Gamecocks Leap into USTFCCCA Top-25 Rankings
COLUMBIA, S.C. (Jan. 29, 2024) – Just two weeks into the seasonal rankings, both of the South Carolina men and women track & field squads find themselves inside the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Top-25 rankings.
The women made a 16-spot jump from No. 31 into the No. 15 heading into this weekend. The Gamecock women have received a big boost from a pair of freshman in JaMeesia Ford and Zaya Akins. Ford held the fastest indoor 400m time in the world for one week, running 51.60 while in Boston. Ford then backed up her performance with the fastest 200m sprint in the world this year with a time of 22.58 at the Razorback Invitational. Ford sits first in the NCAA in the 200m and fifth in the 400m. Meanwhile, Akins clocked 52.67 in the 400m in Boston, ranking 16th in the NCAA. The duo have also paired up with veteran sprinters Jayla Jamison and Jahnile Registre to run the fastest 4x400m relay time in program history, doing so at the Razorback Invitational with a time of 3:27.09 for a new program record.
On the men’s side, the Gamecocks jumped 10 slots from No. 26 into No. 16. Dylan Targgart and Anass Essayi are the highest ranked individuals in the NCAA for the Gamecocks, both sitting fourth in their respective events. Targgart tossed 19.76m (64-10) in the shot put at the Razorback Invitational, the third best indoor shot put in Gamecock history. Essayi clocked the fourth-fastest 3,000m race in the NCAA over the weekend, running 7:39.11 at the John Thomas Terrier Classic. Anthony Greenhow and Theo Mudzengerere currently sit inside the cut line for the NCAA Indoor Championship, with Greenhow currently sitting sixth in the 200m with a time of 20.60 and Mudzengerere ranked eighth in the triple jump with a program record distance of 16.00m (52-6).
South Carolina will return to action this weekend, hosting the South Carolina Invite on Friday, Feb. 2 and Saturday, Feb. 3.