Jan. 22, 2015
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina track and field team will split up this weekend, sending student-athletes up to Clemson for the Bob Pollock Invitational and to Blacksburg, Va. for the Hokie Invitational. The team was originally scheduled to compete at the Rod McCravy Memorial, but will instead compete in the two weekend meets.
More Gamecocks entered the program record book over the weekend, competing at the Virginia Tech Invitational. LeAnna Morrison set the indoor record in the triple jump on the first day of the meet, going for 13.24 meters (43 feet, 5.25 inches). It would come on her final jump of the day, and went for almost a half foot longer than the previous program record set by Rodena Barr in 2000.
Aside from the record, Morrison’s jump also set a new national standard, currently ranking as the best jump in all of Division I. Natasha Dicks (eighth-best triple jump) and Anna Todd (second-fastest 1000m) also joined the program’s top ten on Friday.
On day two of the invite, Clayton Gravesande won the 400m on the men’s side and Alexis Murphy set a new personal best in the long jump. Her mark of 6.15 meters is the sixth-best in program history, giving her three of the top ten jumps in program history.
Nakita Gray kept the strong field efforts going with a win in the high jump. She would post the third-highest jump in program history. The Gamecocks now have each of the three-top high jumpers in program history on the current roster, with Jeannelle Scheper, Sarah Graham and Gray.
Serving as captains for this weekend will be Kevin Keating, Clayton Gravesande, Chalese Davis and Sarah Graham. Keating is a senior middle distance runner from Hamilton, Ohio. He already has a win under his belt from the Orange and Purple Classic and set a new personal best in the 800m at the Virginia Tech Invite last weekend with a time of 1:54.22. Gravesande already has wins in back-to-back weekends to start the season and has the 13th-best time in the nation for the event.
Davis and Graham are multi-event standouts who will be getting their first go-arounds in the pentathlon this weekend. Davis has focused on hurdles and jumps early in the season and has scored for the team at the SEC championships in past seasons. Graham has come on strong in the last two seasons after sitting out for all of 2013. She owns the second-best high jump in program history and is a returning All-American in the pentathlon.
At the Bob Pollock Invite, the Gamecocks will take on a packed field that will feature athletes from 23 different teams across multiple NCAA divisions, including host Clemson. Competition will begin Friday morning, and it will be the first action for the team’s multis, with the men’s heptathlon and women’s pentathlon scheduled.
For the Hokie Invite it will be a smaller field, but features top competitors like Tennessee and Virginia Tech. Where the Clemson meet will feature more field and distance events, the Hokie Invite will feature Carolina’s sprinters and middle distance athletes. Competition in Blacksburg begins Friday evening.
Live results will be posted online and can also be tracked through @GamecockTrack on Twitter and Facebook.