m. The 100-meter and 110-meter hurdles start the days track events at 12:35 p.m. Saturday, South Carolina’s day beings with the sprint hurdle and sprint medley relays at noon. Men’s pole vault is the first field event of the day for the Gamecocks.

East Regional Watch
South Carolina athletes are jockeying for position to be included in the NCAA East Region field (May 29-31, Jacksonville, Fla.). The regional offers the chance to punch a ticket the NCAA Outdoor Championships (June 11-14, Eugene, Ore.).

For the fifth-straight season, the country has been split into two regions – East and West – with the top 48 athletes (24 relays) in each region qualifying for the Preliminary Round. The top 12 finishers in an event at each regional preliminary will advance to the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

Currently, 35 Gamecocks are in qualifying position. The group of 25 is headlined by three freshmen and a senior who rank in the top 10 of Division I. Freshman Precious Holmes enters the weekend as the top-ranked athlete in the women’s 400-meter dash in the East Region and Division I. Fellow freshman Jussi Kanervo ranks in the top 8 in both the men’s 110-meter and 400-meter hurdle events. A third freshman has also made an early impact; Natasha Dicks is No. 6 in the women’s triple jump. Senior Petra Olsen, who increased her own school record in the pole vault last weekend, is also ranked sixth in her event.

Gamecocks in the East Top 50

Name Event Meet Time/Mark East SEC
Chris Royster 100m Weems Baskin 10.30 11 6
Chris Royster 200m Weems Baskin 20.84 4 3
Eric Winfrey 200m Weems Baskin 20.84 21 11
Chris Walker 200m Weems Baskin 21.23 24 15
Eric Winfrey 400m Shamrock Invite 47.28 9 5
Chris Walker 400m Shamrock Invite 47.69 18 6
Drew Ricci 800m Weems Baskin 1:51.61 14 4
Jussi Kanervo 110mH Weems Baskin 13.77 3 3
Dondre Echols 110mH Weems Baskin 14.12 15 8
Jermaine Collier 110mH Shamrock Invite 14.14 19 9
Jussi Kanervo 400mH Weems Baskin 51.10 1 2
Jermaine Collier 400mH Weems Baskin 52.02 5 4
Dondre Echols 400mH 52.82 20 7
Sango Asante 3,000m St. Shamrock Invite 9:43.35 44 3
Kanervo, Royster, Walker Winfrey 4x100m Relay Shamrock Invite 40.25 8 5
Kanervo, Collier, Bermudez, Walker 4x400m Relay Shamrock Invite 3:10.79 15 7
Kaleb Zuidema Javelin Shamrock Invite 219’8″ 18 7
Name Event Meet Time/Mark East SEC
Ahtyana Johnson 100m Shamrock Invite 11.61 15 12
Vashti Bandy 100m Shamrock Invite 11.77 37 18
Ahtyana Johnson 200m Shamrock Invite 23.58 4 3
Vashti Bandy 200m Weems Baskin 23.97 13 6
Precious Holmes 400m Shamrock Invite 52.89 1 1
Briana Haith 400m Shamrock Invite 54.66 14 5
Marisa Bellamy 400m Shamrock Invite 55.14 27 7
Anna Todd 800m Shamrock Invite 2:10.93 19 4
Chalese Davis 100mH Weems Baskin 13.42 10 7
Mollie Williams 100mH Weems Baskin 13.91 36 14
Tyler Brockington 100mH Shamrock Invite 13.98 41 15
Tamera Harris 400mH Shamrock Invite 1:00.24 19 7
Johnson, Harris, Bandy Brockington 4x100m Relay Shamrock Invite 44.65 8 6
Bellamy, Haith, Bandy, Holmes 4x400m Relay Shamrock Invite 3:36.11 4 5
Petra Olsen Pole Vault Weems Baskin 13’11 ¾” 4 1
Megan Wall Pole Vault Weems Baskin 12’5 ½” 33 16
Natasha Dicks Triple Jump Weems Baskin 41′ 9 ¾” 4 2
Kaysee Sullivan Discus Weems Baskin 157’7″ 23 10

Last Time Out
South Carolina ¬hosted the 21st annual Weems Baskin Invitational at its home Weems Baskin Track last weekend and collected 19 wins over the two-day event. All-American and school record holder Josh Suttmeier made his 2014 debut on the first day of the meet, taking the win in the men’s javelin. The momentum continued into a full slate of action on Saturday as the Gamecocks continued to rack up wins. Opening her 2014 outdoor campaign, senior All-American Petra Olsen increased her school record in the women’s pole vault by a staggering 4-and-a-half inches to 13′ 11 ¾” (4.26m). It’s the top mark in the SEC and sixth best in Division I. The height is a new personal record. Freshman hurdler Jussi Kanervo continued his stellar start to the outdoor season, setting new personal bests and staking claim to a spot in the Gamecock all-time top 10 in both hurdle events. Kanervo swept the hurdle races with the eighth-best time in school history in the 110-meter hurdles at 13.77 and the ninth-best in the 400-meter hurdles at 51.10. The marks rank in in the top five in the conference in each event and the top eight in Division I. Freshman Natasha Dicks bettered her No. 6 entry in the Gamecock record book with a winning triple jump mark of 41′ 9 ¾” (12.74m). The distance is the sixth-best in Division I. Redshirt junior Kaysee Sullivan broke into the school record books as well, posting a winning discus throw of 157′ 7″ (48.03m), good enough for ninth in program history. Senior Drew Ricci captured a win and set a new lifetime best for the second time in as many weeks. Ricci ran a 1:50.61, which ranks him 10th in South Carolina history. Redshirt sophomore Chalese Davis was the top collegiate finisher and set a new PR in the 100-meter hurdles with a 13.42, the ninth-best in school history. In the sprints, senior Chris Royster and redshirt sophomore Ahtyana Johnson swept the men’s and women’s 100 and 200 meter dashes. Royster set a new PR of 20.84 in the 200 meters and ranks in the NCAA’s top 15 in each event.

Up Next
The Gamecocks travel to the Bill Carson Invitational at East Carolina University. The meet is set for Fri., Apr. 11, and Sat., April 12 in Greenville, N.C.