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April 29, 2016

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PHILADELPHIA — The Gamecock track and field program enjoyed a strong Friday of competition at the Penn Relays. The day featured South Carolina’s first winner of the weekend, and many more put themselves into position to join him after strong preliminary performances.

The morning started on a high note, when Jussi Kanervo defended his title in the men’s intermediate hurdles. The junior won with ease, closing with a time of 50.54 that was nearly a full second faster than the runner-up. The team also found success in the preliminary rounds of the high hurdles, sending three men and women on to Saturday’s finale.

Dondre Echols ran the top qualifying time in the 110, hitting a new season-best of 13.73 seconds. That pushes him up in to the top 20 nationally, based on times entering the weekend. Jermaine Collier will join him in the finals after finishing 8th (14.07). For the women, Chalese Davis moved on to the finals after finishing seventh overall in the prelims (13.82).

Most of the day’s action came from the relays, where the men ran qualifiers for the 4×1, 4×2 and 4×4 and the women ran the 4×1 college final and the 4×2 prelims, among others. It would be a successful afternoon for the men’s side, who will send both the 4×1 and 4×2 teams on to the Championship of America Invitational Saturday.

The 4×1 team of David Winters, Dondre Echols, DeVon Lewis and Ncincilili Titi recorded the second-fastest qualifying time (40.27). Ryan Bermudez joined Winters, Lewis and Titi in the 4×2 and helped the team blast the field with a convincing time of 1:24.56 to earn another Championship of America berth. The mile relay finished 14th and will run tomorrow in the college final, after running 3:13.50.

The women raced in the team’s first relay final of the weekend in the college 4×1 championship, and it was a tight race from start to finish. The Gamecocks team of Makyla Stanley, Taranisha Taylor, Milan Parks and Ahtyana Johnson would be edged out by .11 seconds by Marshall and finished second overall. The women bounced back and earned a shot at another title tomorrow after making the Championship of America field in the 4×2. The quartet of Precious Holmes, Aliyah Abrams, Erika Rucker and Marisa Bellamy ran 1:37.03 to finish fourth in the qualifying field.

South Carolina competed in two other finals Friday, first the shuttle hurdle relay, with the sprint medley relay closing out the night. Luck would not be on the side of the Gamecocks in the shuttle, as both the men and women suffered late slip-ups that cost them chances at winning the title.

The men held an early lead, but were overtaken on the third leg. Jermaine Collier needed to make up ground as the anchor, but his pace threw off his rhythm and he stumbled on the final two hurdles. Despite the hangup, the Gamecocks still finished third overall. South Carolina’s women had even worse fortunes in their SHR. The team had a slight edge heading into its final leg, but Taranisha Taylor would also fall victim to the final hurdles and would not be able to finish after suffering a nasty fall down the stretch.

Off the track, the Gamecocks competed in three field events Friday. In the jumps, the team picked up 8th-place finishes from Natasha Dicks (40-0) in the triple jump and Tye Williams in the high jump (6-8 ¼). In her return to the tri-state area, New Brunswick, N.J. native Amy Suttmeier finished 11th in the javelin, throwing 134-6.


Saturday will feature plenty of excitement, as the Gamecocks are racing in the Championship of America for the men’s 4×1 and 4×2 as well as the women’s 4×2 and 4×4. Individually, the team will see finals for the high hurdles, the hammer and the men’s triple jump.

NBC Sports will be streaming the meet from 12:30-3 p.m. ET tomorrow. If interested, eligible cable subscribers can follow along live through this link.

April 29, 2016 • 122nd Penn Relays • Men’s Results •
110m Hurdles (Prelims)
1. Dondre Echols 13.73 (0.3) q
8. Jermaine Collier 14.07 (1.2) q
400m Hurdles
1. Jussi Kanervo 50.54
4x100m Relay (Prelims)
2. Winters, Echols, Lewis, Titi 40.27 q
4x200m Relay (Prelims)
1. Winters, Bermudez, Lewis, Titi 1:24.56 q
4x400m Relays (Prelims)
14. Bermudez, Jones, Kanervo, Winters 3:13.50
Shuttle Hurdle Relay
4. Echols, Kanervo, Asselin, Collier 59.12
Sprint Medley Relay
23. Thomas, Asselin, Jones, Elwood 3:39.79
Long Jump (College)
8. Michael Wamer 6.95m | 22-9 3/4
25. Tye Williams 6.60m | 21-8
28. Alexandre Asselin 6.50m | 21-4
High Jump (College)
8. Tye Williams 2.04m | 6-8 ¼
April 29, 2016 • 122nd Penn Relays • Women’s Results •
100m Hurdles (Prelims)
7. Chalese Davis 13.82 (-0.1) q
18. Funlayo Oluwole 14.53 (0.8)
20. Milan Parks 14.70 (-0.1)
4x100m Relay (College Final)
2. Stanley, Taylor, Parks, Johnson 46.36
4x200m Relay (Prelims)
4. Holmes, Abrams, Rucker, Bellamy 1:37.03 q
Shuttle Hurdle Relay
–. Davis, Oluwole, Graham, Taylor DNF
Triple Jump (Championship)
8. Natasha Dicks 12.19m | 40-0
Javelin (College)
11. Amy Suttmeier 41.02m | 134-6