Carolina Men Open NCAA Outdoor Championships
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The University of South Carolina track and field team opened up the 2021 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Wednesday with a pair of men’s competitors. William Spencer Jr., along with Eric Favors, represented the Gamecocks at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.
In the men’s 400m hurdles it was freshman William Spencer Jr. who represented Carolina in the all white uniform. Spencer Jr. used a strong opening 200m to push to the front of the pack before finishing fifth in his heat in a time of 50.57. The finish gave him the 13th best time among the entire field and earned the outdoor rookie Second Team All-America honors in the process. Spencer Jr.’s season ends with him reaching the Gamecocks’ all-time top 10 in the 400m hurdles in his first year and posting a season-best time of 49.68 at the NCAA East Regionals to reach the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
“Today our freshman William Spencer Jr. was just really excited in his first time running at an event like this,” South Carolina head coach Curtis Frye said. “He tried to win the whole meet in the first race, and was just excited. He had the No. 1 guy in the meet inside of him and he went out really hard and couldn’t hold on in the final stretch of the race. It is unfortunate, but there are lessons to be learned. He ran faster to the sixth hurdle than he ever has. It is another step for him, and we can still move forward with the U.S. Olympic Trials still to come. I’m glad we’ll have him back and have three more years to continue to build and grow with Will.”
Just minutes later Eric Favors was scheduled to compete in the men’s shot put competition for South Carolina. The sixth-year senior, who returned for an extra year of eligibility, was forced to withdraw from the competition due to suffering an injury during the warmup. Favors, who finished as the 2021 SEC Outdoor shot put runner up, leaves the program with a lifetime best of 19.85m (65-1 1/2) and with the third-best shot put mark in school history. Note, due to not competing in the event Favors is not awarded All-America honors in the men’s shot put competition.
“Eric unfortunately strained his groin today during the warmups,” Frye said. “It really is unfortunate for him being a ‘COVID senior.’ We are extremely sad for him after all the hard work he put in to get back to this event. It was a tough day today. We know we have more to come tomorrow with our women beginning their competition, and we will focus on that as a group and move forward.”
The Gamecocks will begin Thursday’s competition at 8 p.m. with the women’s 400m with Aliyah Abrams and Stephanie Davis looking to make the prestigious final in that event. Both Ashton Lindley and De’Andreah Young will make their outdoor nationals debut in the 400m hurdles just 30 minutes later. The event can be watched on ESPN’s family of networks or on the ESPN app.
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ALL ESTIMATED START TIMES ARE IN EASTERN TIME:
|JUNE 9-12 • NCAA OUTDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS • MEN’S LINEUP|
|William Spencer Jr.||13th. 50.57 (Second Team All-American)|
|Malik Paul||Friday 7:35 p.m.|
|Eric Favors||–. DNS (injury)|
|JUNE 9-12 • NCAA OUTDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS • WOMEN’S LINEUP|
|Aliyah Abrams||Thursday 8 p.m.|
|Stephanie Davis||Thursday 8 p.m.|
|De’Andreah Young||Thursday 8:30 p.m.|
|Ashton Lindley||Thursday 8:30 p.m.|
|Team A||Thursday 9:48 p.m.|
|Rachel Glenn||Saturday 5:30 p.m.|