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April 30, 2016

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PHILADELPHIA, PA. – The South Carolina track and field team wrapped up its weekend in the City of Brotherly Love on Saturday, closing its Penn Relays meet on a high note with a relay title and a number of program top-10 times.

The highlight of the weekend would undoubtedly be the dramatic win for the men’s 4×200 relay team of David Winters, DeVon Lewis, Ncincilili Titi and Ryan Bermudez. The four were favorites after running the top qualifying time, but faced a challenge from SEC rival Auburn and two-time defending champion UTech from Jamaica.

Winters got the team off to a good start at the leadoff before passing to Lewis. On the second pass, Titi was in a pack with three other teams but ran strong on the final back stretch. Bermudez took it home as the anchor, bolstered by a vocal crowd of over 44,000 spectators. He crossed just .15 seconds ahead of Auburn, finishing in 1:22.38 for the program’s fourth-fastest time ever in the event.

“I had a feeling my team would put me in first, so I was thinking I have to maintain that position,” Bermudez said. “It was a lot of pressure but I’m really happy that the coaches trusted me to finish off the relay and I’m really satisfied with myself for maintaining that position and bringing home the win for my team.”

It was South Carolina’s 20th relay win all-time at the Penn Relays, and it was the first 4×2 title ever for the men.

The men had another shot at the coveted wagon wheel earlier in the day with a men’s 4x100m Championship of America final that equally delighted the crowd. The nine-team field featured three of the top-15-ranked NCAA teams as well as two of the best Jamaican college teams. The teams all lived up to the hype, as six would run under 40 seconds.

The Gamecocks, running David Winters, Dondre Echols, DeVon Lewis and Ncincilili Titi, finished third with a new season-best time of 39.54. That will likely push them into the top 20 nationally come Monday. South Carolina finished just two hundredths of a second off the winning time, and the field as a whole finished just one second apart of one another.

After the early relays, it was time for the team’s two individual track finals. In the women’s 100m hurdles, Chalese Davis ran seventh overall with a time of 13.66. For the men, Dondre Echols and Jermaine Collier ran fourth and seventh, respectively, in a choppy race. The winning time of 13.89 in the final would have finished just fourth in the prelims, where Echols ran the fastest time of the weekend at 13.73.

There would be two field championships Saturday, both for the men. Michael Wamer finished fourth in the triple jump after hitting his top mark of 51 feet, 10 ½ inches on his opening attempts. Clarence Gallop went seventh in the hammer championship division, throwing 206 feet, six inches.

Back on the track, the meet ended with the 4x800m and 4x400m relay finals. The women’s 4×8 team of Allie Mueller, Irene Vian, Maya Evans and Ashley Miller ran 9:03.91 to post the program’s seventh-fastest time ever. In the men’s 4×8, Otis Jones, Drew Galang, Alex Sullivan and Michael Elwood ran 7:41.16, the team’s fastest time of the season.

Closing the meet was the 4x400m finals. The men’s college division final was up first; the team of Echols, Titi, Jussi Kanervo and Bermudez finished 5th in 3:13.20. The women were in a talent-packed Championship of America final with one last chance to get the team another wagon wheel. The quartet of Aliyah Abrams, Marisa Bellamy, Erika Rucker, and Precious Holmes led slightly through the first two legs, but were overtaken late and finished fourth. Their time of 3:31.51 was just off their best of the season, set back at the Florida Relays.


With the regular season now complete, the team will have next weekend off to rest and prepare for the SEC Championships. The three-day meet will be the team’s last chance to qualify for the NCAA East Regional in Jacksonville. The event begins May 12th in Tuscaloosa, hosted by Alabama.


Recapping the Weekend
“It was a great weekend with a great group of kids. We’re a united group and it pays off. They stuck together, nobody backed out of a relay and we found out a lot about ourselves. We found some people who have been injured who are starting to get well, and we saw people with big heart and fought back today when they were sore. We had people start the week with personal bests in the 5000 all the way to winning a wheel. We’ve just had a tremendous week of Gamecock effort.”


April 30, 2016 • 122nd Penn Relays • Men’s Results •
110m Hurdles (Final)
4. Dondre Echols 13.97 (0.1)
7. Jermaine Collier 14.37 (0.1)
4x100m Relay (Championship of America)
3. Winters, Echols, Lewis, Titi 39.54
4x200m Relay (Championship of America)
1. Winters, Bermudez, Lewis, Titi 1:22.38
4x400m Relay (College Final)
5. Echols, Titi, Kanervo, Bermudez 3:13.20
4x800m Relay (Championship of America)
19. Jones, Galang, Sullivan, Elwood 7:41.16
Hammer (Championship)
7. Clarence Gallop 62.96m | 206-6
Triple Jump (Championship)
4. Michael Wamer 15.81m | 51-10 ½
April 29, 2016 • 122nd Penn Relays • Women’s Results •
100m Hurdles (Final)
8. Chalese Davis 13.66 (-0.7)
4x200m Relay (Championship of American)
–. Johnson, Abrams, Rucker, Bellamy DQ
4x400m Relay (Championship of America)
4. Abrams, Bellamy, Rucker, Holmes 3:31.51
4x800m Relay (Championship of America)
20. Mueller, Vian, Evans, Miller 9:03.91