Gamecocks Open 2019 at Orange & Purple Elite
Carolina set for first full meet of new season
Indoor Meet #1 – Orange & Purple Elite
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The University of South Carolina track & field program opens its 2019 season on Friday, Jan. 11, at the Orange & Purple Elite. Action begins with field events at 10 a.m. ET, and track events start at 12:30 p.m. for the one-day meet.
Joining the Gamecocks and the hosts from Clemson on Friday are Florida State, NC State and Youngstown State.
FROM THE COACH
“We are excited. The kids have had a great fall. They’ve gone through their standard testing in the weight room, and 90 percent of them have improved. We’ve overcome our offseason injuries, so we’re getting a little excited around here about opening up.”
“We’ve got to exceed (what we did) last year. Having 20 people go to the NCAA Outdoor Championships was big for us. A great deal of those people are back, and we expect them to step it up to another level and become scorers at NCAAs.” – Head Coach Curtis Frye
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS (Click to Expand)
LAST TIME OUT • DECEMBER 8 • GAMECOCKS DOMINATE CLEMSON OPENER
South Carolina has already competed once this season, taking its sprinters and hurdlers to the Clemson Opener on Dec. 8. The Gamecocks dominated, winning seven of the nine events they entered.
Two returning All-Americans were victorious at Clemson, as Aliyah Abrams took the women’s 300m in 37.45, and Isaiah Moore won the men’s 60m hurdles, his first race as a Gamecock since June of 2017, with a time of 7.89. Abrams led the 4x400m relay team to a victory, and Darrell Singleton Jr. set a huge PR in the men’s 60m with a winning time of 6.73.
Other winners at Clemson included Maiya Dendy (women’s 60m), Stephanie Davis (women’s 200m) and Milan Parks (women’s 60m hurdles).
PREVIOUS HISTORY AT CLEMSON
The Gamecocks are no stranger to Clemson’s indoor facility; this will be the team’s seventh competition inside the facility in the last three seasons. In addition to December’s winners, several current Gamecocks have tasted the thrill of victory in the Upstate. Moore won the men’s 60mH at the 2017 Clemson Invitational, with Hailey Sweatman claiming the women’s pole vault title at the meet. Carolina’s women’s DMR, which included current Gamecocks Emily Crounse, Anna Kathryn Stoddard and Allie Mueller, was also victorious at the meet.
Alycia Springs won the women’s shot put at the 2017 Tiger Tuneup, where she was one of five current Gamecocks to stand on the podium.
Last season’s lone event win at Clemson came in the men’s 200m at the Clemson Invitational, where graduated senior Ncincilili Titi took home the title, but several current Gamecocks earned top-three finishes at the event, including Jordan Fields (women’s heptathlon), KD Young (women’s shot put), Yann Randrianasolo (men’s long jump), Otis Jones (men’s 800m) and Armand Woodley (men’s pole vault). Jones and Woodley repeated the podium performances later in the season at the Tiger Paw Invitational, where they were joined by women’s triple jumper Hanifah Abdulqadir.
GAMECOCKS IN THE NCAA INDIVIDUAL RANKINGS
Though the season is young, the Gamecocks already feature 11 student-athletes with NCAA top-50 rankings in their individual events. The top-16 student-athletes in each event will qualify for the 2019 NCAA Indoor Championships, to be held March 8-9 in Birmingham, Ala.
• Darrell Singleton Jr. is one of three Gamecocks ranked in the top-15 in the men’s 60m, as he’s listed fourth with a time of 6.73. Evan Miller is listed sixth at 6.75, and Ronald Fuller is ranked 15th, at 6.81.
• Two Gamecocks hold top-10 rankings in the women’s 60m. Maiya Dendy is ranked eighth, at 7.48, and Makyla Stanley is 10th, at 7.49.
• Two Gamecocks find their names in the women’s 200m listings, led by Stephanie Davis at No. 7 with a time of 24.11. Amecia Pennamon is ranked 29th, at 24.74.
• USC Upstate transfer Noah Walker is ranked 47th in the men’s 400m, at 49.35.
• Looking to make his second NCAA Championships appearance, Isaiah Moore is ranked sixth in the men’s 60m hurdles, with a time of 7.89.
• On the women’s side of the 60m hurdles, Milan Parks checks in fifth (8.35) and Caitlyn Little is ranked sixth (8.40)
FIVE GAMECOCKS NAMED PRESEASON ALL-AMERICANS BY FLOTRACK
Five Gamecocks were selected as Preseason All-Americans by FloTrack as the organization picked its top-16 student-athletes in each event over the holidays. Leading the way was junior college transfer Quincy Hall, who was picked third in the nation in the men’s 400m. Hanifah Abdulqadir was picked ninth in the women’s triple jump, while fellow jumps squad members Yann Randrianasolo (11th, men’s long jump) and Jordan Fields (12th, women’s high jump) were also selected. Last but not least, senior 800m specialist Otis Jones was picked 15th in his signature event.
GAMECOCKS RETURN 10 WITH ALL-AMERICA EXPERIENCE
South Carolina returns 10 student-athletes with past experience as NCAA All-Americans in 2019. Leading the way is redshirt junior Aliyah Abrams, who was part of Carolina’s third-place finish in the women’s 4x400m relay in 2016 and also earned top-16 finishes in the 2016 outdoor 400m and 2017 indoor 4x400m. Long jumper Yann Randrianasolo earned second-team status twice last season, as did high jumper Lissa Labiche, and Isaiah Moore was a first-team All-American in the outdoor 110m hurdles in 2017.
Other returning second-team All-Americans from last season include Hanifah Abdulqadir (indoor triple jump), Jordan Fields (indoor high jump), and the outdoor 4x100m relay team of Stephanie Davis, Maiya Dendy, Milan Parks and Makyla Stanley.
In addition to the on-track All-Americans, the Gamecocks welcome back 2018 Google Cloud Academic All-American Allie Mueller for her final college campaign. Mueller sported a 4.00 GPA in pharmacy last season and finished 11th in the SEC in the indoor mile.
SENIORS RETURN FROM INJURY FOR ONE FINAL SEASON
South Carolina was missing two key veterans on the 2018 men’s roster due to injury, but the duo is back and ready for big things in 2019. Isaiah Moore was an All-SEC honoree and a first-team All-American in the 110m hurdles in 2017 before missing 2018 with a foot injury. Fellow fifth-year senior Ben Bonhurst grabbed All-SEC laurels and qualified for the NCAA East Regional in the shot put in 2017 before missing last year with knee issues. Both veterans are back to 100 percent and plan to be key cogs in the 2019 charge.
INCOMING TRANSFERS BRING NATIONAL SUCCESS TO CAROLINA ROSTER
Carolina’s 2019 roster is bolstered by five transfers that already sport experience competing at the highest levels of collegiate track & field. Leading the way is College of the Sequoias transfer Quincy Hall, who enters as a junior and is a prime candidate to compete for national titles in the 400m and 400m hurdles. Hall is a former Pan American Games and U.S. Junior national champion in the 400mH, and he never lost a race in two seasons at Sequoias.
Two new Gamecocks join the men’s roster after competing at the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Championships as freshmen. Kennesaw State transfer Tyler Jones qualified for the meet in the long jump, while Carlos Wilson represented Texas State in the 4x100m relay. Wilson was also an individual NCAA West Regional qualifier in the 100m, and USC Upstate transfer Noah Walker qualified for the NCAA East Regional in the 400m hurdles.
On the women’s side, Carolina welcomes Wadeline Jonathas to the family after two outstanding seasons at UMass Boston. The Haiti native won nine individual NCAA Division III national championships in her two seasons with the Beacons, earning indoor 400m and outdoor 200m and 400m titles in 2017 along with indoor 60m, 200m, 400m and long jump titles and outdoor 200m and 400m titles in 2018. Jonathas scored enough points at the 2018 NCAA DIII indoor meet to single-handedly win the team national title for UMass Boston, and she set DIII national records in six different events.
UP NEXT FOR THE GAMECOCKS
The Gamecocks compete inside of the newly-remodeled Carolina Indoor Track & Field Complex for the first time Jan. 18-19, when they host the Gamecock Inaugural. The indoor home meet is the first for Curtis Frye’s team since the 2016 season.