Jan. 29, 2016
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina track and field will split up its roster again this weekend, sending members to the Camel City Invite in Winston-Salem, N.C. while the team’s multi-event athletes will get their first action of the season up at the Penn State National meet. Both events begin Friday afternoon and run through Saturday.
Live results and live video are available for both events this weekend, though the respective video feeds require membership to the websites to view. Fans can also follow the team’s results on Twitter at @GamecockTrack.
Though they have been active at every meet so far this season, Penn State will offer a chance for five Gamecocks to kick off the rust in the multis. Alex Asselin, Markus Leemet and Simon Gyllensten are scheduled to compete in the heptathlon for the men, and Sarah Graham and Chalese Davis will go in the pentathlon for the women
Last weekend, the Gamecocks battled some of the top teams in the country, representing the SEC at the Conference Clash. The meet, co-hosted by Auburn and Tennessee, pitted eight conference rivals against a team of seven “Power Four” schools. The SEC split the weekend, earning a convincing 91-74 win for the men but losing by just one point, 85.5-84.5, on the women’s side. Seven Gamecocks pitched in with points for the SEC over the course of the weekend.
Drew Trusty’s win in the 5,000 would highlight the first day of competition. Trusty finished with a time of 15:06.21, 15 second ahead of the second-place competitor. The time ranks seventh-fastest in program history for the indoor season, and is the best 5K time for a Gamecock since Steve Mance way back in 2005. Mary Reiser would also score points for the SEC in the 5K; the junior ran sixth overall but was the second-fastest SEC runner in the field and earned a point. Her time of 17:31.65 is just a few seconds off her personal best. Michael Wamer was the final Gamecock to score on Friday. He finished third overall in the triple jump, setting a new personal best with a top mark of 50 feet, 9 1Ã…Â½4 inches. The leap added three inches to his previous high, and now ranks fourth in program history.
Four more Gamecocks would score for the SEC on the final day of competition, starting with David Winters. The junior ran as the top finisher for the conference in the 60m dash with a time of 6.74. In the 60m hurdles final, Isaiah Moore and Dondre Echols finished 2-3 in the race as the conference swept the top four spots overall. Erika Rucker made a strong return to the track after missing almost all of last season, the senior ran fifth overall in the 400m, scoring for the SEC with a time of 53.74. The mark moves her all the way up to 11th in the nation, giving South Carolina two women ranked in the top 11 in the quarter mile (along with Aliyah Abrams).
The team’s final scorer on the final day would be Josh Awotunde. The sophomore finished seventh overall in a stacked field that included four of the top seven throwers in the nation this season. His top mark of 59 feet, seven inches was the top mark of any SEC competitor.
Wrapping up the weekend on the track were season-best times from Ty Jaye Robbins-Lockhart in the 400m and Otis Jones in the 800. The men also recorded their first times of the season in the 4×4 relay, placing sixth, tenth and 14th; the `A’ team of Robbins, Echols, Ncincilili Titi and Winters ran the top time of 3:12.58.