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May 14, 2015

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STARKVILLE, MS. – Competition at the SEC Outdoor Championships kicked off on a muggy Thursday at Mississippi State. The Gamecocks enjoyed a handful of personal bests on the day, and saw a pair of field athletes score for the men.

The meet began with the start of the men’s decathlon. Markus Leemet and Alexandre Asselin represented the Gamecocks, and Leemet had a solid start to the day. The sophomore set season bests in three of the day’s five events and enters day two 337 points behind Georgia’s Maicel Uibo for the overall lead. His highlights included third-place finishes in the 100m, 400m and shot put. Asselin did not finish the 400 and is in 17th overall in the event.

In the hammer throw, Clarence Gallop had done enough through his first two throws to qualify for three final attempts, but the sophomore went above and beyond to score big for the team. On his third throw, he added eight feet to his previous best of the day to vault from seventh to fifth. The mark of 212-2 is a new personal record, and moves him to fifth place in the program record book.

Kaleb Zuidema found himself in an incredible javelin competition, as he finished seventh overall in one of the most memorable showdowns in SEC history. The gold medal came down to the final throw for three athletes, with the top three marks coming in at third, fourth and fifth-best in the nation. Zuidema would come out with his best mark of the season to start the event, at 223-3, and it would hold up for seventh-best to score for the team.

Back on the track, preliminary heats were contested in the 200m, 800m and 400m hurdles. In the men’s 800, Kevin Keating finished his career on a high note with a new personal best. He crossed in a time of 1:50.91 to take 19th overall in the prelims, but did not qualify for the final race. In the women’s 800, Ashley Miller also ran a new PR with a time of 2:13.14 to finish 17th. Maya Evans was the team’s top finisher in the event, running a 2:12.58 to place 16th.

Closing out day one was the women’s 10k. Mary Reiser was the team’s top finisher with a time of 36:43.10 to cross 12th. Freshman Hannah Giangaspro finished 16th in his first collegiate 10k with a time of 37:07.02, the third-fastest time by a freshman in the race. The time is good for eighth-fastest in program history and it marks the third-straight season that the Gamecocks put a runner in the top 10 for the event.


  • It was a muggy day to start the championships, with temperatures in the low 80s. The last time the Gamecocks competed, at the Penn Relays, temperatures dipped all the way to the high 30s.
  • Clarence Gallop’s new personal best of 212-2 passes Michael Zajac for fifth all-time. His mark is the best throw by any Gamecock since Bert Sorin went 219-20 back in 1999. He improved his PR by a foot and a half.
  • Kevin Keating ended a breakout season for the team on Thursday. He will graduate now after setting a new personal record on all three of his main events between the indoor (800m, 1000m) and outdoor (800m) seasons.

QUOTABLE South Carolina Head Coach Curtis Frye

Opening Statement
Markus did a heck of a job setting himself up for a big finish, right now he’s in second and he can do some things to help us out. Clarence throwing 212 feet is awesome, it’s something we didn’t expect him to do but his first throw got him into the finals and it opened him up for the big throw. Zuidema got a good mark off and kept him in the seventh spot, but it was one heck of a performance out there by the SEC. You just had four out of the top five throws in the country by those guys competing and it was a great event to watch. As a team, we’re in the position that we expected to be. Losing Jussi hurt us a bit, but Clarence and Kaleb both picked up the points for him. Everybody today put forth great effort.

Sophomore Markus Leemet

On His First Day of Decathlon Events
I feel alright, it’s a typical day one for me. It hurts after the 400, but I’ll rest and I think I’ll be good to go tomorrow…. I kind of lost some ground at the high jump, but I’m feeling confident going into day two, we’ve put in enough work and I feel like I can make up for the high jump somewhere else.


Friday will be filled with championships in the field events, highlighted by a showdown in the women’s high jump between Jeannelle Scheper and Nakita Gray for the Gamecocks, and Georgia’s Leontia Kallenou and Tatiana Gusin. There will also be finals in the men’s shot put and the long jump, and prelims for the 100, 400, 1500 and 110 hurdles. The men’s decathlon will also wrap up with the 110 hurdles, javelin, discus, pole vault and 1500.

May 14, 2015 • SEC Outdoor Championships – Men • Starkville, MS. •
400m Hurdles (Prelim)
DNS. Jussi Kanervo DNS
200m (Prelim)
12. Eric Winfrey 21.30 (-0.6) q
17. Chris Walker 21.62 (-0.9) q
25. DeVon Lewis 22.18 (-0.6) q
800m (Prelim)
19. Kevin Keating 1:50.91
Hammer Throw (Final)
5. Clarence Gallop 64.66m/212-2
Javelin Throw (Final)
7. Kaleb Zuidema 68.05m/223-3
100m – Decathlon
3. Markus Leemet 10.94 (+0.8)
17. Alexandre Asselin 11.63 (+1.0)
400m – Decathlon
3. Markus Leemet 49.36
DNF. Alexandre Asselin DNF
Shot Put – Decathlon
3. Markus Leemet 13.69m/44-11
5. Alexandre Asselin 11.46m/37-7.25
Long Jump – Decathlon
4. Markus Leemet 6.90m/22-7.75
8. Alexandre Asselin 6.73m/22-1
High Jump – Decathlon
9. Markus Leemet 1.85m/6-0.75
17. Alexandre Asselin 1.76m/5-9.25
May 14, 2015 • SEC Outdoor Championships – Women • Starkville, MS. •
400m Hurdles (Prelim)
18. Morgan Hubbard 1:01.94
200m (Prelim)
15. Ahtyana Johnson 23.96 (-0.6)
20. Alexis Murphy 24.26 (-0.9)
29. Gabby Gray 24.94 (-1.1)
800m (Prelim)
16. Maya Evans 2:12.58
17. Ashley Miller 2:13.14
10,000m (Final)
12. Mary Reiser 36:43.10
16. Hannah Giangaspro 37:07.02