Jan. 19, 2013
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The South Carolina track and field team posted 13 top-five finishes including five wins against stiff competition at the Auburn Invitational at the Birmingham CrossPlex on Saturday. Junior Jeannelle Scheper highlighted the day by setting a new school record by two inches in the high jump.
The South Carolina day started with their first top-five finish of the meet in the weight throw with redshirt sophomore Andrew Seay. Seay finished third with a new personal best of 57'10 ¼ (17.63m). This is the second week in a row that Seay has set a new top mark. Fellow redshirt freshman Walker Selby finished 10th in the field, with a throw of 50'7 ¼ (15.42m).
In the 60-meter dash, Kendall Kee recorded a time of 6.77 in the prelims to qualify him for the eight-man finals. In the finals, Kee ran another 6.77 to finish in seventh place. No women qualified for the 60-meter finals. Freshman Alexis Murphy and junior Vashti Bandy were the top finishers for the Gamecocks. Murphy crossed the line at 7.70 to finish 20th and Bandy was right behind, taking 21st place at 7.75.
South Carolina got their first win of the day in the men's long jump. Senior Jarrod Hutchen started off his season with a jump of 24'9 (7.54m) to win the section. Hutchen's jump ranks ninth in the country. On the women's side, senior Ceci Kryst recorded the best finish, recording a jump of 17'8 ¾ (5.40m) to take 20th.
Senior Breanna Radford captured her second win of the season in the women's shot put with a throw of 51'11 (15.82m).
In the 60-meter hurdles, the Gamecocks qualified two on the women's side in senior Kierre Beckles and sophomore Chalese Davis. Beckles ran an 8.33 in the prelims to finish second in the opening rounds. Davis recorded an 8.69. Freshman Tyler Brockington made a solid showing in her first large meet as a Gamecock, finishing 11th in he field with a 8.86. In the finals, Beckles ran an 8.27 to give the All-American third overall and to put her in a tie for ninth nationally. Davis finished sixth with an 8.67.
For the men's 60-meter hurdles, freshmen Dondre Echols (8.08) and Jermaine Collier (8.15) both qualified for the eight man final along with former Gamecock Johnny Dutch (7.84) who was competing unattached at the event. Collier finished seventh running an 8.19 and Echols took eighth place with an 8.26.
Senior Robert Razick added another top-five finish for South Carolina as he placed fifth in the men's mile run with a time of 4:12.76, just off his personal best of 4:12.08. Freshmen Anna Todd and Lisa Zimmer competed in the mile run, finishing 20th and 21st, with times of 5:04.25 and 5:04.42, respectively.
South Carolina was victorious in the men's and women's 400-meters. IAAF World Junior bronze medalist Erika Rucker ran 54.96 to take the win. Rucker's time ranks her 19th in the country, just outside of the top-16 who qualify for NCAA Indoor Championships after her first run of the season. Senior Nadonnia Rodriques was solid as well, finishing fourth at 55.16. Junior Clayton Gravesande recorded a meet record as he took the win. Gravesande's 47.26 bested the previous Auburn Invite record by .10 seconds. The time also ranks him fourth nationally. Sophomore Damiere Byrd finished fifth at 47.91 and senior Andre Carter was the third Gamecock in the top-10 with a 48.49.
One week after being named St. Lucia's Female Junior Athlete of the Year for the second consecutive year, junior Jeannelle Scheper set a new PR, school record, facility record and meet record with her clearance of 6'2 (1.88m). Scheper and junior Krystle Schade from Alabama both cleared 6'2, but Schade got the win as she recorded fewer misses in the event, leaving Scheper in second place.
Freshman Austin Eckenroth had another solid outing, clearing 16'0 ¾ (4.90m) for the second week in a row to take third in the men's pole vault. Junior Petra Olsen took second in the women's pole vault with 13'7 ¼ (4.15m). Olsen's mark ties her for fifth best in the country currently and moves her to second on the indoor South Carolina record book.
In the 200-meter dash, Chris Royster was the top-finisher for the Gamecocks with a 21.72 to take 11th. South Carolina also got an 11th place finish on the women's side, with the freshman Murphy running a 24.72. Kierre Beckles wasn't far behind taking 13th with a time of 24.79.
The quartet of Zimmer, Lauren Ellis, Kaleigh Higgins and Todd ran 12:15.65 in the women's distance medley relay, finishing fifth. On the men's side, the team of Hilton, Maxwell, Novak and Razick placed seventh with a time of 10:29.73.
In the 4x400-meter relay on the women, the foursome of Rucker, Rodriques, Brockington and Allen ran a time of 3:43.20 to finish third. A team of Green, Harriss, Delaney, and Bandy finished seventh, running a time of 3:49.58. The men's squad capped the day with a win. Gravesande, Byrd, Carter and Collier ran a 3:11.93 to capture the victory. The team of Walker, Sanders, Echols and Winfrey took seventh with a 3:18.96.
The Gamecocks return to Columbia to host a mid-week meet on Wed., Jan. 23 at the USC Indoor Complex. The events are schedule to start at 4 p.m.
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