The Gamecocks begin the SEC Indoor Championships today in Fayetteville, Ark.
Feb. 25, 2011
Gamecock Track & Field on Facebook
By Miquel Jacobs
Media Relations Assistant
|Coach Frye Pre-SEC Press Conference
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - The last weekend of March signals the start of the indoor championship stretch as the South Carolina track and field teams prepare to compete in the familiar Randall Tyson Track on the campus of the University of Arkansas for the SEC Indoor Championships. The Gamecocks have already tasted success in Fayetteville earlier this season when the team competed at the annual Tyson Invitational just two weeks ago. Fifteen different Gamecocks hit new season bests at that meet, and all of them are returning to the track this weekend in Carolina's quest for individual medals at the premier conference championship in the country.
First on the track this weekend will be the women's pentathlon and the men's heptathlon. Three Gamecocks take battle this afternoon with the first final being contested tonight. Sophomore Cheslie "Ceci" Kryst will compete in the women's pentathlon in the first final of the day. Kryst will be one of 17 women competing (the pentathlon consists of the 60-meter hurdles, high jump, shot put, long jump and 800-meter dash) for the title that was won last season by South Carolina's own Kettiany Clarke. A culmination of five years of hard work in the program, Clarke won the program's first pentathlon title last year with 4,064 points - a mark that was No. 3 in the nation. In her true freshman season, Kryst placed 16th overall with 2,868 points, no thanks to unfortunate start of the meet where she clipped the final hurdle in the opening event to immediately fall behind in the overall standings with a time of 10.52. And in the pentathlon, one unfortunate event and resulting bad score all but ruins your chances at scoring, but it's a new day and a new season for Kryst starting at 2 p.m. ET.
The men's side will see Jerry Thompson III and Chris Sharp competing in the men's heptathlon. The heptathlon will be split among two days with the men competing in the 60-meter dash, long jump, shot put and high jump today before continuing Saturday with the 60-meter hurdles, pole vault and 1000-meter run. Last season, Thompson sat ninth after the first day of competition and finished 10th overall with 4,578 points. The good news for Thompson is that his top marks in each heptathlon event this season are all markedly higher that in his performances at last year's SEC Indoor Championships. Sharp is in his first year as a Gamecock and will also hope to make an impact as a first year heptathlete. Of the events he has competed in so far this season, high jump looks to be his strong suit compared to the rest of the field.
Competition for the women's pentathlon begins at 2 p.m. ET, and the men's heptathlon will begin at 2:30 p.m. ET. Be sure to visit the links at the top of this page for live results, a live interactive blog hosted by Arkansas and championship central.
Tomorrow morning's edition of Gamecock Quick Sprints will chronicle the SEC fights of Matt Shuler and Lakya Brookins in addition to acclimating you to all of the prelim and final events slated for Saturday. On Sunday we will lay out the first two days of competition that has completed in addition to spotlighting all of the finals including Michael Zajac in the weight throw.