Gamecock Track and Field Hosts UofSC Indoor Open to Close Indoor Regular Season
The final regular season indoor meet of the season is set for Friday at the Carolina Indoor Track and Field Complex
COLUMBIA — The South Carolina track and field teams return home to the Carolina Indoor Track and Field Complex for their final meet of the indoor regular season on Friday. The UofSC Indoor Open marks the final collegiate competition at Carolina’s home indoor track. The Gamecocks are set to host three outdoor meets at the Sheila and Morris Cregger Track this spring. This weekend serves as the final chance to get in a tune up before the SEC Indoor Championships, which take place in College Station, Texas, next Friday and Saturday.
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 action at the Carolina Indoor Tack and Field Complex is set to kick off at 9 a.m. with certain sections of the men’s Mile. Action in the field is also set to begin at 9 a.m. with the open section of the women’s high jump.
Last Time Out
The Gamecocks traveled upstate to Clemson to compete in the Tiger Paw Invite with some of the best teams in the country.
Destinee Rocker set a school record in the women’s 60-meter hurdles. In the semifinal round of the event, Rocker ran a time of 8.07 to set the new Gamecock school record. Rocker also moved into 11th in the country in the event.
The 4X400-meter relay squad of Makenzie Dunmore, Stephanie Davis, Alysia Johnson and Aaliyah Pyatt ran in the fastest 4X400-meter relay race of the year. The women’s quartet crossed the line with a blazing fast time of 3:29.36. The Gamecocks’ time puts them at No. 3 in the country and is the second-fastest run by a Carolina women’s quartet ever.
Stephanie Davis continued her impressive season with a new indoor personal best in the 400 meters. She ran a time of 52.09 to take fourth overall. Davis moved up to No. 5 in school history and No. 10 in the NCAA this season.
Kayla Racine also moved up the Gamecock Indoor Performance list in the weight throw. She tossed the weight 19.12m/62-8.75 for a runner-up finish and a new personal best. It’s the first time Racine has broken the 19-meter barrier and is the eighth Gamecock to ever accomplish that feat. Racine moved up to No. 6 in school history in the weight throw.
Coach Frye on the Meet
On his thoughts heading into the UofSC Indoor Open
“I think the intent of everyone here is to have the idea of a ‘last chance’ NCAA meet. Even the Division II schools are bringing their best. They want to get some qualifying times because they run their championship a week before ours. Some off them already have had their conference meets, so they’re sending down their kids to give it their best shot. North Carolina A&T is running for trophies this year, so they’re bringing people who are on the edge or in the meet, but haven’t run a lot of races because of COVID. Georgia’s doing the same thing. It’s hard for kids on the edge to get a qualifying time at a conference meet. In the SEC a lot of times, you have to run a lot of races, so you don’t get that qualifier. You’ve got to protect it if you have it. So that’s kin of what this meet is. We’ve got some kids that have got to get a number, and we’ve got a great place to get fast times.”
On why it’s hard to get qualifying times at the conference meet
“If you’re not one of the top eight people in the SEC, then you’re not going to get a second run. There’s some really good kids who can qualify for the NCAA meet, but they better get a good run this week if they’re sitting at about 10 or 11 because after the SEC meet, with all of the people that make the finals of the SEC meet, that’s going to change the whole country and everyone knows that. We’ve got some kids that might not make the finals, but they might improve their marks and make the NCAA Indoor Championships.”
On who he thinks needs a fast time this weekend
“Evan Miller in the 200 meters, Destinee Rocker in the 60-meter hurdles and we think we can get a qualifying mark out of Makenzie Dunmore in the 400 meters. She didn’t run great in the open 400 last week, but she split 52.00 in the 4X400, if she can run 52.00, she will have an opportunity to make the NCAA meet.”
A Weekend for the Record Books
At the Tiger Paw Invite last weekend, the Gamecocks had numerous top-10 performances in school history, including a new school record.
Destinee Rocker set the school record in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.07. She ran that time in the semifinals of the 60-meter hurdles. Rocker tied the previous school record of 8.11 in the qualifying round and then broke a three-way tie with her 8.07-second run.
The women’s 4X400-meter relay team ran the second-fastest time in school history and the No. 5 time in the NCAA. The Gamecock women ran a time of 3:29.36 to take over No. 2 in school history. Makenzie Dunmore, Stephanie Davis, Alysia Johnson and Aaliyah Pyatt were the four athletes who made up the historic 4X400-meter relay team.
All-in-all, Carolina athletes had nine top-10 performances in school history. They are listed below.
Christian Lewis, No. 6 Men’s Long Jump, 7.71m/25-3.50
Evan Miller, No. 4 Men’s 200 Meters, 20.78
Alex Costantino, No. 9 Women’s Mile, 4:56.93
Destinee Rocker, No. 1 Women’s 60-Meter Hurdles, 8.07
Kayla Racine, No. 6 Women’s Weight Throw, 19.12m/62-8.75
Stephanie Davis, No. 5 Women’s 400 Meters, 52.09
Dunmore, Davis, Johnson, Pyatt, No. 2 Women’s 4X400, 3:29.36
Shaianne Sipsey, No. 8 Women’s Triple Jump, 12.58m/41-3.25
Tierra Frasier, Tied at No. 6 Women’s 200 Meters, 23.29
With two weekends left in the qualification window, the Gamecocks have five performers in qualifying position for the NCAA Indoor Championships.
The women’s 4X400-meter relay team has the best Gamecock mark on a national scale. They are sitting at No. 5 in the NCAA with a time better than all but one team in school history. They need to remain in the top 12 to punch their ticket to Birmingham, Alabama.
As for individuals, the top 16 in the NCAA advance to Birmingham. Stephanie Davis is at No. 10 in the NCAA in the 400 meters with a time of 52.09. Destinee Rocker is currently at No. 11 in the country in the 60-meter hurdles. Rachel Glenn is also sitting at No. 11 in the women’s high jump. Evan Miller is the lone man to be in qualifying position. He is at No. 15 in the 200 meters.
With two weekends left in the qualification window, these five as well as a handful of other Carolina athletes on the outside looking in, have chances at their home track and the ultra-competitive SEC Indoor Championships to improve their position.
One Last Time
The Gamecocks return home for one last indoor regular season meet.
Carolina is set to host over 800 athletes, spanning NCAA and even NAIA divisions. The field this weekend includes North Carolina A&T, Georgia, Florida State and other Division I teams looking to get in qualifying effort on the fast track inside the Carolina Indoor Track and Field Complex.
Division II, III and NAIA programs also come to Columbia looking to qualify for their respective championship meets. Some of these programs have seen their conference meets come and go and are looking solely to get those qualifying times.