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April 26, 2014

PHILADELPHIA – In front of nearly 50,000 people at Franklin Field, South Carolina won two championships at the 120th Penn Relays. Redshirt freshman Kaleb Zuidema won the first Penn Relays javelin championship in school history and the men’s 4×100-meter relay captured the college men’s championship.

Already a Penn Relays high school javelin champion, Zuidema added a second to his resume this morning, capturing the men’s college crown. The Gamecock hit a mark of 228’6″ (69.66m), a new personal record and the third-best mark in school history. Zuidema’s throw would have placed him third in the championship flight at the event. Based on marks entering the weekend, Zuidema is No. 12 in the NCAA East.

Joshua Suttmeier also competed in the men’s javelin, taking ninth with a season-best 207’10” (63.36m).

In the college men’s 4×100-meter relay championship, Chris Royster grabbed the baton from leadoff Brandon Sanders. Dondre Echols took over on the third led and Eric Winfrey brought home the victory for the Gamecocks, blasting to the finish line for a time of 40.16 to hold off the field.

The women’s 4×200-meter also had a solid outing, taking third in a fast Championship of America final. In their fourth race together this weekend, Ahtyana Johnson, Tyler Brockington, Vashti Bandy and Tamera Harris put together a season-best 1:33.00 to finish behind Texas A&M and Texas.

In the men’s 4x200m Championship of America, Winfrey, Royster and Sanders made the quick turnaround to return to the track after their 4×100 meter win. They were joined by Chris Walker to clock a time of 1:23.67 and take seventh place in a fast race.

In the Gamecocks’ lone individual event on the track today, Echols captured fifth place in the 110-meter hurdle finals, surging in the second half of the race for a time of 14.02.

The final event of the day put relay warriors Ahtyana Johnson, Tyler Brockington, Tamera Harris and Vashti Bandy back on the track for the women’s 4×400-meter college championship. A season-best time of 3:35.81 wasn’t enough to hold off a late surge from other competitors and the Gamecocks took fourth.

South Carolina takes a weekend off for final exams before traveling to North Carolina A&T for a tune-up meet on Sun., May 11. The SEC Outdoor Championships begin on May 15 at the University of Kentucky.

Men’s 110m Hurdle Championship Final – College
5. Dondre Echols 14.02 (+0.8) /tr>
Jermaine Collier DNS/tr>
Men’s 4x100m Relay Championship Final – College
1. Sanders, Royster, Echols, Winfrey 40.16
Men’s 4x200m Relay Championship Final – Championship of America
7. Winfrey, Royster, Walker, Sanders 1:23.67
Men’s 4x800m Relay – Championship of America
14. Ricci, Redic, Keating, Sullivan 7:38.84Season Best
Men’s Hammer Throw – College
20. Andrew Seay 52.09m // 170-10
Men’s Javelin Throw – College
1. Kaleb Zuidema 69.66m // 228-06 Personal Best
9. Joshua Suttmeier 63.36m // 207-10 Season Best
Women’s 4x200m Relay Championship of America
3. Johnson, Brockington, Bandy, Harris 1:33.00 Season Best
Women’s 4x400m Relay College
4. Johnson, Brockington, Harris, Bandy 3:35.81 Season Best
Women’s 4x800m Relay – College
12. Evans, Todd, Miller, McCoy 9:10.42 Season Best