Michael Zajac Wins Second Straight At Virginia Tech
Jan. 21, 2011
Gamecock Track & Field on Facebook
By Miquel Jacobs
BLACKSBURG, Va. - South Carolina senior Michael Zajac remains unbeaten in the weight throw with his victory Friday night to lead the Gamecock track and field teams at the Hokie Invitational. Participating just two hours from where he grew up in Lynchburg, Va., Zajac earned his second victory of the season at the Rector Field House on the campus of Virginia Tech with his throw of 67'1 ¼ (14.61m).
"Mike Zajac threw 67-feet in the weight throw which is a good one for him this early in the season," South Carolina head coach Curtis Frye said. "That's close to his personal best, and he won again, so that was a big one for us on the guys side. It's been a good performance by the kids so far, and so far we're headed in the right direction."
The Gamecocks enjoyed strong performances throughout the day from many different areas that included top 10 finishes in the women's 60m dash and the men's and women's 300m dash.
Lakya Brookins ran an NCAA automatic qualifying time for the second consecutive week, improving her 60m dash time to 7.24 to place second overall in a see-saw battle with Clemson's Stormy Kendrick. Shayla Mahan ran 7.41 in the prelim but raced to a time of 7.58 in the final to place eighth overall.
A pair of true freshmen led Carolina's women in the 300m dash as Sanura Eley-O'Reilly took fifth at 39.12, and Vashti Bandy took seventh at 39.49. Another freshman, Amber Allen, ran 40.26 in her collegiate debut, placing 14th behind senior Janica Austin (12th, 39.95). Radiance Basden rounded out the Gamecocks at 40.82. Basden also competed in the triple jump where she finished fifth overall at 39'9 ¼ (12.12m).
The men's 300m dash had top 10 finishes from Clayton Gravesande, Andre Carter and Aaron Anderson as all three won their individual heats. Gravesande, the true freshman, placed fifth at 34.09 and was closely followed by Carter in sixth at 34.22. Anderson took ninth with a time of 34.39.
"On the guy's side, Chris Royster ran a good 6.86 (in the 60-meter) and was the last guy out of the finals," Frye said. "It was a fast competitive meet. We had a good result from our boys in the 300 and all of them ran faster than last week. All three between Aaron Anderson, Andre Carter and Clayton Gravesande were equivalent to 47-second quarters, so if we get that effort in the mile relay tomorrow, I'll be happy with them. Our only downside was that Lincoln Carr was injured so he didn't triple jump, so that's about where we stood with the men today."
In the distance events, freshman Liz Locke finished 11th in the mile run at 5:09.97 and was followed by Laura Pramstaller and Scola Jepngetich in 17th and 18th, respectively. Senior Ashley Evens competed in the 3000m run and took 12th at 10:16.91. Men's sophomore Robert Razick also finished 11th in the mile run at 4:17.10 while Alex Bermudez and Chris Sharp competed in the 600m.
The trio of Stacee Roberts, Breanna Radford and Katie Vuckovich all participated in the weight throw as Roberts secured a top 10 finish at 52'9 ¼ (16.08m). With All-SEC performer Lincoln Carr out of action in the men's triple jump, two freshmen led the way for Carolina with top 20 finishes from Dorian Johnson and Joshua Jones.
"We had a pretty good day," Frye said. "Kya got second and Shayla made the finals in the 60-meter. The girls we had also ran good 300's with three PR's, and Sanura (Eley-O'Reilly) and Vashti (Bandy) finished in the top eight. In the triple jump, Radiance PR'd and it looks like she's on her way to doing even better than that. We're pretty excited with that. In the throws Stacee made finals and PR'd, so those were the good things with the girls."