Carolina Set for NCAA Outdoor Championships
Nine Gamecock entries set to compete in Austin
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The University of South Carolina track & field team reaches the grand finale of the 2019 collegiate season as it competes at the 2019 NCAA Outdoor Championships, to be held June 5-8 at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin, Texas. The University of Texas serves as host, with Carolina sending nine entries to the event.
Individually, Carolina is represented by Aliyah Abrams (women’s 400m), Eric Favors (men’s shot put), Quincy Hall (men’s 400m hurdles), Wadeline Jonathas (women’s 400m), Otis Jones (men’s 800m), Isaiah Moore (men’s 110m hurdles) and Yann Randrianasolo (men’s long jump). The Gamecocks will also compete in the men’s and women’s 4x400m relays.
Men’s preliminary action begins on Wednesday, with the first Gamecock in action at 6:02 p.m. ET (two-and-a-half earlier than originally scheduled due to anticipated inclement weather), while women’s prelims begin Thursday, with Carolina in action starting at 9:30 p.m. ET. Men’s finals are scheduled for Friday, and the competition concludes with women’s finals on Saturday. A complete schedule of Gamecocks in action can be found here.
WATCH THE GAMECOCKS LIVE ON THE ESPN FAMILY OF NETWORKS
The ESPN family of networks will provide extensive coverage of all four days of the 2019 NCAA Outdoor Championships. Fans can watch the meet on television at the following times:
• WEDNESDAY – 5 p.m. ET – ESPN2
• THURSDAY – 8 p.m. ET – ESPNU
• THURSDAY – 9 p.m. ET – ESPN2
• FRIDAY – 8:30 p.m. ET – ESPN
• SATURDAY – 6:30 p.m. ET – ESPN2
In addition to the television coverage, which will focus primarily on track events, ESPN3 will provide live, dedicated streams of all combined events and most field events. A complete ESPN coverage schedule, including streaming links, can be found here.
“I have a tremendous amount of confidence in every single athlete that we’re sending to the NCAA Championships, and I can’t wait for the meet to get started. I feel like we can do special things this week. Our coaches have done a fantastic job preparing our team for this moment, and our student-athletes believe in this program and believe in themselves. Our kids want to go out and compete for national titles and All-America spots, and I’m excited to see what they can accomplish.”– Head Coach Curtis Frye
GAMECOCK LINEUP (Click to Expand)
LAST SEASON AT THE NCAA OUTDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
The Gamecocks posted six All-America finishes at the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Championships, held in Eugene, Ore. Carolina’s top performer was Josh Awotunde, who finished second in the men’s shot put in his final collegiate meet. Among 2019 NCAA qualifiers, Yann Randrianasolo (men’s long jump) and Stephanie Davis (women’s 4x100m relay) also earned All-America finishes.
The Gamecocks finished the women’s team standings in 56th place, scoring two points. In the men’s competition, Carolina placed 35th with eight points.
GAMECOCK HISTORY AT THE NCAA OUTDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
South Carolina reached the pinnacle of collegiate track & field in 2002, when the Gamecock women’s program won the NCAA outdoor national championship in Baton Rouge, La. Guided by a collegiate record in the 4x400m relay, Carolina scored 82 points at the 2002 championship, topping UCLA by 10 points.
The national title in 2002 is one of 12-consecutive top-10 finishes earned by the Gamecock women between 1995 and 2006. Carolina tied for second in 2005, finished third in 2003 and 2006 and came in fourth in 2001 at outdoor nationals.
The Gamecock men have placed in the top-10 four times, reaching a high watermark of sixth in 1999, 2002 and 2009.
The women’s program has tallied 14 event national titles, the most recent coming in 2015 when Jeannelle Scheper was the high jump winner. Miki Barber and Aleen Bailey were each part of three NCAA outdoor crowns, tops in program history.
The Carolina men’s program owns 10 event national championships since 1948, when Norman “Scooter” Rucks made Gamecock history by winning the 400m dash. Brad Snyder broke a 50-year outdoor national drought when he captured the shot put title in 1998. Otukile Lekote and Terrence Trammell were each part of a program-record three outdoor event national championships.
ALIYAH ABRAMS – R-JR – GRAYSON, GA. – 400 METERS
Abrams enters the NCAA Championships in her best form of the season after running an outdoor personal best, 51.63, in the quarterfinal round of the NCAA East Regional in Jacksonville. That was the fourth-best mark of the Regional weekend and ranks 10th overall on the 2019 NCAA leaderboard.
The Grayson, Ga., native is headed to an NCAA Championships meet for the fifth time. Her last NCAA appearance was her most memorable, as she led the 4x400m relay squad to a national title and finished second individually in the 400m. She led the 4×4 to a bronze-medal performance at the 2016 NCAA outdoor meet. Last season in Eugene, she placed 17th in the mile relay and 18th in the individual 400m.
ERIC FAVORS – R-JR – POMONA, N.Y. – SHOT PUT
Favors peaked at the right time this season, setting a new outdoor personal record in the shot put, 19.11m (62-8 ½) at the NCAA East Regional. That was good for eighth place in Jacksonville, and it’s the 34th-best mark in the NCAA this season. The redshirt junior also reached a milestone at the SEC Championships, finishing third with a throw of 18.87m (61-11) for his first podium finish at the conference level.
This is the first NCAA Championships appearance for Favors, who qualified for the meet in his third trip to the regional round. It’s the fourth season in a row the Gamecocks will field an entry in the men’s shot put after Josh Awotunde qualified for the national finals in each of the past three years.
QUINCY HALL – JR – KANSAS CITY, MO. – 400M HURDLES
Hall enters the NCAA Championships with the nation’s top 400m hurdles time after running 48.54 at the NCAA East Regional. That’s also the second-best time in South Carolina history and the third-best mark in the world this season.
This is Hall’s second NCAA Championships appearance. He placed fourth in the 400m and led the Gamecocks to a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships in March. The Sequoias transfer was a six-time CCCAA state champion at the junior college level, and he also owns gold medals in the 400 hurdles from the USATF and Pan American junior championships.
WADELINE JONATHAS – JR – GONAIVES, HAITI – 400 METERS
Jonathas has gotten better and better as the season has continued, including a 400m run of 51.19 to earn the bronze medal at the SEC Outdoor Championships in May. The junior ranks fourth in the NCAA with that time, the best quarter-mile effort by a Gamecock in 12 years. Most recently, Jonathas ran 51.46 to finish third at the NCAA East Regional.
This is the second time that Jonathas has represented Carolina at the NCAA Division I Championships. She was part of the team’s 4x400m national title at the NCAA indoor meet in March, and she also earned second-team All-America laurels in the open 400.
No mention of Jonathas’ national-level experience would be complete without a look back at her two seasons at UMass Boston, where she won nine individual NCAA Division III national championships, including 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. As a sophomore, she scored enough points at the 2018 NCAA indoor meet to single-handedly win the team title for the Beacons.
OTIS JONES – R-SR – SUMTER, S.C. – 800 METERS
Jones has been at his best as a senior, including his second-consecutive bronze-medal finish in the 800m at the SEC Outdoor Championships. His SEC final time of 1:48.09 is his best of the year and ranked 24th nationally. Jones finished second in his heat at the NCAA East Regional, running 1:49.77 to earn an automatic bid to Austin.
This is the first individual NCAA Championships appearance for Jones, who will run the 800m at the national meet for the first time after seeing his season end at regionals each of the last three seasons. He did run the 4x400m relay for the Gamecocks at the NCAA Indoor Championships in March, where he was part of a fifth-place finish.
ISAIAH MOORE – R-SR – BURLINGTON, N.C. – 110M HURDLES
Moore’s 2019 season has been his best yet. He ran a wind-aided 13.25 and a wind-legal 13.39, which ranks third in the country, at the Gamecock Invitational in April, and he’s earned bronze medals at both the indoor and outdoor SEC Championships. He was also a Penn Relays champion, and most recently, he finished third in the high hurdles at the NCAA East Regional, winning his heats with times of 13.56 and 13.51.
This is Moore’s third and final trip to the NCAA Championships. He finished as a first-team All-American in the 110mH in 2017 and the 60mH this season.
YANN RANDRIANASOLO – SR – TOULOUSE, FRANCE – LONG JUMP
Randrianasolo is a contender in the long jump after posting a mark of 8.07m (26-5 ¾) at the Gamecock Invitational in April. That puts him No. 4 on the 2019 NCAA leaderboard. Most recently, he finished third at both the SEC Championships (7.97m | 26-1 ¾) and the NCAA East Regional (7.81m | 25-7 ¼).
The senior from Toulouse, France, is now a four-time NCAA Championships qualifier, and he’s looking for his third All-America finish. Last season at the NCAA outdoor meet, he placed 13th, his highest finish at the national level, with a jump of 7.73m (25-4 ½).
Men’s 4x400m Relay
South Carolina enters the NCAA Championships with the nation’s seventh-best time, as Hall, Jones, Arinze Chance and Ty Jaye Robbins ran 3:03.33 at the Gamecock Invitational. The Gamecocks finished fourth at both the SEC Championships (3:04.43) and the East Regional (3:04.35). Indoors, the quartet placed fifth at the NCAA Championships in March.
Jordan Sessom and Noah Walker will serve as alternates in Austin.
The Gamecocks own one men’s 4x400m national championship, which came in 2002 with James Law, Otukile Lekote, Otis Harris and Jonathon Fortenberry running 3:02.16 to win the outdoor title in Baton Rouge, La. The Gamecocks last ran the men’s 4×4 at the NCAA outdoor meet in 2015, where Clayton Gravesande, Jermaine Collier, Chris Walker and Ryan Bermudez came in 12th.
Women’s 4x400m Relay
The Gamecocks hold the fastest time in the nation in the women’s mile relay, as Stephanie Davis, Abrams, Tatyana Mills and Jonathas posted a time of 3:27.53 at the Florida Relays in March. That same quartet won a Championship of America title at Penn Relays (3:32.33), placed fourth at the SEC Championships (3:31.24) and ran the fastest time at the NCAA Regional (3:28.17).
Curtis Frye’s program owns seven national titles in the women’s 4x400m relay, including indoor crowns in 2001, 2002, 2005, 2007 and 2019 and outdoor titles in 2000 and 2002. Olympian Demetria Washington was part of four of those winning relays.
The Gamecocks will be looking for their second NCAA title of the season in the 4x400m relay after winning the NCAA Indoor Championships with a time of 3:30.76, which just edged out Texas A&M (3:30.85) and Arkansas (3:30.86). The same squad has won NCAA indoor and outdoor women’s 4x400m titles four times in the last decade: 2010 (Oregon), 2011 (Texas A&M), 2016 (Texas) and 2018 (Southern California). The Gamecocks, of course, accomplished the feat in 2002.
This is the second-straight season that Abrams, Davis and Mills will run the mile relay at outdoor nationals. The trio was part of the Carolina 4x400m relay that finished 17th last season.