Vica Shobe's School Record Leads Gamecocks At Texas A&M Challenge
Jan. 30, 2010
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Vica Shobe's school record in the women's pole vault coupled with wins by Lakya Brookins, Elliott Haynie and Michael Zajac led the South Carolina track and field program's in the final day of competition at the Texas A&M Challenge held at the Gilliam Indoor Track.
The meet paired three teams from the SEC, Big 12 and Pac 10 conferences with South Carolina, Florida and Arkansas representing the SEC. Texas, Texas A&M and Baylor represented the Big 12 and representing the Pac 10 were Oregon, Stanford and Washington State.
Shobe's clearance of 13'8 ¼ (4.17m) to place second highlighted the weekend for the South Carolina women. The senior bested her previous personal best by over one foot and broke the school record in the event by two inches. The mark is ninth in the NCAA this season. Cheryl Terrio set the previous South Carolina record of 13'6 ¼ in 2006.
"It was exciting," Vica said of her jump. "Honestly I didn't really have time to think about it. We have our sites set on doing bigger and better things. Coach (Lawrence) Johnson said he was really happy but I shouldn't just be satisfied with that. We have SEC's and nationals ahead, so we have a lot more work to do."
"It was a solid performance," South Carolina pole vault coach Lawrence Johnson said. "She's been building for a long time. We'd like to do more but she did a great job. She's got a lot more so we're trying to hold her focus so we can keep building to the end of indoors. I really think we can put together something solid and maybe have hope of bringing home a conference title and an NCAA individual title."
Brookins won the 60-meter dash to remain undefeated on the year in the event. Running on the same track that she won the NCAA title on last season at a championship meet record time of 7.13, Brookins earned the title Saturday at 7.29 to claim her third provisional mark of the year. Classmate Shayla Mahan took third in the event with a tie of 7.36, claiming another provisional time for herself as well.
On the men's side, Haynie and Zajac earned victories in the pole vault and weight throw, respectively. Haynie cleared 17'3 ½ (5.27m) to earn the pole vault title by over 11 inches of the next finisher. Zajac earned the weight throw title with a toss of 69'1 ¼ (21.06m), setting a personal best for the 2009 All-American. The marks for both athletes were provisional qualifying marks.
"Elliott jumped well," Johnson said. "He had a couple of nice shots at 17-8 but we've really made some good changes to his form. We're just going to keep building. We'll sit out of The Armory next week and get a few things cleaned up before we head to Arkansas (for the Tyson Invitational and SEC Indoors), but Elliott had a great day. No one's satisfied. Vica's not and Elliott's not. They know they have better performances out there and we'll keep working towards doing it right for the Gamecocks."
"Our pole vaulters had a great day," South Carolina head coach Curtis Frye said. "We had a personal best from Matt Shuler who went 16-4 and then Elliott Haynie got on the provisional list with one of the top heights in the country. Then we go and have a school record at 13-8 by Vica. We had a great one. Lawrence Johnson is bringing them around at the right time here before the conference meet."
In the 200-meter dash, junior Antonio Sales hit a provisional time by placing fifth at 21.16. In the other events, sophomore Booker Nunley took third in the 60-meter hurdles. Freshman Robert Razick continues to run well in his first season and crossed the tape at 4:18.60, a collegiate best.
"On the men's side, Mike Zajac had a personal best and moved up to the top five on the NCAA list in the weight throw," Frye said. "Those are the highlights for our men along with Antonio Sales in the 200-meter. That was a good go through. Robert Razick is a kid that's dropped from 4:40 in high school to 4:18 in the mile. That's a big breakthrough for him. We feel like well get a few more things each week and get it together more."
For the women, the 1,600-meter relay team of Nadonnia Rodrigues, Brandi Cross, Breehana Jacobs and Kelsey McCorkle claimed third at a provisional time of 3:39.12. In the other events, freshman Sierra Henderson ran the 800-meter dash at 2:13.72, falling four seconds short of her first provisional time of the year. Junior Janica Austin took fifth in the 60-meter hurdles at 8.73.
"On the women's side, Vica was the big star for us today," Frye said. "Kya Brookins continues to stay undefeated so far in the 60-meter. It's not a big time but we think she'll run faster hopefully by SEC's. Shayla Mahan ran a little faster this week as well. Sallie Gurganus had a good pole vault too. Those are the highlights for us on the women's side. We're pretty happy with that. It was amazing for our kids to be a part of this experience."
South Carolina flies to New York City next weekend to compete in the prestigious New Balance Collegiate Invitational held at The Armory Track and Field Center in uptown Manhattan.