May 28, 2017
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The third night at the 2017 NCAA East Regional was the best yet for the University of South Carolina track & field team, as the Gamecocks earned six more bids to next month's NCAA Championships. Natasha Dicks (long jump), Isaiah Moore (110mH), Ncincilili Titi (200m) and Tye Williams (high jump) earned individual tickets to Eugene, as did 4x100m relay teams on both the men's and women's sides.
With the six bids earned on Saturday night, Carolina will field 10 entries at the NCAA Championships, to be held June 7-10. Gamecocks Josh Awotunde (shot put), Markus Leemet (decathlon), Rougui Sow (long jump) and Armand Woodley (pole vault) are also headed to Eugene, Ore., next month.
The Gamecocks got off to a great start when the men's 4x100m relay quartet of DeVon Lewis, David Winters, Ryan Bermudez and Titi earned an automatic qualifying spot out of the third heat. The Gamecocks placed second in the heat and eighth overall with a time of 39.12, the eighth-best mark in Carolina history.
In the women's 4x1 relay, Carolina originally finished in 13th, as the group of Sow, Tyler Brockington, Taranisha Taylor and Maiya Dendy turned in a time of 44.51. However, upon further review, two teams from Carolina's heat were disqualified, and approximately an hour after the race, the Gamecocks were awarded an automatic bid as the heat's third finisher. Their time was 12th-best on the day among eligible teams.
Moore breezed through the 110mH first round on Friday, and he made it through the quarterfinals Saturday with similar ease. The junior came in second in his heat and fourth overall; a late charge put some distance between Moore and the field and led to a time of 13.61. It's Moore first official appearance in Eugene after he was a relay alternate last season.
Williams had to jump just three times on Saturday to earn his first berth to the NCAA Championships. The junior cleared 2.05m, 2.10m and 2.15m without a miss, and he was one of just seven jumpers to clear each of the heights on Saturday. The Carolina record-holder, who entered regionals with the nation's second-best regular-season mark, will be a contender for the title in Eugene.
Dicks earned First Team All-America laurels at the indoor and outdoor NCAA Championships last season and this year's indoor meet. She'll have a chance for a fourth All-American honor next month after finishing sixth on Saturday at the regional meet. Her best effort was the first, a mark of 13.38m (43-10 ¾) that goes down as a season best.
Already a five-time All-American, Titi is headed back to Eugene after qualifying Saturday night in the 200m. The junior blazed to a time of 20.22, his second-best mark of the season, and he finished fourth on the evening.
QUOTING HEAD COACH Curtis Frye
"I am really happy. Our kids came through. They fought hard. It was an exciting day. When they put forth the effort that exceeds their ranking coming into the meet, that's the best you can hope for. We had that constantly this week. We've got to do a lot of recovery. We've got a long bus ride tomorrow, and we might get two serious days of training before we get back on a plane to get to Eugene. It's going to be about restoration and recovery."
UP NEXT FOR THE GAMECOCKS
The Gamecocks will be in Eugene, Ore., for the final event of the collegiate season, the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships. The meet runs June 7-10, with television and streaming coverage available on the ESPN family of networks.
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