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Awotunde Named to U.S. Pan Am Squad as Gamecocks Open Summer Season
Track and Field  . 

Awotunde Named to U.S. Pan Am Squad as Gamecocks Open Summer Season

Favors to represent Ireland at Universiade

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Past, present and future members of the University of South Carolina track & field program made international headlines over the past week as the summer season kicked into full swing. Most notably, Gamecock alumnus Josh Awotunde was named to the United States squad for the 2019 Pan American Games, while rising senior Eric Favors will represent Ireland at the 2019 Universiade.

Awotunde (2015-18) will represent the United States at the Pan American Games, to be held Aug. 6-10 in Lima, Peru. The Franklinville, N.J., native set Carolina’s indoor and outdoor shot put records as a senior in 2018, maxing out at 21.33 (69-11 ¾) in a season that included an SEC title and two first-team All-America finishes.

Since graduating from Carolina, Awotunde has performed well on the professional circuit. He finished third at the USATF Indoor Championships in February and won the Rafer Johnson Invitational in Los Angeles with a throw of 21.13m (69-4) in April. This will be Awotunde’s first time representing the United States in international competition.

Favors is coming off the best season of his collegiate career, including a victory at the Dr. Sander Columbia Challenge in New York City, a bronze medal at the SEC Outdoor Championships and an appearance at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. His strong efforts have continued into the summer, including a new personal best of 19.26m (63-2 ¼) set last weekend in Mobile, Ala.

This will be the first time that Favors has represented Ireland, with the 2019 Universiade (commonly known as the World University Games) scheduled for July 3-14 in Naples, Italy. The rising Carolina senior is in his second season competing under the flag of Ireland, his grandmother’s homeland. Last summer, he finished second in the shot put at the Irish National Championships.


Awotunde and Favors weren’t the only Gamecocks to make news over the past week as the 2019 summer season heated up.

Gamecock legend Kierre Beckles won the women’s 100m hurdles title last weekend at the 2019 Barbados National Championships. It was her ninth-career national title in the event; the 2016 Olympian ran a time of 13.48 in the final.

Rising junior Rivaldo Leacock was also in action at the Barbados National Championships. Leacock finished second in the men’s 400m hurdles, with a new personal record of 51.21 in the final.

Recent graduate Yann Randrianasolo competed in his first post-collegiate meet over the weekend, winning the long jump at the Meeting Stanislas Nancy in Tomblaine, France. In his first appearance since winning bronze at the 2019 NCAA Outdoor Championships, Randrianasolo took the victory with a top jump of 7.76m (25-5 ½).

Back stateside, rising sophomore Evan Miller took part in the USATF U20 Championships in Miramar, Fla., last weekend. Miller finished seventh in the 100m and 8th in the 200m; he ran a wind-aided personal best of 20.94 in the 200m preliminary round.

The good news continued Monday as incoming Carolina freshman E.J. Richardson III was named Gatorade Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year in his home state of Virginia. Richardson was a 17-time state champion during his high school career, including 200m and 400m outdoor titles in his final season for Bethel High School.


The 2019 summer season is just getting started as Gamecocks past and present continue to show their skills on the international scene. Stay tuned to and @GamecockTrack on Twitter for the latest updates throughout the year.