After a successful weekend at the Hokie Invitational in Blacksburg, Va., the South Carolina track and field team flies north to New York City for the Armory Collegiate Invitational. More than 100 universities and colleges spanning both the nation and the globe will arrive at The Armory to compete in the 12th edition of the Armory Collegiate Invitational on February 1-2.
Stacked field awaits Gamecocks in NYC
The men are in a field that includes nine ranked teams. Of the top six teams in the country, five will be at the competition, No. 1 Arkansas, No. 2 Florida, No., 3 Texas A&M, No. 4 Oregon and No. 6 LSU. Other ranked teams include No. 15 Mississippi State, No. 19 BYU, No. 20 Stanford and No. 22 Oklahoma. SEC foes Tennessee and Vanderbilt will be in New York as well.
The No. 21 ranked Gamecock women will face 12 ranked squads at The Armory. The top seven teams in the USTFCCCA rankings are a part of the field - No. 1 Clemson, No. 2 Kansas, No. 3 Oregon, No. 4 Arkansas, No. 5 LSU, No. 6 Texas A&M and No. 7 Florida. In addition, No. 10 Iowa State, No. 14 Texas, No. 14 Dartmouth, No. 16 Stanford and No. 25 UConn will join the Gamecocks at the Armory Collegiate. Other SEC schools in the women's field include Mississippi State, Tennessee and Vanderbilt.
Gamecocks in the Top 20
This season, the top 16 marks/times for each individual event qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships. For the relay events, the top 12 teams will qualify for the championships.
In the first two major events of the year, the Auburn Invitational and the Hokie Invitational, the Gamecock youth has made an impact. At the Auburn Invitational on Jan.19, of 12 individual top-5 finishes, five came from underclass- men. On day one in Blacksburg, of 18 individual top-5 performances, 11 of them were attributed to underclassmen. The second day at the Hokie Invite saw seven underclassmen finish in the top-5 out of the 16 individual finishes in the upper echelon.
Garnet and Black Posts 10 wins and 39 top-5 finishes last weekend
Last weekend, the Gamecocks traveled to Blacksburg, Va., for the Hokie Invitational, racking up 10 wins and 39 top-5 finishes on the road. Sophomore Dameire Byrd highlighted the weekend with his victory in the 60-meter dash. After tying his PR in the prelims at 6.70, Byrd ran a 6.66 to get the win while setting a new personal best. The time ranks him fourth in the Gamecock record books, is seventh in the collegiate ranks this season and is the second-best among football players in the indoor season. Other wins on Friday included junior Clayton Gravesande in the 300m (33.62), redshirt junior Dorian John- son in the long jump (14.98m // 49'1 3⁄4) and senior Kierre Beckles in the 60-meter hurdles (8.28). On Saturday, senior Breanna Radford won the shot put with a throw of 52'3 3⁄4 (15.94m), setting her second PR of the weekend after setting a weight throw best the night before. Redshirt sophomore Kaycee Sullivan also set personal bests in both the shot put and the weight throw in Blacksburg. Junior Jeannelle Scheper won the women's high jump with a clearance of 6'0 (1.83m) and is currently ranked fifth in the NCAA this season. For the men, Jarrod Hutchen won the long jump with a mark of 25'2 (7.67m) while Chris Royster ran a 21.86 to win the 200-meters. The Gamecocks won the men's and women's 4x400-meter relays. Sophomores Erika Rucker and Christal Green teamed with seniors Kierre Beckles and Nadonnia Rodriques to run a 3:37.70 for the win. For the men, Gravesande, senior Andre Carter, Byrd and freshman Jermaine Collier came together to cross the finish line first with a time of 3:10.97. The Gamecocks travel to New York City for the Armory Collegiate Invitational this weekend.
Byrd sets new PR in the 60M
Sophomore Damiere Byrd ran the 60-meter dash for the first time of the season at the Hokie Invitation- al. The New Jersey native tied his PR in the prelims with the top-qualifying time of 6.70, but the mark did not stand long. Byrd blazed to the win setting a new best at 6.66. The time is the seventh fastest mark in the country this season and fourth in the SEC. It also ranks him fourth in the South Carolina record book in the event. His time is the second fastest this season amongst football players who run track. Byrd was already tops on the football list in the 400-meter after running a time of 47.91 at the Auburn Indoor Invitational.
Byrd is a wide receiver on the South Carolina football team and caught a 56-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Connor Shaw in the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1, 2013. The pass marked the fastest score in a bowl game in South Carolina history and was the fourth longest passing play of the Gamecocks' season. Byrd and the Gamecocks are coming off of their second consecutive 11-win season. The Gamecock football team is one of four schools that have won 11 or more games in the last two seasons.
Radford on three-meet win streak Breanna Radford kicked off her senior campaign with a pair of wins and PR's in the shot put and weight throw at the season-opening USC Indoor Open. Her season-opening marks of 56'10 (17.32m) in the weight throw and 52'2 1/2 (15.91m) in the shot put broke her into the South Carolina top 10 for each event. Radford only entered in the shot put at the Auburn Invitational in week two, and picked up the win. At the Hokie Invitational, the Georgia native set personal bests in the two events again, earning her third straight win and
Radford pulled double-duty again at the Hokie Invite, setting PRs on back-to- back days. Her winning shot put mark of 52'3 3/4 (15.94m) ties her for fifth in the South Carolina top 10 while her weight throw toss of 57'2 (17.42m) ranks her ninth all-time in the event.
Hutchen wins two to start season
In his first two events of the season, redshirt senior Jarrod Hutchen has secured two long jump wins. The returning All-American recorded a jump of 24'9 (7.54m) at the Auburn Invite, his first competition of the year. Hutchen bested the mark the following weekend, winning at the Hokie Invite with a leap of 25'2 (7.67m). Hutchen was a participant at the U.S. Olympic trials this summer.