Seven Gamecocks Earn All-SEC Honors
COLUMBIA, S.C. (Feb. 28, 2023) – Seven different Gamecocks earned the title of Track & Field All-SEC, as announced by the league office on Tuesday.
Criteria for earning All-SEC is as follows: First Team consists of the top finishers in each event, while the Second Team consists of those that finish in second or third in each event.
Anass Essayi and Filip Demsar were named to the First Team All-SEC, while Silan Ayyildiz, Aalliyah Francis, Angel Frank, Alysia Johnson and Jahnile Registre earned spots on the Second Team All-SEC.
Essayi, earning a spot on the All-SEC Team for the second consecutive year, landed on the First Team after winning the Men’s Mile at the SEC Indoor Championship. Essayi ran a time of 4:01.20 to capture his second consecutive SEC Indoor title, becoming the first Gamecock since Otukile Lekote (2001-02) to successfully defend his title. The Morocco native also finished third in the Men’s 3K with a time of 7:53.73.
Demsar is earning his second consecutive appearance on the All-SEC Team. The Slovenia native earned his spot on the First Team after winning the Men’s 60-meter Hurdles with a time of 7.71. The SEC title was the first in Demsar’s indoor career, becoming the first Gamecock since Jason Richardson (2009) to win the 60mH at the SEC Championship.
Ayyildiz claimed a spot on the Second Team All-SEC in her first year with the Gamecocks, doing so after recording silver medalist honors in the Women’s Mile. The Turkey native finished with a program-record time of 4:32.14, placing her 10th overall in the NCAA as well.
The women’s 4x400m relay team (Francis, Frank, Johnson, Registre) garnered recognition onto the Second Team All-SEC after earning silver in the final race of the SEC Indoor Championships. The Gamecock relay team posted a season-best mark of 3:32.35 to win heat two and more importantly to jump into 12th in the NCAA qualifying to earn a spot in the 2023 NCAA Indoor Championships.
Essayi, Ayyildiz and the women’s 4x400m relay team have punched their tickets into the NCAA Indoor Championships, while a handful of other Gamecocks hang in the balance and await the final draw from the NCAA. The 2023 NCAA Indoor Championships will be held on Friday, March 10 and Saturday, March 11 in Albuquerque, N.M.