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Feb. 26, 2016

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — It was a field day in every sense of the word for the South Carolina track and field team Friday as it began competition at the SEC Indoor Championships. The men’s team scored in all four of its field finals, boosting it up to 8th through five events. Josh Awotunde’s silver medal in the shot put would be the highlight of a busy day.

Awotunde opened his competition in second place and would hold on through the entire competition. He improved his distance on all four of his successful attempts, topping out at 62 feet, 3 ¼ inches on his second-to-last throw for a new personal best. He finished over a foot better than the bronze-medal finisher to improve on his seventh-place finish from last season’s conference meet. He became the men’s team’s first silver medalist in any event since 2012, and the first silver medalist in the shot since Jason Cook in 2009.

In the men’s other field events, Michael Wamer took seventh in the long jump, Tye Williams was seventh in the high jump and Simon Gyllensten placed eighth in the pole vault. Wamer took seventh on his final attempt of the night, skying 24-4 ¼ to set a new personal best and move all the way up to fifth in school history for the event.

The day began with the start of the multis, the Gamecocks had two student-athletes in both the men’s heptathlon and the women’s pentathlon. In the heptathlon, Alexandre Asselin would finish out the first day’s four events with a score of 2892 points that put him in 10th. Markus Leemet finished 6th in the 60m hurdles to start the competition, but did not compete in the final two events of the afternoon.

In the pentathlon, Chalese Davis was the top finisher with 3931 points, tenth overall. She started her day with a season-best time of 8.42 seconds in the 60m hurdles. Her big boost would come in the long jump, where she set a new personal best with a mark of 19 feet, 7 ½ inches to take fourth overall. That moved her all the way up to tenth in school history and improved on her previous best mark by almost six inches. She entered the final event of the competition, the 800m, with a shot at an overall event personal best. The senior did just that, running a 2:30.5 to beat her previous PR of 3855

The team started the preliminary rounds on the track on a high note in the men’s 60m hurdles, sending three on to tomorrow’s final. Isaiah Moore was the team’s top finisher, taking third overall with a personal-best time of 7.77 seconds. Dondre Echols qualified fourth overall (7.80) and Jermaine Collier rounded out the group in seventh (7.89).

In the sprints, David Winters earned a spot in the finals after racing out to a 6.66 finish in the men’s 60. It was the fifth-fastest time in school history, matching Damiere Byrd’s 2013 time, and it moves him up into the top 20 nationally based on times entering weekend. Ncincilili Titi (6.81) and Yohance Thomas (6.98) both achieved personal bests, but will not advance to the finals.

Winters struck again with another personal best in the 200 prelims to close out the day. He ran 20.61 in his heat, the second fastest of any qualifier, to improve his standing as the second-fastest 200 sprinter in the team’s indoor history. Titi will be joining him in the finals, as his 20.95 time in prelims was good for seventh overall.

The women’s sprinters would make waves in the 400, sending two on to tomorrow’s final. Briana Haith kicked things off with a new personal best of 52.77 that would win her heat and finish as the fourth fastest overall. Freshman Aliyah Abrams would put an exclamation point on the night with a top prelim time of 52.60. That puts her ninth in the country based on times entering the weekend, and it pushed her up into the program’s top 10 all time. She pushed out Lisa Barber and moved up to 10th, picking up the team’s best time in the 400 since Erika Rucker in 2013.


The championships wrap up tomorrow starting at 1 p.m. in the field events and 3 p.m. on the track. Highlighting the field events will be Nakita Gray looks for a high jump medal, Michael Wamer trying to go 2-for-2 in his events for the weekend and Natasha Dicks opening competition in a loaded triple jump field.

On the track, the men’s 60m hurdlers begin things with three in the race, David Winters tries for the podium in both the 60 and 200, the women’s quarter-milers hunt for medals, and the day will close out with the always-anticipated 4x400m relays.


  • Otis Jones ran the 9th-fastest 800 time in program history after running 1:51.89. He finished 19th overall in the prelims.
  • Gabby Gray (7.50 seconds) and Makyla Stanley (7.53) put up personal bests and Ahtyana Johnson (7.54) crossed with a season-best time in the 60m dash. Gray would be the top finisher in 23rd.
  • Ryan Bermudez recorded a new personal best in the 400, running 19th overall with a time of 47.39 That time is the team’s best of the indoor season.
  • In the women’s 800, Maya Evans (2:13.87) and Allie Mueller (2:15.05) hit personal bests. Mueller has now improved her time through all five of her 800 races this season, starting the season at 2:29.62.
  • Tye Williams’ 7th-place finish in the high jump is the team’s best result in the event since 2011.


Day One Impressions
“We had a great day, we had so many kids make personal best and that’s all you can ask an athlete — on this day, in SEC, to have your personal best. If you keep having your personal best, then the points come. Some of these kids are so young to the SEC… you can say that we didn’t have a lot of points but we got a lot of character and kids that didn’t come here and fold.”

February 26, 2016 • SEC Championships • Men’s Results •
60m – Prelims
5. David Winters 6.66 q
14. Ncincilili Titi 6.81
22. DeVon Lewis 6.96
24. Yohance Thomas 6.98
60m Hurdles – Prelims
3. Isaiah Moore 7.77 Q
4. Dondre Echols 7.80 q
7. Jermaine Collier 7.89 q
200m – Prelims
2. David Winters 20.61 q
7. Ncincilili Titi 20.95 q
21. Greg Chiles 21.49
25. DeVon Lewis 21.85
400m – Prelims
19. Ryan Bermudez 47.39
25. Ty Jaye Robbins 47.93
27. Greg Chiles 48.88
28. Jussi Kanervo 48.96
800m – Prelims
19. Otis Jones 1:51.89
Pole Vault
t8. Simon Gyllensten 5.00m | 16-4 ¾
–. Armand Woodley NH
–. Richard Fish NH
–. Bryce Simpson NH
Shot Put
2. Josh Awotunde 18.98m | 62-3 ¼
Long Jump
7. Michael Wamer 7.42m | 24-4 ¼
18. Isaiah Moore 6.75m | 22-1 ¾
High Jump
7. Tye Williams 2.07m | 6-9 ½
60m – Heptathlon
6. Markus Leemet 7.03 (872)
13. Alexandre Asselin 7.27 (789)
Long Jump – Heptathlon
8. Alexandre Asselin 6.96m | 22-10 (804)
13. Markus Leemet 6.78m | 22-3 (762)
Shot Put – Heptathlon
9. Alexandre Asselin 12.10m | 39-8 ½ (612)
–. Markus Leemet DNS
High Jump – Heptathlon
8. Alex Asselin 1.87m | 6-1 ½ (687)
Heptathlon (Day One)
10. Alex Asselin 2892 Points
–. Markus Leemet DNF
February 26, 2016 • SEC Championships • Women’s Results •
60m – Prelims
23. Gabby Gray 7.50
25. Makyla Stanley 7.53
26. Ahtyana Johnson 7.54
31. Maiya Dendy 7.66
60m Hurdles – Prelims
16. Milan Parks 8.48
17. Taranisha Taylor 8.51
19. Funlayo Oluwole 8.58
200m – Prelims
24. Ahtyana Johnson 24.23
26. Maiya Dendy 24.27
30. Gabby Gray 24.81
400m – Prelims
1. Aliyah Abrams 52.60 q
4. Briana Haith 52.77 q
10. Erika Rucker 53.34
24. Marisa Bellamy 55.21
36. Morgan Hubbard 57.47
800m – Prelims
22. Maya Evans 2:13.87
25. Allie Mueller 2:15.05
28. Irene Vian 2:20.15
Mile – Prelims
19. Meri Heneage 5:00.69
3000m – Final
25. Monica York 10:25.63
Long Jump
15. Natasha Dicks 5.77m | 18-11 ¼
18. Milan Parks 5.72m | 18-9 ¼
19. Alexis Murphy 5.65m | 18-6 ½
22. Makyla Stanley 5.58m | 18-3 ¾
60m Hurdles – Pentathlon
7. Chalese Davis 8.42 (1035)
13. Sarah Graham 8.89 (933)
High Jump – Pentathlon
10. Sarah Graham 1.66m | 5-5 ¼ (806)
11. Chalese Davis 1.63m | 5-4 ¼ (771)
Shot Put – Pentathlon
10. Sarah Graham 11.07m | 36-4 (600)
11. Chalese Davis 11.00m | 36-1 ¼ (595)
Long Jump – Pentathlon
4. Chalese Davis 5.98m | 19-7 ½ (843)
15. Sarah Graham 4.63m | 15-2 ¼ (461)
800m – Pentathlon
11. Sarah Graham 2:30.42
12. Chalese Davis 2:30.50
Pentathlon (Final)
10. Chalese Davis 3,931 Points
12. Sarah Graham 3,488 Points