May 13, 2018
Outdoor Meet #9 – 2018 SEC Outdoor Championships Day #3
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- A pair of podium finishes highlighted the day as the University of South Carolina track & field team wrapped up the 2018 SEC Outdoor Championships on Sunday. Armand Woodley finished third in the pole vault and Otis Jones took third in the 800m run, with both posting personal bests at Tom Black Track.
Woodley and Jones joined Josh Awotunde as Gamecocks on the medal stand this week. Awotunde finished second in the shot put on Saturday, breaking a school record with a mark of 68-1 ¾.
On the men’s side, Carolina finished 12th overall, with 31.5 points. The Carolina women’s squad took 13th place in Knoxville, posting 20 points.
Woodley opened the day for Carolina with his best pole vault performance to date. The junior cleared both 5.20m and 5.30m on his first try; the latter distance (17-4 ½) was a new personal best and the fifth-best mark in Carolina history. Woodley earned the bronze on Sunday, his first career SEC medal.
In between running his preliminary race on Friday and taking part in Sunday’s 800m final, Jones attended his University of South Carolina graduation ceremony Saturday in Columbia. The Sumter, S.C., native wasn’t just satisfied with a diploma, however, as he added his first career SEC medal to the trophy case on Sunday night. Jones motored home in 1:47.83 to finish third; that’s the third-fastest time in Carolina history and the 18th-best mark in the NCAA this season.
Scoring efforts abounded for the Gamecocks on the final day of the conference meet, with Hanifah Abdulqadir joining Woodley as an afternoon scorer. Abdulqadir has steadily improved throughout the outdoor season, and that culminated with a personal-best effort on Sunday. The junior finished fifth, jumping 43-7 ¾. That’s the third-best mark in Carolina history and ranks 15th in the NCAA this season.
The evening’s track festivities kicked off with the women’s 4x100m relay, where the Gamecocks ran a season-best to put a point on the board. Maiya Dendy, Stephanie Davis, Tatyana Mills and Amecia Pennamon posted a time of 44.49 to finish eighth. It’s also the 27th-best mark in the East Region this season and likely clinches a spot for the Gamecocks in the regional meet.
One day after dropping a huge season-best mark of 13.10 in the 100m hurdles preliminary round, Caitlyn Little was back for her first career SEC final on Sunday. The freshman ran 13.17, her second-best mark of the year, to finish seventh and grab two points for the Gamecocks.
Ncincilili Titi opened his two-race evening with a fifth-place finish in the 100m, his best SEC finish in the event as a collegian. The senior ran 10.17, one-hundredth of a second off his PR and the best wind-legal time of his career.
An hour later, Titi was back on the track for his final race of his SEC Championships career. The senior ran 20.42 to place fourth in the 200m. That gave him nine points for the meet, tops on the Carolina team.
Hailey Sweatman scored at the conference level for the first time at the 2018 indoor meet, and she added three points to the cause on Sunday night. Sweatman cleared 13-7 ¼ and finished in sixth place.
FROM THE COACH
“We have a lot to build on, but we’re not where we want to be. We think that as we grow as a program and we get in better shape as far as facilities, we’re going to improve. We have the best recruiting class coming in that we’ve had in many years. We’re going to put all of that together, and we have a lot of talent returning. We’ve got a shot to have a better finish one year from now than we had today.”- Head Coach Curtis Frye
UP NEXT FOR THE GAMECOCKS
The Gamecocks now turn their attention to the 2018 NCAA East Regional Preliminary Round, to be held May 24-26 in Tampa, Fla. The region’s top-48 individuals in each event plus the top-24 relay teams after scratches will head to Tampa with NCAA Championships spots on the line. The full list of NCAA Regional participants will be announced no later than 1 p.m. ET on Thursday, May 17.
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