Feb. 13, 2016
FAYETTEVILLE, ARK. – The South Carolina track and field team had a wildly successful day at the Tyson Invitational Saturday. Across almost every event the team entered, personal bests and top-10 all-time marks were found and the team left with three individual wins.
The jump team got the day started in a big way, with a sweep of the high jump and a win in the women’s triple jump. Sarah Graham won the college-division high jump with a personal season-best height of five feet, 7 Â¼ inches.
On the men’s side, Tye Williams hit a new personal best and won with a height of six feet, 11 inches. It moves him into a tie for sixth in school history, and it was the team’s best mark since David Wilkins’ school record of 7-2 Â¼ in 2011.
Natasha Dicks continued her climb up the national rankings in the triple jump with another personal best to take the win Saturday. After opening with a foul, she leapt 43 feet, 2 Â¼ inches to take command of the lead.
The mark added over eight inches to her PR set last weekend at The Armory, and moves her all the way up to sixth in the nation based on marks entering the weekend. She also jumped up to second in school history, past Rodena Barr’s 2000 mark of 42-11 Â½.
Josh Awotunde wrapped up the record-shattering day from the field events with a second-place finish in the shot put. He would set a new personal best in each of his first four throws, eventually settling with a top distance of 62 feet, three inches. Not only does it move him back into the top 15 nationally, it gives him the third-best mark in program history. He passed Jason Cook’s 2009 mark of 61-11; his performance Saturday was the team’s best since Brad Snyder’s school record set in 1998.
Not to be outdone by their teammates in the jumps and throws, Carolina’s track athletes would find equal success on day two of the meet. In the 200m, Briana Haith finished fifth overall with a time of 23.65 that is a new lifetime best and a new season best for the women.
In the men’s 200, David Winters and Ncincilili Titi finished fifth and sixth, respectively, in the invitational round. Winters’ time of 20.78 was almost a half-second faster than he previous best and moved him all the way up to second in school history.
The team had only one distance event for the weekend, but Mary Reiser made it count. She ran second overall in the 5000m, chopping over ten seconds off her season best with a time of 17:16.15.
The team will have a weekend to rest up, as the regular season will come to a close at the Gamecock Invitational at home on Saturday. The one-day meet will give the team a chance to test its depth while giving valuable time off to the majority of the team ahead of the SEC Championships.
QUOTABLE: HEAD COACH Curtis Frye
Opening thoughts on the weekend
“It’s kind of by design that our team finishes strong. Some of them are progressing on schedule, some are a little behind, but all of them are close. We have one more opportunity (at SECs) to keep progressing.”
Other takeaways from Tyson
“Natasha (Dicks) had a great performance today, we thought she was left out of the invitational and I think she used that as a motivation to go out and get the sixth-best mark in the country… Briana Haith and Maiya Dendy ran a great 200 for the women, Maiya ran a technically perfect race, the only thing that held her back was explosiveness. I think she can take a full second off her time today before the end of the year… David didn’t have the type of performance he wanted in the 60, he battled some cramps in the semis and didn’t make it through, but he and (Ncincilili) Titi both ran their top times of the season today in the 200.. Sarah (Graham) and Nakita (Gray) did really well today, Sarah is starting to get back to her old self and Nakita has been really consistent. We want her to get to that magic number of 6 feet, one inch, but she went out there today and beat a lot of great athletes to finish second.”
Looking ahead to next weekend
“We’ll be taking a few athletes up to Virginia Tech to get a chance to make some marks, we’ll rest those who need it and our high jumpers will try to get some top marks here at home (at the Gamecock Invite). I think being home will really help some of our athletes perform their best. Our kids feed off the energy of having their friends around to support them.”
|February 13, 2016 â€¢ Tyson Invitational â€¢ Men’s Results â€¢|
|200m – Invitational|
|5. David Winters||20.78|
|6. Ncincilili Titi||20.89|
|200m – College|
|23. Greg Chiles||21.88|
|2. Josh Awotunde||18.97m | 62-3|
|High Jump — College|
|1. Tye Williams||2.11m | 6-11|
|6. Michael Wamer||15.23m | 49-11 Â¾|
|February 13, 2016 â€¢ Tyson Invitational â€¢ Women’s Results â€¢|
|200m – College|
|5. Briana Haith||23.65|
|24. Maiya Dendy||24.11|
|5000m — College|
|2. Mary Reiser||17:16.15|
|4x400m Relay — Invitational|
|9. Haith, Abrams, Dendy, Bellamy||3:36.35|
|High Jump – College|
|1. Sarah Graham||1.71m | 5-7 Â¼|
|High Jump – Invitational|
|2. Nakita Gray||1.81m | 5-11 Â¼|
|1. Natasha Dicks||13.16m | 43-2 Â¼|
|15. Funlayo Oluwole||11.75m | 38-6 Â¾|