Track Notebook: Gamecocks Make Positive Strides in First Meet|
Jan. 16, 2013
At the USC Indoor Open this past weekend, the University of South Carolina track and field team kicked off the season with nine performances that rank in the NCAA top 25 in their event.
The Gamecocks went 1-2 in the 55-meter dash with Kendall Kee and Chris Royster. Kee's 6.29 and Royster's 6.33 in the finals of the event rank them second and third, respectively. When converted to a 60-meter time, they rank seventh and 12th in the SEC rankings after the first full weekend of competition.
In the men's 55-meter hurdles freshmen Dondre Echols and Jermaine Collier claimed second and third place in the finals on Saturday in their first collegiate meet. Echols' time of 7.38 ranks him second in recorded times this season while Collier's 7.56 puts him in the ninth spot of the rankings. Echols' mark converts to a 7.95 60-meter hurdles time, putting him at the fourth spot in the SEC while Collier's 8.14 puts him at 13th.
On the women's side, senior All-American Kierre Beckles recorded a time of 7.70 in the 55-meter hurdles, which is the fastest time recorded in the 2013 indoor season and stands as tops in the conference when converted to the standard 60-meter race. Beckles led a 1-2-3 sweep of the event. Sophomore Chalese Davis had a time of 8.02, which is the sixth fastest time and freshman Tyler Brockington ran an 8.28 in her first meet with the Gamecocks to place her in the 20th spot nationally.
For the field events, junior Petra Olsen cleared 12-9 ½ (3.90m) in her win at the home meet, to rank her 23rd in the nation and fourth in the conference. Freshman Austin Eckenroth recorded a 16'0 ¾ in the men's pole vault on Saturday, which ranks him seventh amongst all freshmen in the NCAA and 10th overall in the SEC.
Senior Breanna Radford's shot put mark of 52'2 ½ (15.91m) ranks her 15th in the nation and third in the SEC. The mark also pushed Radford into the seventh spot in the Gamecock record book. Radford also broke into the South Carolina all-time top 10 with her weight throw mark of 56'10 (17.32m). The Georgia native's mark ranks her ninth in the program's history in the weight throw and currently ranks her 12th in the conference.
For the indoor season, the top 16 in each event will qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark.
The Gamecocks will travel to Birmingham, Ala., for the Auburn Indoor Invitational on Saturday.