Six Gamecocks Punch Tickets to NCAA Championships
May 24, 2013
GREENSBORO, N.C. - Six Gamecocks claimed entries into the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore., on the second day of competition of the NCAA East Preliminary Round at Irwin Belk Track. Junior Chris Royster became the first male Gamecock to qualify after earning a spot in the 100-meter dash. Juniors Petra Olsen and Jeannelle Scheper, sophomores Erika Rucker and Tamera Harris along with freshman Tyler Brockington joined sophomore Kayla Lampe on the South Carolina NCAA roster. Two Gamecock hurdlers advanced to quarterfinals as well.
Rucker advanced on time after clocking in at 52.83 in the first of three heats to book her second-consecutive trip to the NCAA Outdoor Championships. The sophomore five-time All-American has qualified for NCAA Championships each indoor and outdoor season of her career as a Gamecock.
In the men's 100-meter dash, Royster ran in the fastest of the heats and advanced to Eugene on time with his 10.33. The two-time All-American has run on relays at the NCAA Outdoor Championships the last two seasons, but this marks his first individual entry into the event.
The Gamecocks secured two of 12 East region spots in the women's 400-meter hurdle. Running in the second heat, Brockington locked in her position after finishing third with a time of 59.04. After running in the first heat, Harris had to wait to see if she would advance on time. Once all three heats were completed, Harris had earned her first ticket to the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Entering the weekend tied for the lead in the East, Scheper booked a return trip to the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Scheper cleared at three heights before the top 12 were determined. Last year, Scheper finished in 16th place at the NCAA Championships.
Olsen needed just one clearance to book her second trip to NCAA's. After passing on the first two heights, Olsen cleared on her first attempt at 13'1" ½ (4.00m) to grab a top-12 spot. Olsen claimed 12th at last year's NCAA Championships.
Senior Kierre Beckles advanced to the 100-meter hurdle quarterfinals after a second-place finish in her heat. Beckles will race at 7:05 p.m. ET tomorrow for a chance to make a return trip to the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Freshman Dondre Echols also moved on to quarterfinals. Echols matched his collegiate-best of 14.00 in the men's 110-meter hurdles. The freshman finished third to automatically qualify for tomorrow's race. His quarterfinal is scheduled for 7:20 p.m. ET.
For the fourth-consecutive season, the country has been split into two regions - East and West - with the top 48 athletes (24 relays) in each region qualifying for the Preliminary Round. The East Preliminary is being held in Greensboro, N.C., with the West Preliminary taking place in Austin, Texas. The event quarterfinals include 24 student-athletes, 12 of which will receive trips to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore., June 5-8. Field events are halted once the top 12 spots have been determined.
Before the quarterfinal action tomorrow, junior Dorian Johnson competes in the men's triple jump at 1 p.m. ET and senior Breanna Radford will vie for a spot in the women's shot put at 5:30 p.m. ET. The 4x100-meter and 4x400-meter relays also highlight tomorrow's card with the 4x1 kicking off the running events at 6 p.m. ET and the 4x4 wrapping things up at 9:25 p.m. ET.
Qualified for NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore.