May 29, 2009Liza Todd and Jason Cook both earned berths to the outdoor championships as Todd placed fifth in the pole vault and Cook placed fourth in the shot put.
Senior Liza Todd saved her best performance for her final regional championship meet as the Columbia-native set a new PR to place fifth in the pole vault at 13-01.75 (4.01m). The mark is the second-best mark in South Carolina history and advances Todd to her first NCAA Championship appearance. She is the first women's pole vaulter to appear at the NCAA's since Cheryl Terio competed at the 2006 Outdoor Championships.
"I'm pretty excited," Todd said. "I PR'd in the meet, and (this time of the season) is a good time to PR. Coach Johnson said you're going to lay it out so that your training schedule fits that you'll PR at regionals. I believed it, but not really until it happened. Coach Frye said in a meeting last night that he didn't want to take me to (NCAA Championships) as an alternate in the 4x100m. I really thought about that. I didn't want to go as an alternate. I didn't want to go unless I made it for myself."
SEC Champion Jason Cook placed fourth in the shot put with a top throw of 62-03.75 (18.99m), earning his bid to the NCAA Outdoor Championships for the first time in his career. Earlier this season Cook advanced to the NCAA Indoor Championships where he placed 13th overall.
The women's 4x100m relay team tied for the best time of the day in winning their heat at 43.91. The time was a season best for Carolina as the team of Lakya Brookins, Shayla Mahan, Gabrielle Glenn and Breehana Jacobs qualified to run in tomorrow's final.
On the men's side, Johnathan Hancock, Antonio Sales, Quentin Moore and Obakeng Ngwigwa combined to run 39.41 in the 4x100m relay, tying the time that they raced at the SEC Outdoor Championships. The men qualified for the finals with a fourth place finish, with the final to be held tomorrow at 5:10 p.m.
Junior Brandi Cross ran a composed race to win her heat and finish fourth in the 400m dash at 53.64 to advance to the finals.
Three hurdlers advanced to the finals in the men's 110-meter hurdles as Jason Richardson, Johnny Dutch and Booker Nunley took a 3-4-6 finish in the event. Richardson coasted through the line at 13.80 to win his heat while Dutch won his heat at 13.85. Nunley took sixth overall and second in his heat at 13.92. The final will be run Saturday at 5:55 p.m.
Dutch also advanced in the 400-meter hurdles after winning his heat at 50.69. The sophomore leads the nation with a top time this year of 48.58 and placed fourth in Friday's preliminary round. The final will be run Saturday at 6:50 p.m.
Antonio Sales won his heat and finished third overall in the 200m dash to advance to the finals with a time of 20.82.
Sophomores Lakya Brookins and Gabrielle Glenn both advanced in the women's 100m dash. Brookins won her heat and placed third overall at 11.48 while Glenn finished seventh overall at 11.59. Classmate Shayla Mahan just missed the finals with an 11th place finish at 11.72, and freshman Breehana Jacobs took 15th at 11.78.
Junior Kettiany Clarke placed 12th in the 100-meter hurdles at 13.69, and sophomore Janica Austin finished 25th at 14.08. Sophomore Shayla Mahan took 12th in the 200m dash, and Aimee Kodat placed 13th in the women's discus throw.
Austin placed 34th in the women's 400-meter hurdles at 1:02.96. Freshman Radiance Basden finished 38th at 1:04.06.
The final day of competition resumes Saturday morning starting with Michael Zajac in the men's hammer throw at 11 a.m. Running events will begin with the 4x100m relay finals at 5 p.m.
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