Jan. 14, 2016
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina track and field program will split its roster this weekend, traveling to the Texas A&M Team Invitational and the Virginia Tech Invitational. The competition in Blacksburg begins Friday night and runs through Saturday; the Texas A&M meet will be a one-day scored match up on Saturday.
The team began its 2016 indoor season last Saturday at the USC Open #1, tallying wins in 13 events and posting three marks that ranked in the program’s all-time top 10. The 19th-ranked men’s team swept all the field events for the day, with Josh Awotunde providing the biggest result of the day with a top shot put mark of 61 feet, 2 Â¾ inches. It set a new personal best that spans the indoor and outdoor seasons, and moved him all the way up to fourth in the program record book. His throw is the best by any Gamecock since Jason Cook in 2009 (61-11), and it earned him the SEC Field Athlete of the Week honors.
The women’s runners would dominate the distance events, starting with freshman Allie Mueller’s win in the 800. First-year runners would also show well in the mile, with freshmen Alexis Malmberg (1st) and Julia Nardone (3rd) placing for Carolina. In the 3,000-meter race, Kaylee Wessel held the top spot over teammate Allie Sprague, who came second.
After the first weekend, 22 student-athletes found themselves in the top 100 nationally for their events (11 men, 11 women). Awotunde’s shot put mark ranks fifth nationally to lead the men, while Taranisha Taylor’s adjusted 60m hurdle time of 8.38 seconds ranks tenth.
At the Texas A&M Team Invitational, South Carolina is scheduled to face off against top-25-ranked teams like Texas A&M, Baylor, Oklahoma State, TCU, and Texas. Up at Virginia Tech, the field is highlighted by athletes from Clemson, Georgia Tech, Miami, North Carolina, Virginia and SEC rival Tennessee.