Beatrice Biwott Wins SEC Steeplechase Title In SEC Outdoor Day Three
May 16, 2010
In addition to Biwott, Vica Shobe, Sallie Gurganus, Kayla Blake, Aimee Kodat and Louis Day scored points for the Gamecocks as the men's team enters the final day of competition in eighth place with 16 points and the women stand in eighth place with 20.50 points.
Biwott ran a 19-second personal best and improved her school record in winning the steeplechase at 10:20.14. Beginning at the front of the pack, Biwott took charge of the race around the mile point and steadily expanded her lead in a race that was scheduled to start at 8:10 p.m. but didn't begin until shortly before midnight due to the inclement weather that delayed the meet.
"I'm really excited," Biwott said of her victory and title. "This is my first medal in a big meet like the SEC. I'm very excited and encouraged. I feel like this is a very nice (result) for my teammates and coaches. My coach told me if I felt good I could go ahead in the race and pick up the pace, and that's what I did. I didn't know how fast I was running until I finished the race. I felt like I was running as usual. I knew it was going to be a tough race because there are good athletes out there, and I put myself as one of the best. I told myself, `I can be a champion,' and that's what I did."
"I'm very excited," South Carolina assistant coach Stan Rosenthal said. "She was seeded third coming in and the first Florida girl was almost 15 seconds faster than her, so we weren't necessarily expecting to win. I told her that was part of the race plan. I told if she felt good don't be afraid to take the lead at any time which is what she did ... I haven't stopped smiling, it's great. Coach Frye was saying that someone was going to do something extraordinary, and right now that would be Beatrice for the day. Hopefully that will pick up the team for tomorrow and we'll get some more points."
Senior Vica Shobe scored and medaled at the SEC Outdoor Championships for the first time in her career, and classmate Sallie Gurganus scored for the third consecutive year to lead the pole vaulters. Shobe cleared 13'6 ½ (4.13m) to earn the bronze medal and the first points of the week for the women's team. Gurganus tied for eighth with a clearance of 12'2 ¾ (3.73m). Sophomore Allison Nicosia also cleared 12'2 ¾ but officially placed 11th due to number of misses in the competition. With the bronze, Shobe is the first Gamecock woman to medal at the SEC Outdoor Championships since Cheryl Terrio also earned bronze in 2005. Due to the weather delay, she didn't get to vault until hours after most of the competitors concluded as the event was suspended after the first two bars were cleared.
"It was fun," Shobe said of competing after the long delay. "I never competed at night and I really enjoyed it. I have mixed emotions because I'm happy about getting third and doing better than indoors, but I really had my sights set on winning. I just didn't close the door in the end, unfortunately."
Freshman Louis Day scored in the men's shot put to become just the fourth Gamecock freshman to score in the event at the SEC Outdoor Championships. Day threw 53'0 (16.15m) to place seventh and score two points for the team, joining Brad Snyder, Jeff Shalayda and Kevin Mannon as first-year Gamecocks to score in the shot put. Junior Michael Zajac placed 10th at 50'1 ¼ (15.27m) and freshman Andrew Finley placed 11th at 47'9 ¾ (14.57m).
Junior Kayla Blake placed sixth in the high jump with a clearance of 5'7 (1.70m), her first time scoring at the outdoor conference meet. Junior Aimee Kodat placed seventh in the discus for the third consecutive year after hitting a best attempt of 154-09 (47.16m).
All-Americans Johnny Dutch and Booker Nunley both qualified for the final in the 110-meter hurdles. Dutch won his heat convincingly and placed second overall with a time of 13.90. Nunley took second in his heat and third overall at 14.02 to give the Gamecocks two qualifiers. On the women's side, Kettiany Clarke and Janica Austin qualified for the finals in the 100-meter hurdles. Two days after setting the facility record in the event during the heptathlon competition, Clarke placed sixth in the open event at 13.76 while Austin claimed eighth at 13.61. Ceci Kryst placed 16th at 15.62 and Trier Young registered a "DNF" after clipping a hurdle.
Brandi Cross qualified for the 400-meter dash final with a time of 53.35. Porche Byrd ran 57.07 to place 25th, and Nadonnia Rodrigues ran 57.98 to place 27th. Obakeng Ngwigwa qualified in the men's 400-meter dash with a time of 46.33, placing seventh overall. Senior Quentin Moore took 11th at 47.38, freshman Andre Carter took 19th at 47.85 and junior Aaron Anderson took 22nd at 14.02.
Junior Gabrielle Glenn qualified for the 100-meter dash final after taking sixth at 11.71. Tatianna Fisher, Shayla Mahan and Breehana Jacobs went 13-14-15 in the event with times of 11.93, 11.96 and 12.03, respectively. Freshman Asia Delaney ran 12.66 to take 27th. SEC Indoor Champion and All-American Lakya Brookins did not compete in the event due to illness. In the men's 100-meter dash, Antonio Sales was the odd-man out in qualifying for the finals after placing ninth at 10.466, five-thousandths of a second behind the eighth place finisher and finalist. Freshman Chris Maxwell ran 11.09 in the men's 100m.
As rain and lightning rolled into the Knoxville area, senior Dani Barnes and junior Ashley Evens competed in the women's 1,500-meter run. Barnes placed 15th overall at 4:39.20, and Evens claimed 18th at 4:48.68.
Five Gamecocks competed in the men's and women's long jump events. On the women's side, senior Brittney James was the only South Carolina competitor and placed ninth overall with a best attempt of 19'5 ¼ (5.92m). Four men competed and three posted collegiate bests, led by freshman Lincoln Carr who placed 12th at 23'2 ¾ (7.08m). Aaron Searles and Tony Brown also earned collegiate bests as they finished 15th and 18th respectively. Searles jumped 22'9 ¾ (6.95m) and Brown jumped 20'9 (6.32m). Jarett Gerald was the other competitor and finished 14th overall at 22'11 (6.98m).
Sophomore Andrew Vaughan placed 11th in the men's javelin throw with a toss of 193-03 (58.91m).
Competition concludes Sunday beginning with the men's pole vault at 1 p.m. Running events start at 5 p.m. with the 4x100m relay.