Gamecocks Set to Compete with Nation's Best at Tiger Paw Invitational
The South Carolina track and field teams will head to Clemson to run with some of the country's best
COLUMBIA — The South Carolina track and field teams return to the Palmetto State after a trip to the Big Apple last week. They will head to Clemson for the Tiger Paw Invitational. This marks the Gamecocks’ third trip to Clemson this season. They also were at Clemson for the Clemson Opener and Orange and Purple Elite to kick off their season. The trip to Clemson marks Carolina’s final trip away from Columbia until championships season begins for the SEC Indoor Championships on Feb. 25 and 26.
Live results can be found here. Fans can follow along with updates on Twitter @GamecockTrack. A full recap will be posted on Twitter, Facebook and GamecocksOnline.com.
Friday’s events are scheduled to begin at Noon with both track and field events. The men’s open weight throw kicks off the competition at 11 a.m. on Friday. Track events begin with the women’s 60-meter hurdles prelims at Noon.
Saturday’s events begin at 10 a.m. with the men’s shot put and pole vault. Action on the track on Saturday is set to begin at 11:15 a.m. with the women’s 5,000 meters.
Last Time Out
The Gamecocks went to New York’s historic The Armory for the Dr. Sander Invitational.
Stephanie Davis won the 400 meters’ invitational section and beat Olympic bronze medalist Ashley Spencer for an event victory. She ran a time of 53.85 for the win.
Anthony Greenhow, Jr. swept the 60-meter and 200-meter titles with wins in both and a new personal best in the 60 meters. He ran a time of 6.76 for the win and a new personal best in the 60 meters. Greenhow, Jr. also won the 200 meters with a time of 21.12, which is just .14 seconds off his personal best in the event.
Tierra Frasier nearly swept the short sprint titles. Frasier won the 60 meters and finished as the runner-up in the 200 meters. Fraiser went sub-24 in the 200 meters and ran a new personal best of 7.35 in the 60 meters to win the event.
Rachel Glenn competed with professionals in the high jump invitational and finished in a tie for second place. She cleared 1.80m/5-10.75, which was the highest clearance in the event, but Glenn tied for second based on misses.
Rogerio Amaral ran the No. 4 Mile time in school history. He finished seventh overall in the event with a time of 4:08.68.
Coach Frye on the Meet
On his thoughts heading into the Tiger Paw Invitational
“The big thing is we get to line our 4X400-meter relay teams up against some good teams. Then we get a chance for some of our other 400-meter runners and hurdlers to get going. All of the people in the finals of these races are people we think that will qualify to Nationals. We’ve got a lot of people that we feel, if they run the right competition, they’ll make it to Nationals as well.”
On what time he wants to see his 4X440-meter relay teams run
“The men need to run 3:06 to get to the National meet. They’ve only got two shots in my opinion. This meet and the SEC Championships. The women will get to nationals at 3:33. We’ll get a chance to run against some great teams. We’ve had some health problems, but we have some people coming back that would help that health problem. We should be able to run 3:33 and probably better than 3:33. If we run perfect, we could run 3:31, which puts you in the top five. This is going to be the type of environment where we can have that type of run. This is a scary time of year because if you don’t line up now, you won’t line up at Nationals. Some people have got their times out early. We’re hoping we’re healthy enough to put those times on the board this week.”
On if the mindset changes being back in the state of South Carolina
“Yeah, but the thing that changes is who you’re running against. There’s going to be a lot of the better teams in the country at this meet. That’s a stressor. In New York, the stressor is the environment. You can get through that when you look at who you’re competing against. We’re getting to the exams. This is an exam before the final. We keep things on that scale. This meet is one of those tests counts a lot.”
Accolades Keep On Coming
Anthony Greenhow, Jr. has had an impressive freshman season and was honored as the SEC Freshman of the Week for a second time this season for his performances at the Dr. Sander Invitational.
Greenhow, Jr. swept the 60-meter and 200-meter titles at the Dr. Sander Invitational at New York’s historic track, The Armory.
The Powhatan, Virginia, native set a new personal best in the 60 meters en route to an event victory. He ran a time of 6.76 in the 60-meter final to secure the win.
Greenhow, Jr. then ran in the 200 meters and captured another victory in the Big Apple. Greenhow, Jr. ran a time of 21.12 to win the event, which is just .14 seconds off his personal best in the 200 meters.
The honor marks the second SEC weekly honor for the true freshman. He was also named SEC Freshman of the Week on Jan. 25 for his performance at the Carolina Challenge.
Greenhow, Jr. and the Gamecocks return to the track Friday and Saturday for the Tiger Paw Invitational in Clemson, South Carolina.
The Gamecocks have three athletes in position to qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships, which requires a top-16 time or mark in the country to compete in Birmingham, Alabama.
If the season ended today, Anthony Greenhow, Jr. (200 meters), Stephanie Davis (400 meters) and Rachel Glenn (high jump) would qualify to make it to the NCAA Indoor Championships.
The Gamecocks also have two athletes one spot away from making the 16-athlete field. Destinee Rocker and Filip Demsar are both currently ranked 17th in the 60-meter hurdles.
Carolina’s women’s 4X400-meter relay team is also close to qualifying position. They are currently 17th, but need to be in the top 12 as only the top 12 relay teams advance to Nationals.
The Gamecocks will compete in a competitive field on a fast track with plenty of chances this week to move up on the indoor performance list.
Facing the Nation’s Best
The Gamecocks head to Clemson for the Tiger Paw Invitational, which will feature a slew of the nation’s best teams.
The field features five SEC teams, including the Gamecocks. Auburn, Kentucky, Georgia and Tennessee will also represent the Southeastern Conference at the Tiger Paw Invitational.
Four teams from the West of the Mississippi River also make the trip to Clemson. Texas, USC, Kansas and Houston bring athletes to the Tiger Paw Invitational this weekend.
On the men’s side, three top-five teams in the USTFCCCA TFRI rankings are going to compete in upstate South Carolina. Texas, North Carolina A&T and Georgia are ranked first, second and fourth, respectively. Kentucky’s men are ranked sixth in the country and Tennessee’s men are the 10th-ranked team in the country.
On the women’s side, two of the top-five teams in the USTFCCCA TFRI rankings will be at the meet. Texas’ women are ranked second and the Kentucky women are ranked fifth in the country.
Virginia Tech also brings a pair of top-15 teams in the nation. Its women are 10th in the country and its men are ranked 13th.
Carolina will have plenty of opportunities to run fast this weekend.