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Nov. 20, 2014


COLUMBIA, S.C. – The 2015 Track and Field recruiting class was unveiled Thursday afternoon, with Head Coach Curtis Frye and his staff announcing the addition of 11 student-athletes for next season. The class, which draws from standouts from as far away as California to right down the road in Charleston, features six women’s signees and five for the men.

“We filled a lot of voids with four- and five-level athletes,” said Frye. “I’d say in our 19 years as a staff it’s one of our top-five signing classes. They all came here for the right reasons – what we can do for them academically, our family environment and our new facility coming on board. People have to see that we’re serious about track and we’re committed to the sport, and I’m proud of the backing that our administration has shown us.”


  • Maiya Dendy, Sprints (Middleton, Del. / Padua Academy): Twice named the Gatorade Delaware Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year (2013, 2014)… state champion in the 100m/200m/400m… ran the fastest indoor 200m time by any female in the state of Delaware… High School All-American… Junior Olympic Nationals All-American.

    Coach Frye on Dendy: “This is a young lady that ran in the 23 seconds for the 200 meter. Her numbers were ahead of most sophomore but so we thought last year she would have been one of the top two sprinters in the country but she was a little injured. This year she’s healthy and we think she’s going to fit right in and contest as the best sprinter in the country.”

  • Kara Lyles, Heptathlon (Suffolk, Va. / Nasemond River): Competes in long jump, 400m, 100m, 200m, Hurdles and Shot-Put… won the 800 sprint medley relay at the New Balance Nationals… All Region… state champion in the 400m.

    Coach Frye on Lyles: “I think she’s a diamond in the rough. She’s committed to the heptathlon, and very few kids coming out of high school come with that commitment. She’s gifted with speed, an 18-6 long jump and 22 seconds in the 200. We have to coach her up, but she wants to do it and she’s got some gifts.”

  • Funlayo Oluwole, 100 Hurdler/Long Jump (Chesapeake, Va. / Western Branch): Oluwole is one of three signees coming from Western Branch High School in Virginia, with current teammate Milan Parks and former Bruin Taranisha Taylor transferring from Pittsburgh after two seasons… state champion in triple jump and hurdles… All Region Performer… Part of the Shuttle Hurdle Relay National Championship Team… High School All-American… father Toun won the ACC Championship in the triple jump at NC State… brother runs sprints at Virginia.

    Coach Frye on Oluwole: “She didn’t show a lot in ninth and tenth grade so she has come onto the scene during the indoor season last year. She has the strength and will to be great.”

  • Milan Parks, Hurdler/Long Jump (Chesapeake, Va. / Western Branch): Parks won the state long jump title, helping to lead Western Branch to a state title in 2014… part of a shuttle hurdle relay team that set a new national record at the New Balance Nationals… All Region… High School All-American.

    Coach Frye on Parks: “Western Branch is traditionally one of the best programs in the country. To get two kids from that school, we think we have two of the top five kids in the country in hurdles” (with Oluwole and Parks).

  • Makyla Stanley, Long Jump (Charleston, S.C. / James Island Charter High School): State Champion in the long jump and triple jump at the state championships, earning her AAA Female Track Athlete of the Year… scored 36 of the teams 80 points at the state championship and broke four school records at the meet… currently holds the school records in the long jump, triple jump, high jump and 100 meter dash… Taco Bell Classic Champion in the 100m… High School All-American.

    Coach Frye on Stanley: “We feel like with Makyla, we have a young lady that has a lot of potential.”

  • Taranisha Taylor, 100 Hurdler, Sprints (Chesapeake, Va. / Western Branch (Pittsburgh)): Taylor is transferring to Carolina from the University of Pittsburgh and will have two years of eligibility… recorded Pitt’s top 100-meter hurdle time of 2013-14… ran the team’s fifth-best times of the year in the 100- and 200-meter dash… broke a school record at the Penn State National Invitational last season in the 60m hurdles… NCAA East Region qualifier… former High School All-American.

    Coach Frye on Taylor: “She adds some maturity to our group. It takes a little bit longer for athlete to contribute in the SEC and get over stage fright, and we think Taylor brings us some experience.”


  • Eric Favors, Shot Put (Pomona, N.Y. / North Rockland): Enters his senior year as the No. 1-ranked shot-putter in the nation… threw a personal best of 65 feet, 5¼ inches last spring, a New York state record for juniors… finished third at nationals as a junior… also a standout football player, playing on the defensive line.

    Coach Frye on Favors: “Having the number one male shot putter going into his senior year, we’re excited about that.”

  • Markus Leemet, Decathlon (Tallinn, Estonia / Gusta Adolfi Gumnaasium (New Orleans)): Transfer from University of New Orleans… will have three years of eligibility… set a school record for the men’s indoor heptathlon with a score of 4,300 points at the Southland Indoor Championships and was leading the event before injuring his ankle in the final event… prior to his college career, he was reigning Estonian junior national champion in both heptathlon and pole vault… Baltic junior champion… finished 17th at 2012 IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona, Spain… 2011 Estonian junior national championship (decathlon), 2010 Baltic Youth Championship (heptathlon) and 2010 Estonian youth championships (300m hurdles).

    Coach Frye on Leemet: “He gives us some depth and is a potential NCAA qualifier.”

  • Khallifah Rosser, 400 Hurdler (Fontana, Calif. / Summit (Chaffey CC)): Rosser earned a gold medal in 400-meter hurdles at the 2013 Pan American Games, running a personal-best time of 50.75… ran a 51.42 to place second at the USATF Juniors… won California CC title for Chaffey College… won the Mt. SAC Relays college division 400H.

    Coach Frye on Rosser: “We feel like he’s going to be an NCAA contributor.”

  • Bryce Simpson, Pole Vault (Mechanicsville, Va. / Atlee): Won the Group 5A state indoor track and field title in 2014… MileStat Male Vaulter of the Year for 2014… won the boys pole vault at the outdoors 5A South Regional Championship… also won an indoor regional title.

    Coach Frye on Simpson: “We haven’t brought in an American pole vaulter that’s been this good out of high school. We’re excited about having him.”

  • David Winters, Sprints (Capitol Heights, Md. / Suitland (Barton County CC)): Competed for two seasons at Barton County Community College… has two years of eligibility… won the 60 Meter and 200 Meter Dash titles with season-best performances at the Region VI Indoor Championships… Junior College All-American.