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Track & Field

Indoor Season Continues at Darius Dixon Memorial Invitational
Feb. 1, 2018

Indoor Meet #4 - Track & Field at the Darius Dixon Memorial Invitational

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The season continues this weekend for the University of South Carolina track & field team as the Gamecocks head to Lynchburg, Va., for the Darius Dixon Memorial Invitational. The meet is scheduled to begin Friday at 2:30 p.m., and Saturday's slate starts at 10 a.m. ET.

South Carolina and the hosts from Liberty face a large field this weekend, including Appalachian State, Elon, Gardner-Webb, Hampton, High Point, Howard, James Madison, Kennesaw State, Liberty, Marshall, Maryland, Norfolk State, North Carolina A&T, Old Dominion, Radford, Richmond, South Carolina, UNC Asheville, UNC-Greensboro, Virginia, VCU, William and Mary and Winthrop. The Gamecock women are the only ranked team in the field, entering the weekend at No. 14.

This weekend's competition has special significance for South Carolina assistant head coach Delethea Quarles. The Virginia native was a three-time All-American as a student-athlete at Liberty, and she held the school's 100m hurdles record for more than two decades. She was also an assistant coach at Liberty for eight seasons and was inducted into the school's athletic hall of fame in 2014.


"This weekend is another opportunity to perform and to improve on our marks. There are some people that have been going hard at it, some people that have achieved a place on the national list, that are taking the weekend off, and then there are others in the field events that are just kind of getting in their groove. We haven't had the best opportunities to be outside training, so some of the meets have served as training that we've needed. We go into this meet with more opportunities for the entire team to have an experience. " -- Assistant Head Coach Delethea Quarles




South Carolina had another successful weekend at one of its favorite annual stops, the Columbia Challenge at The Armory in New York City. The Gamecocks finished fourth on both the men's and women's side of the scored competition. Carolina won three event victories: Josh Awotunde's shot put mark of 65-0 3/4 ranks second in school history and third nationally, while Hanifah Abdulqadir's 43-4 1/4 in the triple jump is third in school history and eighth in the NCAA. Rougui Sow was also victorious, winning the long jump at The Armory. Other Gamecocks recording scoring efforts in New York include Tye Williams (2nd -- high jump), Lissa Labiche (3rd -- high jump), Caitlyn Little (3rd -- 60mH), Yann Randrianasolo (3rd- long jump), KD Young (4th -- shot put and 6th -- weight throw), Heather Stone (5th -- 5000m), Ncincilili Titi (5th -- 60m), Matt Froschauer (6th -- 60mH), Precious Holmes (6th -- 500m), Colleen Openshaw (7th -- 5000m) Milan Parks (7th -- 60mH), Abdulqadir (8th -- high jump) and Alycia Springs (8th -- shot put). Labiche's effort was especially notable, as the two-time Olympian made her collegiate debut.


The South Carolina women's team is up to No. 14 in the latest USTFCCCA National Poll, released Jan. 29. That's the highest ranking for a Carolina women's team since the preseason poll from 2014. Six members of the Gamecocks have combined for eight individual USTFCCCA listings: Lissa Labiche (High Jump -- 4th), Rougui Sow (Long Jump -- 7th), Aliyah Abrams (400m -- 8th), Jordan Fields (High Jump -- 10th and Pentathlon -- 25th), Hanifah Abdulqadir (Triple Jump -- 12th and High Jump -- 26th) and Precious Holmes (400m -- 15th).

The Gamecock men hold down the No. 30 spot this week, with Ncincilili Titi's world-leading 200m time of 20.45 leading the way. The senior is also ranked 42nd in the 60m. Other Gamecocks ranked on the men's side include Josh Awotunde (8th -- Shot Put), Tye Williams (14th -- High Jump) and Isaiah Moore (19th -- 60mH).

The USTFCCCA's latest rankings include a combination of preseason marks and new personal bests achieved during the first two weeks of the 2018 season. A complete listing of the marks used to determine this week's poll can be found here.


Through two weeks of indoor competition, the Gamecocks have 14 individual student-athletes accounting for 17 NCAA Division I top-50 marks in their respective events.
Ncincilili Titi holds the top 200m time in the nation, a time of 20.45, and his 60m time of 6.69 ranks 22nd. Both marks came at the Clemson Invitational.
Jordan Fields is ranked second in the high jump, at 6-0 ¾, and seventh in the pentathlon, at 3,967. Both efforts came at Clemson.
Josh Awotunde achieved a shot put mark of 65-0 3/4 at The Armory, a new personal best indoors, and that mark is ranked third in the NCAA.
Rougui Sow is ranked seventh in the long jump; her effort at Clemson was 20-8.
Tye Williams holds the No. 10 spot in the high jump after posting an effort of 7-2 ½ at the Navy Winter Invitational.
Hanifah Abdulqadir achieved a triple jump mark of 43-4 1/4 at The Armory, which is eighth-best in the NCAA. Her high jump effort of 5-10 ¾ from Navy is the nation's 13th-best mark.
Yann Randrianasolo jumped a new indoor PR at the Columbia Challenge, 25-1 ¾, which is listed 15th.
KD Young is listed 32nd in the shot put after throwing 52-3 ¼ at the Columbia Challenge.
Otis Jones ran his first 800m of the season at Clemson, and he's ranked 33rd with a time of 1:50.69.
Lissa Labiche made her debut at the Columbia Challenge and is ranked 33rd in the high jump, at 5-9 ¾.
• Freshman Stephanie Davis ran a time of 54.58 in her debut 400m at Clemson, which is listed 34th in the USA.
• Another freshman, Caitlyn Little, stands 36th in the 60mH after posting a time of 8.37 in New York.
Hailey Sweatman's pole vault effort of 13-1 ½ at Clemson is the No. 41 mark in the nation.
Eric Favors is ranked 48th nationally in the shot put after throwing 58-4 in New York.


South Carolina's season continued in the Palmetto State, where the Gamecocks took on a loaded field at the Clemson Invitational. Five nationally-ranked teams were featured on both the men's and women's side and the Gamecocks fared well, collecting eight podium finishes. The star of the show for Carolina was Ncincilili Titi. The senior won the 200m with a time of 20.45. That's the fastest indoor mark in the entire world this season, the fastest mark in the NCAA, the second-fastest indoor mark in African track & field history and the second-fastest indoor 200m in Carolina history. Titi also set a PR in the 60m, where his time of 6.69 placed third at the event and ranks 19th in the country. Other Gamecocks to finish on the podium include Otis Jones (800m), Tye Williams (high jump) and Armand Woodley (pole vault), Yann Randrianasolo (long jump), Jordan Fields (pentathlon) and KD Young (shot put), Allie Mueller (mile run) and Hanifah Abdulqadir also continued their climbs up the program's all-time top-10.


Accolades came rolling in for senior Ncincilili Titi after his 20.45 indoor 200m effort Jan. 20 at the Clemson Invitational. The time is the fastest effort in the world this season and the second-fastest indoor 200m in African history. It's also the second-fastest indoor 200m in Carolina history; Titi already owns the outdoor record after running 20.14 at the 2017 Gamecock Invitational.

Titi also ran a 60m PR at Clemson, a time of 6.69 that ranks seventh in Gamecock history. For his efforts, the Butterworth, South Africa, native was named SEC Men's Co-Runner of the Week.


South Carolina opened the indoor season with 16 event victories at the Navy Winter Invitational, which led the way in a field that included Wake Forest, George Mason, Mount St. Mary's, Penn and the hosts from Navy. The highlight of the day came from senior Tye Williams, whose high jump mark of 2.20m set a new indoor school record. The Gamecock men also got victories from Ncincilili Titi (60m), Otis Jones (500m), the 4x400m relay team, Yann Randrianasolo (high jump) and Josh Awotunde (shot put). On the women's side, Maiya Dendy was perhaps the most successful Gamecock, winning both the 60m and the 200m. Other Gamecocks to stand in the winner's circle include Stephanie Davis (400m), Allie Mueller (1000m), Milan Parks (60mH), Jordan Fields (high jump), Hanifah Abdulqadir (triple jump), Rougui Sow (long jump), Hailey Sweatman (pole vault) and KD Young (shot put.). Davis and Young were victorious in their very first collegiate meet, while Abdulqadir won on her first day as a Gamecock. Carolina returns to action Jan. 19-20 at the Clemson Invitational.


Coming off of a fourth-place finish at the 2017 NCAA Outdoor Championships, expectations were high for Tye Williams at the start of the season. The senior lived up to the hype in his first meet of 2018, setting a new indoor high jump school record with a mark of 2.20m (7-2 ½) at the Navy Invitational. The jump broke the previous record of 7-2 ¼, set in 2011 by David Wilkins, and it gave Williams ownership of both Gamecock records in the high jump after he claimed the outdoor mark of 7-4 ½ at the 2017 Penn Relays. Williams is ranked seventh nationally after the first week of the indoor season and is looking to solidify his spot at the NCAA Indoor Championships in College Station, Texas in the weeks to come. Ty Jaye Robbins, Markus Leemet and Otis Jones were part of a winning 4x400m relay and Emily Crounse, Maddie Beaubien, Anna Kathryn Stoddard and Allie Mueller turned in a winning distance medley relay.


University of South Carolina senior Ncincilili Titi was ranked as FloTrack's No. 1 200m runner in the nation, the publication announced as part of its preseason event rankings. Titi returns for one more collegiate year after qualifying for the NCAA Championships both indoors and outdoors in 2017. The Butterworth, South Africa, native's outdoor time of 20.14 was the sixth-fastest qualifying mark in the nation last year, and he earned a pair of All-America finishes as a junior.

Titi ran only the 60m individually at Navy, but he is scheduled to make his 200m season debut Saturday at Clemson. As a junior, he ran his indoor PR (20.67) at Clemson in 2017.

Titi wasn't the only Gamecock listed in FloTrack's preseason individual rankings. On the women's side, two-time All-American Rougui Sow is listed fourth in the long jump after earning a pair of sixth-place finishes nationally last season. For the men, Isaiah Moore is ranked eighth according to FloTrack in the 60m hurdles and Josh Awotunde holds the same ranking in the shot put.


The Gamecocks return five 2017 Indoor All-Americans for the start of the 2018 season. For the women's Aliyah Abrams and Precious Holmes are back after leading the Gamecocks to a ninth-place finish in the 4x400m at last season's NCAA Indoor Championships, and Rougui Sow finished sixth last season in the long jump indoors before duplicating that feat in the outdoor season.

On the men's side of things, Josh Awotunde is a national title contender in the shot put after finishing fifth at the NCAA Indoor Championships a year ago. Ncincilili Titi was also a first-team All-America finisher after placing eighth in the 200m.

Sow and Titi went on to earn All-America status outdoors last season, providing plenty of momentum heading into the new year. 2017 Outdoor All-Americans Maiya Dendy (4x100m), Isaiah Moore (110mH), Milan Parks (4x100m) and Tye Williams (high jump) are also back in Garnet and Black this year.


South Carolina's women's roster got a huge influx of talent for the new season when two-time Olympian Lissa Labiche joined the program over the winter break. Labiche represented Seychelles at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympics, and she's also a two-time African Championships winner in the high jump.

Labiche is one of two past Olympians on the current Gamecock roster. Junior Aliyah Abrams represented Guyana in Rio, running the 400m, and head coach Curtis Frye led the USA sprinters and hurdlers at the most recent Olympic Games.


After a weekend in Virginia, the Gamecocks return to the Palmetto State next week for the Tiger Paw Invitational. The meet runs Feb. 9-10 in Clemson, S.C.




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