Scheper's Personal Best Leads Gamecocks in SEC Outdoors Day Three
May 14, 2011
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By Miquel Jacobs
ATHENS, Ga. - South Carolina freshman high jumper Jeannelle Scheper hit a personal best and scored five points for the Gamecocks, and four athletes qualified for Sunday's finals to complete the third day of competition at the SEC Outdoor Championships at Spec Towns Track.
Scheper hit a big personal best on her second jump at 5'10 ½ (1.79m) to place fourth overall in the women's high jump. Scheper, who earned SEC All-Freshman Team honors as the only freshman to score in the meet, bested her previous personal best of 5'8 ¾ to solidify the first points for the women's team at the championships.
The fourth-place finish by Scheper is the best for a women's high jumper in Gamecock history. She tops the fifth-place finish that Julie Symonds had in 1994 for the Gamecocks.
"It feels good especially since I was the only freshmen left in that least set of people," Scheper said. "People kept asking me if I was nervous. All I could say was I was blank. I tried to be as confident as I can because that's always my problem, and it just worked out."
"The big thing of the day was Jeannelle's high jump," South Carolina head coach Curtis Frye said. "For her to PR two times and to jump 5'10 ½ as a freshman coming in mid-year as a 16-year old college student, we're really excited about her performance in the meet."
Defending SEC champion Beatrice Biwott placed fourth in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase final with a season best time of 10:34.75. Biwott ran a great race plan, overtaking the field over the final 800 meters to jump from 12th to fourth overall at the finish.
Junior Kierre Beckles ran a wind-aided personal best of 13.11 for the fastest time of the day in the women's 100-meter hurdle prelims. Beckles, who holds the Barbados national record in the event, qualified for the final will look to give the Gamecocks a medalist in the event for the second consecutive year after KeKe Clarke earned bronze last season. Senior Janica Austin came in 12th overall at 13.88.
Senior Aimee Kodat scored in the women's discus for the fourth straight year after placing eighth overall at 155-03 (47.34m). She joins two-time NCAA champion Lisa Misipeka as the only four-time scorer in the event for South Carolina.
Seniors Lakya Brookins and Gabrielle Glenn both qualified for the women's 100-meter dash finals after going 1-2 in the final heat. Brookins placed third overall with a time of 11.33 while Glenn followed at 11.55 to place sixth overall. Classmate Shayla Mahan missed the finals by .002 seconds with her time of 11.567, placing ninth overall after coming up short over the final 20 meters with a strained hamstring. Vashti Bandy ran 11.83 and Asia Delaney ran 12.28 to round out the Gamecock effort.
Sophomore Robert Razick ran a personal best time of 3:52.47 in the men's 1500-meter run prelims to place sixth overall and qualify for Sunday's final. Razick, who entered the meet ranked outside the conference top 25, blazed through the track in a first heat that swept the top six spots. The sophomore will look to become the first Gamecock scorer in the 1500-meter run since William Emase placed sixth in 2003.
"Robert making the finals and running 3:52, it's been a long time since South Carolina has had a miler that can run that," Frye said. "For him to have the sixth-fastest time going into finals is big for us."
Freshman Clayton Gravesande ran the eighth-fastest time in the 400-meter dash prelims but did not advance due to heat qualifiers. Gravesande ran 46.95, taking second in his heat, and was followed by Aaron Anderson at 48.03 for 18th. Freshmen Nigel Redic and Alex Loose ran 49.90 and 51.21, respectively. In the women's race, freshman Sanura Eley-O'Reilly took 16th at 54.74.
"We got snake bit twice," Frye said. "We had the eighth-fastest time in the 200 yesterday by Sales but they take the heat winners. Our guys had faster times than the heat winners, but it ends up knocking them out at ninth. Clayton did the same thing today. He ended up with the eighth-fastest time but got knocked out by a placement."
Louis Day and Andrew Finley placed ninth and tenth, respectively, in the men's shot put. Day had a top throw of 52'1 ¾ (15.89m), and Finley finished the day with a top throw of 50'4 ½ (15.35m). Senior Andrew Vaughan placed 16th in the javelin throw with a toss of 176-09 (53.89m).
Freshman Petra Olsen cleared 12'2 (3.71m) and placed 14th overall in the women's pole vault. It was Olsen's first meet since taking fourth at the SEC Indoor Championships back in February of this year. She missed the outdoor season with injury before returning Saturday.
"The efforts were there for our girls," Frye said. "We got a point in the discus by Aimee. Our pole vaulters have been injured. Overcoming injuries has been difficult, so that's a battle for us. The big loss for us today was Shayla Mahan who strained her hamstring and is probably out for the 4x1, which will have a devastating effect. We thought we had a shot to win the 4x1. We just hope we'll have her back by regional time."
The Gamecocks had a trio of men's long jumpers with freshman Josh Jones leading the way with a jump of 22'8 (6.91m). Lincoln Carr followed behind at 21'11 ½ (6.69m), and Jarett Gerald had a top jump of 21'3 ½ (6.49m).
Senior Laura Pramstaller ran 4:48.24 in the women's 1500-meter run in her collegiate finale. A duo of freshmen, Kevaughn Griffith and Chris Sharp, ran in the men's 110-meter hurdles with Griffith running 14.87 to place 11th, and Sharp running 15.80 to place 13th.
"We've had pretty good performances," Frye said. "We're kissing our sister. We're right on the edge. Nothing has happened big for us. We're looking for a breakthrough to take place. Everyone in the SEC is having a great track meet. We're having a great one, and everyone else is having a great one. The Gamecocks still have some bullets in their gun though."
The final day of competition begins Sunday at noon beginning with the women's javelin, men's triple jump and men's pole vault. The meet is scheduled to end with the women's mile relay at 5:35 p.m.