Gamecocks Head to Georgia for Spec Towns Invitational
Carolina makes annual trip to Athens to face SEC rivals
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The outdoor season continues this weekend for the University of South Carolina track & field team as the Gamecocks take part in the Spec Towns Invitational in Athens, Ga. The University of Georgia hosts the event, which is scheduled for April 5-6 at Spec Towns Track.
The Spec Towns Invitational features a limited field, though the competition will be steep. Carolina and the host Bulldogs will be joined by SEC rival Ole Miss along with Arkansas State, Connecticut, Dartmouth and Virginia Tech.
On the men’s side, both Georgia (No. 10) and South Carolina (No. 20) are ranked in the USTFCCCA top 25, while the women’s field includes No. 17 Georgia, No. 20 Virginia Tech and No. 25 South Carolina.
“Our student-athletes are training at a high level with an idea of how they can score at the conference meet and how they can get to the regional meet. My expectations are not lower because we’re altering some events. They’re going to do special things. We’ve got special kids. They like each other, so they’re going to carry on, and we’re going to have great performances. Georgia is a tough place to be. They’re the defending men’s outdoor national champions. They’re going to rise up at home, just like our kids will the next week.”– Head Coach Curtis Frye
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GAMECOCKS PREPARE TO HONOR BARBER, TRAMMELL
Though the Gamecocks are on the road this weekend, they’re back home on April 13 for the Gamecock Invitational at Cregger Track. During the meet, the Gamecocks will retire the jerseys of Carolina legends Miki Barber and Terrence Trammell.
Barber was a 20-time All-American, five-time NCAA champion and an eight-time SEC champion during her time at South Carolina. She was a 2000 Olympian and a gold medalist in the 100 meters at the 2007 Pan American Games and as part of the 4×100 meter relay in the 2007 World Championships. She is part of the Carolina school record setting indoor 4x400m relay and the 4x200m relay. She has competed in 19 USATF Championships and was inducted into the USC Lettermen’s Hall of Fame in 2015.
Trammell was a 13-time All-American, six-time NCAA champion and an eight-time SEC champion during his Gamecock career. He was a silver medalist in the 110-meter hurdles at the 2000 and the 2004 Olympics and a seven-time World Championships medalist, including two gold medals. He was voted the 1999 SEC Athlete of the Year and won the 1999 Cliff Harper Trophy as the SEC Championships leader in points scored. He was inducted into the USC Lettermen’s Hall of Fame in 2006.
LAST SEASON AT THE SPEC TOWNS INVTIATIONAL
The Gamecocks sent a limited crew of jumpers, pole vaulters and multi athletes to Georgia last season, but those that went experienced success. Yann Randrianasolo led the way, winning the Lewis Gainey Long Jump with a mark of 7.84m (25-8 ¾). Armand Woodley finished third in the men’s pole vault and Lissa Labiche took third in the women’s high jump.
LAST TIME OUT • MARCH 28-30 • WOMEN’S 4×4 STEALS THE SHOW AT FLORIDA RELAYS
South Carolina made its annual trip to the Florida Relays and left Gainesville with several strong results. Chief among the efforts was Carolina’s run in the women’s 4x400m relay. Stephanie Davis, Aliyah Abrams, Tatyana Mills and Wadeline Jonathas were together for the first time since their national title-winning run at the NCAA Indoor Championships, and the quartet somehow managed to outdo themselves again. Jonathas ran a furious closing stretch to overtake Florida and Alabama on the final straightaway, and the team’s time of 3:27.53 leads the NCAA and ranks second in the world as of March 31.
The Gamecock distance crew was spectacular, accounting for five new marks on the program’s all-time top-10. Anna Kathryn Stoddard (16:52.76) and Heather Stone (16:57.46) moved to fourth and sixth, respectively, on the program’s 5000m list, while Kelsey Larkin (11:15.98) ran the third-fastest 3000m steeplechase in school history. Allie Mueller (4:30.27) moved up to sixth in school history in the 1500m, Last but not least, the 4x800m relay team of Mueller, Maryah Nasir, Macie Kavanaugh and Sierra Biber ran 9:02.50, the seventh-best mark in program history.
Three other Gamecock relays and one more individual notched new program top-10 efforts in Gainesville. The 4x200m relay group of Arinze Chance, Darrell Singleton Jr., Evan Miller and Quincy Hall stopped the clock in 1:21.87, second in school history. Chance and Hall joined Otis Jones and Ty Jaye Robbins to run 3:04.08 in the 4x400m relay, eighth on the Carolina list and fifth in the NCAA this season. The women’s sprint medley relay of Milan Parks, Mathilde Coquillaud-Salomon, Jhari Williams and Sierra Biber posted a time of 4:05.08, fifth on Carolina’s records list.
Last but not least, Amanda Murphy moved to No. 4 in Carolina hammer throw history with an effort of 54.78m (179-9). Overall, the Gamecocks wrapped up the meet with 24 top-10 finishes in Gainesville, including 11 on Saturday with just 16 entries.
GAMECOCKS CLOSING IN ON POSTSEASON BIDS WITH FIVE MEETS LEFT
Three meets into the outdoor season, the race is on as South Carolina looks to position itself for the postseason. Each member of the Gamecock roster is aiming to finish the season in the NCAA East Region top 48 of their event, which guarantees a spot at the NCAA East Regional Preliminary Round, May 23-25 in Jacksonville, Fla. Here’s a look at the Gamecocks currently in Regional position.
• 3. Chance, Hall, O. Jones, Robbins – 4x400m Relay – 3:04.08
• 4. Isaiah Moore – 110mH – 13.67
• 5. Noah Walker – 400mH – 51.36
• 7. Eric Favors – Shot Put – 18.44m
• 8. Yann Randrianasolo – Triple Jump – 15.61m
• 9. Armand Woodley – Pole Vault – 5.22m
• 12. Rivaldo Leacock – 400mH – 51.90
• 15. Otis Jones – 800m – 1:49.63
• 18. Darrell Singleton Jr. – 200m – 20.95
• 20. Ben Bonhurst – 17.59m – 17.59m
• 23. Darrell Singleton Jr. – 100m – 10.42
• 24. Chance, Singleton, Miller, Valentine – 4x100m Relay – 40.44
• 29. Malik Paul – Discus – 52.31m
• 45. Arinze Chance – 200m – 21.20
• 45. Ty Jaye Robbins – 400m – 47.52
• 47. Noah Walker – 110mH – 14.43
• 1. Davis, Abrams, Mills, Jonathas – 4x400m Relay – 3:27.53*
• 4. Wadeline Jonathas – 400m – 52.18
• 5. Stephanie Davis – 400m – 52.24
• 5. Wadeline Jonathas – 200m – 23.20
• 6. Aliyah Abrams – 400m – 52.28
• 7. Aliyah Abrams – 200m – 23.33
• 7. Davis, Stanley, Pennamon, Jonathas – 4x100m Relay – 43.86
• 13. Stephanie Davis – 200m – 23.51
• 19. Jordan Fields – High Jump – 1.75m
• 19. Makyla Stanley – 100m – 11.52
• 19. Makyla Stanley – Long Jump – 5.99m
• 20. Milan Parks – 100mH – 13.60
• 20. Hailey Sweatman – Pole Vault – 3.95m
• 27. Carisma Holland – Shot Put – 15.19m
• 29. Lissa Labiche – High Jump – 1.73m
• 30. Amecia Pennamon – 100m – 11.64
• 37. Amecia Pennamon – 200m – 23.87
• 40. Dymier Jeffery – High Jump – 1.70m
• 47. Tatyana Mills– 400m – 54.84
* – #1-ranked time in the NCAA this season
BOTH GAMECOCK SQUADS RANKED IN TOP-25
Both South Carolina track & field programs are ranked in the latest USTFCCCA national top-25, which was released April 1. The Carolina men are up five spots from their preseason ranking, to No. 20, while the Gamecock women rose an incredible 49 positions, to No. 25.
In the USTFCCCA’s Southeast Regional rankings, both sets of Gamecocks are listed third.
On the men’s squad, four Gamecocks are ranked in the USTFCCCA’s top 10: Quincy Hall (2nd; 400m), the 4x400m relay (5th), Isaiah Moore (7th; 110mH) and Yann Randrianasolo (10th; Long Jump.
The Carolina women’s 4x400m relay squad is ranked tops in the nation according to the USTFCCCA with their time of 3:27.53. The 4x100m relay squad is ranked 10th with their time of 43.86.
The USTFCCCA national rankings continue to use a mix of this season’s new personal bests, along with personal records obtained in previous collegiate seasons.
THREE GAMECOCKS LISTED IN FLOTRACK PRESEASON RANKINGS
Three Gamecocks are ranked in the outdoor preseason top-15 in their primary events by FloTrack. On the men’s side, former Pan American and U.S. Junior champion Quincy Hall is ranked fifth in the 400m hurdles, and two-time All-American Yann Randrianasolo holds the No. 10 spot in the long jump.
On the women’s side, the Gamecocks are represented in the FloTrack rankings by Aliyah Abrams. The national runner-up in the indoor 400m is listed ninth in the preseason outdoor rankings, according to the publication.
MARCH 22-23 • GAMECOCKS DOMINATE BUCCANEER INVITATIONAL, WINNING 18 EVENTS
The Gamecocks were in complete control of the Buccaneer Invitational, held March 22-23 in Charleston, S.C. South Carolina won 18 event titles at the meet, by far the most at the seven-team event.
Jordan Fields (women’s high jump), Carisma Holland (women’s discus and shot put), Wadeline Jonathas (women’s 200m), Kelsey Larkin (women’s 1500m), Rivaldo Leacock (men’s 400m hurdles), Morgan Lee (women’s 5000m), Milan Parks (women’s 100m hurdles), Malik Paul (men’s discus), Ty Jaye Robbins (men’s 400m), Bryce Simpson (men’s pole vault), Makyla Stanley (women’s long jump and 100m), Hailey Sweatman (women’s pole vault) and Noah Walker (men’s 110m hurdles) won individual titles on the final day of the meet. Carolina also won the men’s 4x100m relay and both 4x400m relays.
Carolina’s NCAA-winning 4x400m quartet raced the 200m, and the Gamecocks dominated the race from start-to-finish. Jonathas won with a time of 23.20, the eighth-best mark in Carolina history, and Aliyah Abrams was second at 23.33, the 10th-best time on the Gamecock records list.
Fields set a new outdoor personal best on Saturday, clearing 1.75m (5-8 ¾) to move up to sixth on the Carolina records chart. Freshman Dymier Jeffery came in second; her effort of 1.70m (5-7) is 10th-best in Carolina history.
MARCH 15-16 • GAMECOCKS WIN MEET-HIGH 11 EVENTS AT BLACK AND GOLD CHALLENGE
South Carolina opened its outdoor campaign March 15-16 at the Black and Gold Challenge in Orlando, Fla. Despite fielding a limited group of entries, the Gamecocks led the meet with 11 event victories.
The Gamecocks notched three program top-10 marks in Orlando as part of their 11 victories. Anna Kathryn Stoddard won the women’s 1500m with a time of 4:34.23, the ninth-best mark in Carolina history, and long jump All-American Yann Randrianasolo competed in the men’s triple jump, where his mark of 15.61m ranks seventh on the records list. The women’s 4x800m crew of Allie Mueller, Maryah Nasir, Sierra Biber and Macie Kavanaugh laid down the eighth-best time in Carolina history, 9:04.39.
Additional victories in Orlando came from Otis Jones (men’s 800m), Lissa Labiche (women’s high jump), Isaiah Moore (men’s 100mH), Darrell Singleton Jr. (men’s 100m), Jeremiah Talbert (men’s 400m), Noah Walker (men’s 400mH), Armand Woodley (men’s pole vault) and the men’s 4x400m relay. Talbert’s win came in his first outdoor event as a collegian, and he was part of the winning 4×4 crew along with Walker.
MARCH 8-9 • 4X400M CHAMPIONSHIP HIGHLIGHTS NCAA INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
The Gamecocks enter the outdoor season on the heels of the program’s best NCAA Indoor Championships in over a decade. The Carolina women finished tied for seventh, their first NCAA top-10 finish since 2007, while the Gamecock men tied for 20th, their best result at the national indoor meet since 2010.
The highlight of the meet was Carolina’s national championship in the women’s 4x400m relay. Stephanie Davis, Aliyah Abrams, Tatyana Mills and Wadeline Jonathas ran 3:30.76 to edge Texas A&M (3:30.85) and Arkansas (3:30.86) for the crown. It’s the 47th NCAA event championship in Gamecock history and the first since 2015. It’s also the program’s seventh women’s 4x400m relay NCAA title and the first since 2007.
The women’s mile relay was one of five first-team All-America finishes for the Gamecocks. Abrams placed second in the women’s 400m, and Quincy Hall took fourth in the men’s 400m then led the men’s mile relay to a fifth-place result. Isaiah Moore added an eighth-place finish in the men’s 60m hurdles.
Jonathas (women’s 400m) and Arinze Chance (men’s 400m) earned second-team All-America laurels while Yann Randrianasolo (men’s long jump) was an honorable mention finisher.
GAMECOCKS TAKE HOME THREE INDOOR ALL-SEC HONORS
South Carolina earned three All-SEC nods at the 2019 SEC Indoor Championships, held Feb. 22-23 in Fayetteville, Ark. Junior Quincy Hall collected first-team All-SEC honors by winning the individual men’s 400m championship. Hall set a school record in the final, running 45.69 to earn Carolina’s first SEC title on the indoor track since Jason Richardson took the 60m hurdles in 2009.
The Carolina women’s 4x400m relay squad and senior hurdler Isaiah Moore earned second-team All-SEC honors. The 4×4 quartet of Stephanie Davis, Aliyah Abrams, Tatyana Mills and Wadeline Jonathas won silver with a time of 3:29.56, second-fastest in the nation this season. Moore tallied his second-career SEC medal by winning bronze in the 60m hurdles.
Overall, Carolina finished 10th in the men’s competition and 12th on the women’s side.
RETURNING ALL-AMERICANS LOOKING FOR MORE OUTDOOR SUCCESS
The Gamecocks feature seven student-athletes with past outdoor All-America finishes. On the women’s side, Aliyah Abrams, Stephanie Davis, Maiya Dendy, Milan Parks and Makyla Stanley already own All-America honors from past seasons, with Abrams taking first-team status as part of Carolina’s 2016 bronze-medal winning 4x400m relay.
On the men’s side, Isaiah Moore and Yann Randrianasolo each return with outdoor All-America results under their belts. Moore was a first-team finisher in 2017 after taking eighth in the 100m hurdles.
The 2019 NCAA postseason begins May 23-25, as the top-48 qualifiers in individual events and the top-24 qualifiers in each relay compete at the NCAA East Regional Preliminary Round in Jacksonville, Fla. The top-12 finishers at each Regional go on to the 2019 NCAA Outdoor Championships, June 5-8 in Austin, Texas.
UP NEXT FOR THE GAMECOCKS
Carolina hosts the Gamecock Invitational on Saturday, April 13 at Cregger Track. The meet runs all day beginning at 9 a.m. ET, and the Gamecocks will retire the jerseys of Carolina legends Miki Barber and Terrence Trammell during the special event.