May 13, 2017
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The 2017 SEC Outdoor Track & Field Championships ended with a bang for the University of South Carolina on Saturday, thanks in large part to redshirt senior Tyler Brockington. The Greensboro, N.C., native sped away from the field in the finals of the women’s 400m hurdles to win the individual SEC title at Sheila & Morris Cregger Track.
Brockington wasn’t the only Gamecock to electrify the Cregger Track crowd with a podium finish on Saturday. Josh Awotunde and Ben Bonhurst grabbed top-three spots in the shot put, Isaiah Moore finished in third in the 100m hurdles and Natasha Dicks came on strong at the end of the triple jump for a third-place finish.
Overall, the Carolina men finished in eighth place, with 46 points. That’s their best result since 2010. The women placed 11th, their best finish since 2012, with 31 points.
Brockington led the 400mH from start to finish and posted a winning time of 55.97, almost a second clear of the field. That time is a new personal best, the fourth-fastest time in Carolina history and the No. 4 time in the NCAA this season.
The senior is Carolina’s seventh SEC Champion in the women’s 400mH and the first Gamecock to top the podium in the event since Tiffany Ross in 2005. Her individual SEC title is the 47th in Carolina women’s history and the first since 2015, when Jeannelle Scheper won the high jump crown.
“It’s great to be a Gamecock, every day,” Brockington said after her victory. “It’s a really humbling experience to come out here and compete, and for the first time in five years I was able to pull out what I can really do. It’s amazing to race these girls that are top-10 in the nation. I’m going to take my win and enjoy it and prepare for Regionals.”
Moore battled the soggy conditions and was still able to grab a third-place finish with a mark of 13.55. The season-best time is just .01 off of Moore’s lifetime best and ranks ninth in the nation this season. His bronze medal gives the Gamecocks a podium finish in the 110mH in each of the last three seasons.
Awotunde took on a loaded field in the shot put and spent the entire competition in second place. His top effort, 64-4 Â½, came on his fourth attempt. It’s the seventh time the junior has scored at an SEC Championships event and matches his silver-medal finish from the 2016 SEC Indoor meet as a career best.
Bonhurst was on the outside looking in at the finals when he stepped in for his third throw, but he answered the bell with an effort of 57-10 Â¼ that bumped him up to seventh. That’s where the junior stood when he took his sixth and final attempt, and he came through in the clutch again with a mark of 60-11 Â¼. That throw vaulted Bonhurst into third place and onto the SEC podium for the first time in his career.
Much like Bonhurst, Dicks was in the points but off the podium when she took off for her sixth and final triple jump effort. But the senior saved her best for last; her leap of 43-8 gave her a third-place finish and her second consecutive podium at the SEC Outdoor Championships.
Ncincilili Titi added to the Carolina tally in the 200m dash. The South Africa native was the fourth seed after Thursday’s prelims, and he finished fifth in the finals. Titi’s Saturday run stopped the clock in 20.65, his fifth-place effort matches his previous best finish at the SEC Championships, coming at the 2015 indoor meet.
Nakita Gray was the first Gamecock to tally points on Saturday. The senior cleared her first three heights in the high jump and ended the meet with a top effort of 5-8 Â¾, good for sixth place and three points.
Armand Woodley entered the SEC Championships with victories in his last three pole vault competitions and PRs in the last five. Though his victory streak was snapped, the sophomore set yet another personal best when he cleared 16-7 Â½, and he finished fifth overall to score at SECs for the first time.
QUOTING HEAD COACH Curtis Frye
“Tyler worked really hard. The last few, she’s been a good leader, and we look forward to that growth and hope it carries into the regional meet and from there, the NCAAs. She really put forth heart to win that title, and that’s great, when an athlete puts forth the heart.”
“It was an awesome day. Isaiah finished near his personal best at the right time and got on the podium. Ben had a great throw, and Josh stepped up with big throws. Those are things that leave us with chances for a big performance at the NCAAs. Nakita scoring and Natasha scoring, coming back on her last jump; our kids are showing tremendous courage.”
UP NEXT FOR THE GAMECOCKS
The Gamecocks now turn their attention to the 2017 NCAA East Regional Meet. Those who qualify will have a chance to compete for a NCAA-championship bid at the meet, which runs May 23-25 in Lexington, Ky.
|SATURDAY, MAY 13, 2017 â€¢ 2017 SEC CHAMPIONSHIPS â€¢ MEN’S RESULTS
|5. Armand Woodley
|5.07m | 16-7 1/2
|–. Simon Gyllensten
|2. Josh Awotunde
|19.62m | 64-4 1/2
|3. Ben Bonhurst
|18.57m | 60-11 1/4
|12. Eric Favors
|15.77m | 51-9
|9. Lewis, Winters, Bermudez, Titi
|3. Isaiah Moore
|5. Ncincilili Titi
|10. Bermudez, Robbins, Griffin, Jones
|SATURDAY, MAY 13, 2017 â€¢ 2017 SEC CHAMPIONSHIPS â€¢ WOMEN’S RESULTS
|12. Olivia Hassler
|40.96m | 134-4
|13. Alycia Springs
|37.03m | 121-6
|6. Nakita Gray
|1.75m | 5-8 3/4
|3. Natasha Dicks
|13.31m | 43-8
|10. Sow, Brockington, Taylor, Dendy
|1. Tyler Brockington
|29. Anna Kathryn Stoddard
|32. Mary Reiser
|34. Allie Mueller
|5. Bellamy, Holmes, Brockington, Lyles