Gamecock Track and Field Sets Sights on SEC Indoor Championships
Carolina will make the trip to College Station, Texas, for the indoor conference meet
COLUMBIA — The South Carolina track and field teams make the trip to College Station, Texas, for the SEC Indoor Championships on Friday and Saturday. At last year’s SEC Indoor Championships, the Gamecock men finished 11th and the Carolina women took 12th in the team race. Coming into the meet, South Carolina athletes have 10 top-eight performances in the conference this season. A top-eight performance at the championship meets earns the Gamecocks team points.
The SEC Indoor Championships will be streamed on SEC Network+ split into four different windows: Friday (12:40-4:55 and 6:00-10:30) and Saturday (2:00-4:40 and 4:45-9:00). There will be a follow-up presentation on the SEC Network for Sunday at 8 p.m. Dwight Stones, Dan O’Brien, Jill Montgomery and John Anderson will be on the call.
Live results can be found at here. Fans can follow along with updates on Twitter @GamecockTrack. A full recap will be posted on Twitter, Facebook and GamecocksOnline.com.
The heptathlon kicks off both days of competition. Friday’s action starts at 12:45 p.m. with the heptathlon 60 meters. Saturday’s action begins at 11 a.m. with the heptathlon 60-meter hurdles. Field events start with the women’s weight throw at 5:30 p.m. Saturday’s field events begin at 2:15 p.m. with the men’s and women’s high jump competitions. Running events begin at 6:20 p.m. on Friday with the women’s Mile prelims. Saturday’s track action gets going at 5:10 p.m. with the women’s Mile final.
Last Time Out
The Gamecocks claimed 11 event victories and showed some impressive performances at the UofSC Indoor Open.
Kayla Racine became the third Gamecock woman to ever throw 20 meters or farther in the weight throw. Racine finished as the event’s runner-up, but was the top collegian in the event. Her mark of 20.08m/65-10.50 moved her to No. 3 in school history in the weight throw.
Makenzie Dunmore won the 400 meters with a time of 53.19.
On the men’s side, Hayden Cobbe dropped his 800-meter personal best to win the 800 meters’ invitational section. Cobbe won with a time of 1:50.23.
Coach Frye on the Meet
On his thoughts heading into the SEC Indoor Championships
“This is the final exam. Doing your best is all you can do, and you prepare to do that. There is some anxiety and stress, but that’s what you’ve prepared for. There is some fun being in this kind of meet. There’s not one like it in the country. I doubt there’s nothing like it across all sports in the SEC. This is the Olympic sport of all Olympic sports. When the Olympics happen, people are watching track and field. Seldom does our country watch the regular season. If we have a champion, it will matter to the other coaches on your campus. Track matters when you have an SEC Championship on every campus. We’re trying to replace where we were last year. We’re also trying to get ready for the National meet, but they’re almost the same meet. If you’re sixth in the SEC meet, you’re going to score at the National meet.”
On an athlete’s mindset at a meet of this stature
“You either think ‘I’m one of those elite.’ or ‘I’m watching the elite.’ Those are the mindsets. There are some athletes who immediately expect to be one of the ones others are watching. Our team is so young, and so we’re trying to get them to respect the meet. Some people go to that meet and expect to win just like any other meet. We’re teaching the process of us getting to where we want to be.”
On balancing conference performance and being ready for the National meet
“There’s a lot of context. Is it your first SEC meet? Is it your last SEC meet? How did you do last time? Those are things we try to keep in perspective. It’s about staying within the process. They all go make their evaluations about this meet and go look at where they’re at in the SEC. The internet puts you in every race that’s run. You either get afraid of it or embrace it.”
The Gamecocks On the SEC Level
The Gamecocks head into the SEC Championships with 10 top-eight performances in the SEC ranks this season.
On the men’s side, Evan Miller (200 meters), Filip Demsar (60-meter hurdles) and Carson Lenser (pole vault) are in position to score team points based on the current SEC Indoor Performance List. The men’s distance medley relay team is ranked ninth in the conference and have a shot at team points. In the field, Jackson Marseille (high jump) and Christian Lewis (long jump) are ranked ninth in the conference in their respective events.
On the women’s side, Tierra Frasier (200 meters), Stephanie Davis (400 meters), Destinee Rocker (60-meter hurdles), Rachel Glenn (high jump) and KD Young (shot put) along with the 4X400-meter relay and distance medley relay teams are all ranked in scoring positions heading into the meet. Kayla Racine holds a top-10 mark in the women’s weight throw as well.
The Gamecocks will try to outperform their current rankings and post as many team points as possible this weekend.
With one weekend left in the qualification window, the Gamecocks have four 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. 14 in the country in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.07 seconds. Rachel Glenn is the final Gamecock in qualifying position, sitting at No. 12 in the women’s high jump. She has cleared 1.84m/6-0.50 this season.
Carolina also has athletes close to the top 16 in certain events. Evan Miller, Christian Lewis, Filip Demsar and Tierra Frasier are currently in the 17-25 range.
With one weekend left, the SEC Indoor Championships serve as a competitive field at a fast track, and there are plenty of opportunities for Gamecocks to move into qualifying position.
Indoor SEC Championships History
The Gamecocks have competed at the SEC Indoor Championships since 1992 when they first joined the Southeastern Conference.
The men’s squad’s highest finish at the indoor conference meet came in 1999 when the Gamecock men finished in second.
The Carolina women also finished as runners-up in their best team finish. The Gamecock women were second at the indoor conference meet in 2003.
In 2021, the Gamecock men finished 11th out of 13 teams with 16 points. Evan Miller (200 meters), Blake Newcomb (800 meters), Filip Demsar (60-meter hurdles), Jackson Marseille (high jump) and the men’s 4X400-meter relay team scored team points for Carolina.
Carolina’s women’s team finished 12th out of 14 and tallied 13 team points. Destinee Rocker (60-meter hurdles), Rachel Glenn (high jump), KD Young (shot put) and the women’ 4X400-meter relay team put up team points in 2021.
The Gamecocks look to improve on last year’s finishes.