Four More Gamecocks Advance To NCAA Outdoor Championships
May 28, 2010
GREENSBORO, N.C. - Johnny Dutch ran the second-fastest time in the world this year and is one of six Gamecocks that have earned the right to compete in Eugene after the second day of competition at the NCAA Preliminary Round. In addition, five Gamecocks advanced to preliminary round finals after their quarterfinal performances Friday.
NOTE (11:02 P.M.): THE MEET WAS DELAYED IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE WOMEN'S 200M DASH DUE TO SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS IN THE GREENSBORO AREA. THE WOMEN'S STEEPLECHASE HAS BEEN MOVED TO SATURDAY MORNING AT 9:30 A.M. Beatrice Biwott WILL COMPETE IN THE THIRD HEAT OF THE STEEPLECHASE.
Dutch once again made it look effortless as the junior cruised to a personal best 48.12 to win the 400-meter hurdles and advance to compete at the NCAA Outdoor Championships at Oregon in two weeks. The time for Dutch is the second-fastest time run in the world this year and caps an undefeated regular season in the event for Dutch. It is also No. 4 on the all-time collegiate list.
Only Javier Culson of Puerto Rico has run a faster time in the intermediate hurdles this year. Culson ran 47.72 at the Ponce Grand Prix in Ponce, Puerto Rico on May 8.
"I feel so excited," Dutch said of his race. "I just planned on qualifying today. It wasn't really to run a PR but I did so I can't be anything but excited. My plan is to win NCAA's regardless of what time I ran today. The primary goal is to take the NCAA by storm."
Dutch also ran the 110-meter hurdles Friday, taking third overall at 13.68 to advance to Saturday's final. After advancing in the high hurdles, he came back three hours later to run his top time in the intermediates with ease, running over a second faster than the next finisher.
"(After the race) I heard the crowd (cheer) so I turned around and saw the time," Dutch said. "I wasn't as tired because I was so excited. Now I have the 110 hurdles tomorrow so I'm preparing for that to get my mind right."
Teammate Booker Nunley, also considered a favorite to medal in the 110-meter hurdles at nationals, suffered a setback as his recurring back injury forced him to pull up after two hurdles. The sophomore entered the meet ranked seventh in the nation but won't make the trip to Eugene after taking sixth at nationals last year as a freshman.
Senior pole vaulter Vica Shobe earned her first bid to the NCAA Outdoor Championships after clearing 13'1 ½ (4.00m) in the pole vault to take sixth overall. Shobe, an indoor All-American in the pole vault this year, was one of seven competitors to clear the final height of the day and qualify. Sophomore Allison Nicosia placed 16th at 12'3 ½ (3.75m).
Junior sprinter Shayla Mahan earned her ticket to Eugene in the 100-meter dash after taking fifth overall at 11.34. Her time came one day after matching her PR of 11.31 and marks a quick resurgence for the All-American who last qualified as an individual for outdoor nationals in 2008. Classmate Gabrielle Glenn took 17th at 11.57.
Senior Brandi Cross took fourth overall in the 400-meter dash to advance to Eugene. Cross ran 52.77 to earn her bid to the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
In quarterfinal action, senior Kettiany Clarke took 15th in the 100-meter hurdles at a personal best 13.30. She will compete Saturday at 7:20 p.m. for the right to compete in Eugene. Sophomore Kelsey McCorkle qualified for finals in the 200-meter dash with a time of 23.69. Teammates Tatianna Fisher (24.05) and Shayla Mahan (24.40) also competed.
Obakeng Ngwigwa and Antonio Sales both won their heats of the 200-meter dash quarterfinal and will compete Saturday for a bid to nationals. Ngwigwa finished ninth overall at 20.90, and Sales finished 14th overall at 21.08.
Freshman David Wilkins placed 39th in the high jump at 6-7 (2.01m).
South Carolina returns to the track in the final day of competition Saturday when senior Jeff Merkt competes in the discus throw at 9:30 a.m. Other athletes scheduled to compete for the first time this week are Lincoln Carr, Aimee Kodat and the relay squads.