Lindley, 4x4 Make Finals for Gamecock Women at NCAAs
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Freshman Ashton Lindley led the University of South Carolina track and field team on Thursday at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, earning two NCAA finals tickets in her first outdoor nationals. Lindley anchored the Gamecocks 4x400m relay team that finished fifth overall in the semifinals and was seventh overall in the 400m hurdles semifinals at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.
“We ended the day in the sunshine today,” South Carolina head coach Curtis Frye said. “We had an expectation of having an individual in a final today, and we were able to get our freshmen Ashton Lindley in the 400m hurdles final. We didn’t get our two upperclassmen through in the quarter mile. We needed a big performance in the 400m hurdles after that and De’Andreah Young came in and set the tone with her race and we feel like if she would of ran out of any other heat other than lane two, she would of been in the final on Saturday right along with Lindley. She finishes the season as a Second Team All-American, which is fantastic for her first outdoor season with us in Columbia.”
The phenomenal freshman, who has been the top rookie in the country for a majority of the season in the event, ran out of lane nine to clock a time of 57.39, her second best time of the season. Lindley used a strong closing stretch to finish third in the second heat and had to wait for the third head to find out she had qualified on time. Lindley becomes the first NCAA finalist for the Gamecocks in the 400m hurdles since Krystal Cantey finished fifth in 2007 for Carolina in a time of 56.49.
— Gamecock Track & XC (@GamecockTrack) June 11, 2021
“If you met [Ashton’s] parents you would understand that she’s a warrior, and a fighter,” Frye said. “They have high expectations. They even told her tonight, it isn’t over yet. They are tough and it is a big reason why she was able to step up and perform for us.”
The women’s 4x400m relay capped off the day for Carolina with a bang. With a pair of freshmen along with the veteran leadership of Aliyah Abrams and Stephanie Davis the Gamecocks won their second-straight 4x400m relay race and easily qualified for Saturday’s final with a time of 3:30.09. Freshman Alysia Johnson got the Gamecocks off to a great start, making her NCAAs debut, before handing off to Aliyah Abrams who beat the rest of the pack at the break to put the Gamecocks firmly in the lead. Abrams handed off to Davis who extended the lead for Carolina before handing off to Lindley who cruised to the heat one victory to position the Gamecocks well on Saturday, where they will start in lane five.
“It was fantastic to see our upperclassmen step up on the relay today and help our freshmen,” Frye said. “Our freshmen Alysia Johnson led off, which is a tough position to be in for a freshman. Then we had our veterans who built a big lead for our freshman anchor which is what we planned for. Then Lindley got to the home stretch and brought it home for us and we’re so excited to have another crack at it on Saturday with this team.”
South Carolina registered a pair of Second Team All-America honors on Thursday in the form of De’Andreah Young in the 400m hurdles and Abrams in the 400m. Young, who finished 11th overall, posted a time of 57.96 to finish third in heat one of the NCAA semifinals. Young was in position to make the final heading into the final heat of the semifinals, but was edged out by a fast final heat at Hayward Field. Abrams finished sixth in her 400m heat to earn her sixth All-America honor of her career. Stephanie Davis also finished as a honorable mention All-American in the 400m, finishing 21st for the Gamecocks in the event to make her a seven-time All-American in her career at Carolina.
The Gamecocks will have Malik Paul in competition on Friday, the final day of the men’s competition at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Paul, who is making his NCAAs debut, will begin competition at 7:35 p.m. ET. 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||16th. 52.43 (Second Team All-American)|
|Stephanie Davis||21st. 52.98 (Honorable Mention All-American)|
|De’Andreah Young||11th. 57.96 (Second Team All-American)|
|Ashton Lindley||7th. 57.39 (Qualified for Final)|
|Johnson, Abrams, Davis, Lindley||5th. 3:30.09 (Qualified for Final)|
|Rachel Glenn||Saturday 5:30 p.m.|