April 13, 2018
Outdoor Meet #6 – Tennessee Relays
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Friday was a tremendous evening for the University of South Carolina track & field team as six Gamecocks earned event victories at the Tennessee Relays. Aliyah Abrams, Josh Awotunde, Shelby Freedman, Yann Randrianasolo, Ncincilili Titi and Armand Woodley each topped the leaderboard at Tom Black Track.
Friday night was the first chance for the majority of the Gamecock roster to get acclimated to the site of next month’s SEC Outdoor Championships. In addition to the six wins, the Gamecocks etched five new marks into the program’s top-10 records list.
Randrianasolo was on fire right from the beginning of Friday’s long jump competition, jumping 25-7 ½ and 25-8 ¼ on his first two attempts. But he found a new level on his third attempt, checking in at 26-2 ¾ (7.99m). That’s the second-best mark in Carolina history and the sixth-best effort in the NCAA this season.
Abrams dominated the 400m for her fourth victory of the season. It was her best time of 2018, as she sped around the track in 52.78; that’s the 14th-best time in the NCAA this season.
Freedman brought home the javelin victory for the third time this season. The 2016 All-American took the lead with her first throw, 144-9, and she upped her winning mark to 150-10 on her third attempt.
Titi ran the 200m for the second time this season, and the seven-time All-American left the fastest heat in the dust. The senior’s time of 20.59 was more than a tenth of a second better than the field.
Awotunde was in fourth place after five rounds of shot put with a top attempt of 61-5. But he rose to the occasion on his sixth and final throw, hitting 65-2 ¼. That’s a new season best for the senior and the fifth-best mark in the NCAA this season.
Woodley cleared 16-10 ¾ for the fourth time this season, and he was the only competitor to hit the mark Friday. The 2017 NCAA Championships qualifier stands 40th in the nation through five weeks of outdoor competition.
In addition to his 200m win, Titi made his 100m season debut Friday and logged one of the best races of his Carolina career. The senior finished second with a time of 10.19, a new personal best. It’s the fifth-fastest time in Carolina history and the best wind-legal mark by a Gamecock since 2000. It’s also the 10th-fastest time in the NCAA this season.
Rougui Sow battled back from a tough start to finish second in the women’s long jump. After fouling on her first two attempts, Sow qualified for finals with a leap of 20-4 ½ in round three. On her fifth attempt, she was measured at 20-9, her best effort of the day.
Otis Jones finished fourth Friday in the 800m, and he did so with the best run of his collegiate career. The Sumter, S.C., native stopped the clock in 1:48.38; that’s the sixth-fastest time in Carolina and the 13th-best mark in the nation this season.
One week after setting a new PR in a winning effort at the Gamecock Invitational, KD Young turned in a podium effort in Knoxville. The freshman finished second in the shot put, with her best attempt measuring in at 52-0 ½.
Two Gamecocks had big days in the high jump. Lissa Labiche cleared 5-11 ¼ to finish second. Her mark ranks fourth in Carolina history and also fourth on the NCAA leaderboard this season. Hanifah Abdulqadir came in fourth on Friday, and her effort of 5-8 ¾ is sixth-best in program history.
In pole vault, Adele Blalock earned her first career podium finish. The redshirt freshman cleared 12-9 ¾ to finish third on Friday.
FROM THE COACH
“Yann had a great series. He went from 25-7 to 25-8 to 26-2, and they were all wind-legal. He has improved a great deal by making adjustments. He was competing in his first semester last year at Carolina, but this year he's much better accustomed to our program, our coaching staff and our schedule. It took him one season to adapt physically, but he's really doing well. Josh was locked in a contest with some very good throwers, and he was struggling to start the meet. But when your goal is to be an NCAA contender, you've got to work through it, and he did today. You have to be competitive on a day where you aren't at your best, and he showed today he could do that. Titi ran his best ever 100, the third-best time in school history. He was a little sluggish in the 200, but it's a tight track, and he did a great job to power through. Otis had a great run, Shelby really competed and Adele in the pole vault was fantastic. To see her go over 12-9, a new personal best, was awesome. On the men's side, Bryce also finished with a personal best. I love seeing all of our athletes improve. Overall, we had a ton of good performances. We're not always going to have perfect days, but we need to be able to be successful even when we're not at our best, and today several of our athletes proved to themselves they could do that.” - Head Coach Curtis Frye
UP NEXT FOR THE GAMECOCKS
Carolina continues the Tennessee Relays on Saturday, with the last day of competition beginning at 11:00 a.m. ET.
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