Feb. 3, 2012
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By Miquel Jacobs
NEW YORK CITY - South Carolina senior Kierre Beckles set the example for Curtis Frye's youth-laden team Friday at the New Balance Collegiate in being the first Gamecock to qualify and place in a championship final at the first premier meet of the indoor season.
A two-time All-American last year with citations in both the 60-meter hurdles and the 100-meter hurdles, Beckles ran 8.28 in both the prelims and finals of the 60-meter hurdle championship Friday night to place fifth overall in the event. Running out of lane three, Beckles matched her preliminary time late Friday night in the final to take fifth after originally placing third in the prelims. Freshman Chalese Davis placed 24th overall in the prelims at 8.62.
"We still have a young team," Frye said. "We had a great recruiting class (come in), but those freshmen are still freshmen. It wasn't a great day, but Kierre making finals in the hurdles was great."
Sophomore Amber Allen was the other Gamecock to earn a bid to a final section after placing fifth overall in the women's 400-meter dash college section at a season best time of 56.20. The final will be run Saturday at 4:17 p.m. Freshman Tamera Harris also ran a season best in the event, 56.99, to finish 13th overall in her first collegiate appearance at The Armory.
Dorian Johnson hit a personal best in the men's long jump college section with a leap of 22'8 ¾ (6.93m) to place eighth overall in the event.
Freshman Ahtyana Johnson's return to her home state produced a season best for the Bayside, N.Y., native. Johnson ran 24.93 in the 200-meter dash college section to take 14th overall. On the men's side in the same event, Chris Maxwell won his heat at 25.16 to place 11th overall.
Sophomore Clayton Gravesande placed 12th overall in the men's 400-meter championship section at 48.09, narrowly missing out on the finals. Junior Andre Carter took 25th at 49.00. In the college section of the event, freshman Eric Winfrey placed 24th at 49.69.
The Gamecock women's shot putters posted two season bests in back-to-back finishes by Katie Vuckovich and Breanna Radford. Vuckovich placed 11th overall at 48'3 ¼ (14.71m), and Radford took 12th at 47'9 ¼ (14.56m). Senior Stacee Roberts placed 22nd overall at 45'6 ½ (13.88m).
A trio of Gamecock women competed in the 400-meter championship section with freshman Erika Rucker leading the way with a time of 55.90 to place 23rd. Nadonnia Rodriques ran 56.19 (28th) in her return to her hometown, and freshman Christal Green ran 57.06 to place 40th.
Chris Royster took 18th overall in the 60-meter dash championship section at 6.84. Freshman Damiere Byrd was disqualified by a false start in his first appearance at the New Balance Collegiate. In the women's 60-meter championship section, Vashti Bandy and Asia Delaney both competed for the Gamecocks with Bandy running 7.72 and Delaney running 7.85.
A pair of seniors competed in the men's and women's 60-meter dash college sections with Kelsey McCorkle taking 38th in the women's section at 7.87 and Chris Maxwell taking 40th in the men's section at 7.17. In the first men's event of the day, Chris Sharp placed 26th in the 60-meter hurdles at 8.90.
Freshman Megan Wall cleared a season best 11'3 ¾ (3.45m) in the women's pole vault college section to take 29th overall.
In the women's 1000-meter championship, Liz Locke ran 3:03.55 to take 55th in the large field.
Competition resumes Saturday morning at 9 a.m. with the women's 5K and concludes with the 4x440-meter relays at 5:43 p.m.
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