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April 10, 2014

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina track and field program travels to Greenville, N.C., for East Carolina’s Bill Carson Invitational this weekend. The Gamecocks will take on Charlotte, Wilmington and the hosting Pirates in a scored meet.

Date: April 11-12
Time: Friday – 12 p.m. | Saturday – Field at 11 a.m, Running at 11:30 a.m.
Meet Schedule Get Acrobat Reader
Location: Greenville, N.C.
Facility: ECU Track and Field Facility at the Olympic Sports Complex
Live Results:

The first-ever meet at the ECU Track and Field Facility is named in honor the late East Carolina track and field head coach Bill Carson who led the Pirates for 40 years. It will no doubt be a special weekend for South Carolina head coach Curtis Frye who attended ECU and began his collegiate coaching career at the school in 1974. Frye began a life-long mentorship and friendship with Carson during the period and considers Carson his “daddy in coaching”.

After a light day of hammer and discus throw on Friday to open the competition, things heat up on Saturday. With a large contingent scheduled to make the trip, plenty of Gamecocks will see action over the weekend.

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.

Entering the weekend, 36 Gamecocks – 17 men and 19 women – are in position to qualify for the NCAA East Preliminaries. Gamecocks rank in the East’s top 10 in 10 events. Freshman hurdler Jussi Kanervo ranks in the top five in both hurdle events (110mH – 13.77 – 5th, 400mH – 51.02 – 4th). He is joined in the 400-meter hurdle top 10 by sophomore Jermaine Collier, who is just ahead of him in the No. 3 spot (50.96). The pair posted personal-best performances last weekend in the intermediate hurdles and rank ninth and 10th in program history. The men’s 4×100-meter relay of Kendall Kee, Chris Royster, Eric Winfrey and Chris Walker are sixth in the region.

The women are led by senior school record holder Petra Olsen in the pole vault. Olsen ranks fourth in the region with her program-best clearance of 13’11 ¾” (4.26m). Freshman Precious Holmes is 8th in the 400-meter dash with a time of 52.89. Holmes is also on the No. 8-ranked 4×400-meter relay team with Briana Haith, Marissa Bellamy and Tyler Brockington. The quartet turned in a time of 3:36.09 at last weekend’s Florida Relays. The Gamecocks’ 4×100-meter relay of Ahtyana Johnson, Tamera Harris, Vashti Bandy and Brockington is ninth (44.65). Harris is also ranked individually, posting a 58.58 in the 400-meter hurdles; the time is good enough for the 10th East Region spot. Finally, in the triple jump, freshman Natasha Dicks posted the fifth-best leap in Gamecock history (41’2 ½”) at the Weems Baskin Invitational to place her ninth in the region.

Gamecocks in the East Top 50

Name Event Meet Time/Mark East SEC
Chris Royster 100m Weems Baskin 10.30 14 8
Kendall Kee 100m Florida Relays 10.40 22 12
Chris Royster 200m Weems Baskin 20.84 12 7
Eric Winfrey 200m Weems Baskin 20.84 40 23
Eric Winfrey 400m Shamrock Invite 47.28 23 12
Chris Walker 400m Florida Relays 47.66 39 14
Drew Ricci 800m Weems Baskin 1:51.61 33 11
Jussi Kanervo 110mH Weems Baskin 13.77 5 3
Jermaine Collier 110mH Florida Relays 14.04 14 8
Dondre Echols 110mH Weems Baskin 14.12 21 10
Jermaine Collier 400mH Florida Relays 50.96 3 2
Jussi Kanervo 400mH Florida Relays 51.02 4 3
Dondre Echols 400mH 52.82 36 8
Kee, Royster, Winfrey, Walker 4x100m Relay Florida Relays 39.84 6 6
Walker, Winfrey, Kanervo, Collier 4x400m Relay Florida Relays 3:09.19 13 6
Austin Eckenroth Pole Vault Florida Relays 4.95m//16-02.75 36 10
Kaleb Zuidema Javelin Shamrock Invite 66.95m//219-08 20 7
Name Event Meet Time/Mark East SEC
Ahtyana Johnson 100m Shamrock Invite 11.61 20 14
Ahtyana Johnson 200m Shamrock Invite 23.58 13 10
Vashti Bandy 200m Weems Baskin 23.97 35 19
Precious Holmes 400m Shamrock Invite 52.89 8 4
Briana Haith 400m Shamrock Invite 54.66 32 12
Anna Todd 1500m Florida Relays 4:26.51 36 10
Chalese Davis 100mH Weems Baskin 13.42 11 8
Tyler Brockington 100mH Florida Relays 13.71 32 15
Mollie Williams 100mH Florida Relays 13.89 44 19
Tamera Harris 400mH Florida Relays 58.58 10 6
Tyler Brockington 400mH Florida Relays 58.68 12 7
Johnson, Harris, Bandy Brockington 4x100m Relay Shamrock Invite 44.65 9 6
Holmes, Haith, Brockington, Bellamy 4x400m Relay Florida Relays 3:36.09 8 5
Sarah Graham High Jump Florida Relays 1.72m//5-07.75 34 7
Petra Olsen Pole Vault Weems Baskin 4.26m//13-11.75 4 2
Megan Wall Pole Vault Weems Baskin 3.80m//12-05.50 48 17
Alexis Murphy Long Jump Florida Relays 5.96m//19-06.75 35 16
Natasha Dicks Triple Jump Weems Baskin 12.74m//41-09.75 9 4
Kaysee Sullivan Discus Weems Baskin 48.03m//157-07 37 12

Last Time Out
South Carolina competed at the 2014 Florida Relays in Gainesville, Fla., over the weekend. The meet was one of two USTFCCCA’s Division I Meets of the Week. On Friday, senior school record holder Petra Olsen turned in the top Gamecock performance of the weekend, taking third overall in the women’s pole vault with a height of 13’7 ¼” (4.15m). The height was the second-best amongst collegians in the event. Seven Gamecocks added their name or bettered their entries in the program’s all-time top 10. Sophomore Anna Todd posted the second-fastest 1,500-meter run in program history at 4:26.51, just .15 seconds off the school record. Todd finished 14th. In the women’s 5,000 meters, junior Kayla Lampe set a new PR, turning in a 16:55.06 to lower her No. 3 entry in the record book. She finished fourth in the race. In her collegiate debut at the 5K distance, freshman Mary Reiser ran a 17:08.95, the fifth-best time in program history. Redshirt sophomore Sarah Graham bested her previous high jump lifetime best by two inches, clearing 5’7 ¾” (1.72m). The height is fourth in Gamecock outdoor history. Sophomore Alexis Murphy is new to the long jump this season, but recorded the ninth-best leap in school history. Her personal best mark of 19’6 ¾” (5.96m) earned her sixth place. South Carolina men’s hurdlers continued their strong season, with sophomore Jermaine Collier and freshman Jussi Kanervo posting top-10 collegiate finishes in both the hurdle events. In the 400-meter hurdles, both athletes set new personal bests with Collier taking eighth with a 50.96. Kanervo was just behind at 51.02. The times rank ninth and 10th in program history. On the second and final day of competition, the relays took center stage. Six relays recorded top-five finishes – the men’s 4×100, men’s 4×200, women’s 4×200, men’s shuttle hurdle, women’s shuttle hurdle, men’s 4×800. This weekend, South Carolina travels to East Carolina University for the Bill Carson Invitational.

Up Next
A small group of multi-event athletes are set to travel to the 44th Annual Mt. Sac/California Invitational at Azusa Pacific University to compete on Wed., Apr. 16, and Thurs., Apr. 17. Next weekend, the Gamecocks host their final home outdoor meet of the season on Sat., Apr. 19th, at the Weems Baskin Track.