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April 28, 2016

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PHILADELPHIA, PA. – The South Carolina track and field team began competition at the 122nd Penn Relays Thursday, with the women commanding the spotlight. The Gamecocks ran in four track races along with three field events on a cold and rainy day of action, but the weather would not keep the team down.

The highlight for the first day would come long after the sun had set, when the women’s 5000m trio of Mary Reiser, Christine Kent and Monica York rewrote the record book for the distance. Reiser finished 11th with a time of 16:47.24, which stands as the second-fastest in school history. It was the fastest time in the event since Sue McGhie set the record back in 1994, and was 20 seconds faster than the junior’s previous best for the event.

Not to be ignored were her teammates; Kent ran 16:59.40 to record the fifth-fastest time ever by a Gamecock, and Monica York’s time of 17:15.11 comes in at number nine. Not only did the duo of Reiser and Kent become the first ever Gamecocks to run a sub-17-minute 5K in the same race, they are the first to ever do it in the same season.

The women’s other races Thursday came in the relays, where the 4×100 and 4×400 groups advanced on through the preliminary round. The 4×1 team of Makyla Stanley, Ahtyana Johnson, Taranisha Taylor and Milan Parks started the meet with an 11th-place finish to secure a place in the college final on Friday.

After a five-hour period that saw the temperatures drop into the low 40s and a steady rain front move in, it was time for the 4x4s. Despite the less-than-ideal conditions, the team of Precious Holmes, Aliyah Abrams, Erika Rucker and Marisa Bellamy finished fourth overall to make the field of nine in the Championship of America Invitational final this Saturday.

The Gamecocks also competed in three field events Thursday, and earned a pair of top-three finishes. Natasha Dicks had the best finish of the day after finishing second in the collegiate long jump competition. She hit her best mark at 19 feet, four inches. Also in the jumps, Sarah Graham placed third in the high jump after reaching 5-7 ¼. Shelby Freedman participated in the championship division of the javelin Saturday evening and finished fourth, reaching 148 feet, two inches.


The men’s team will open up the main portion of their weekend Friday morning, starting with Jussi Kanervo in the 400m hurdles. Other highlights awaiting the team will be the final of the women’s 4×1 and the sprint medley relays, the prelims of the high hurdles and the championship division of the women’s triple jump. Competition begins bright and early at 9 a.m.

April 28, 2016 – 122nd Penn Relays – Men’s Results –
56. Drew Trusty 14:52.67
April 28, 2016 – 122nd Penn Relays – Women’s Results –
4x100m Relay (Prelim)
11. Stanley, Johnson, Taylor, Parks 46.69 q
4x400m Relay (Prelim)
4. Holmes, Abrams, Rucker, Bellamy 3:38.57 q
11. Mary Reiser 16:47.24
25. Christine Kent 16:59.40
39. Monica York 17:15.11
High Jump
3. Sarah Graham 1.71m | 5-7 ¼
Long Jump
2. Natasha Dicks 5.89m | 19-4
12. Chalese Davis 5.57m | 18-3 ¼
4. Shelby Freedman 45.17m | 148-2