Feb. 27, 2018
2018 NCAA Indoor Championships Qualifiers
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Seven members of the University of South Carolina track & field program were selected to compete at the 2018 NCAA Indoor Championships, the NCAA announced on Tuesday. Josh Awotunde, Yann Randrianasolo and Ncincilili Titi each earned a nationals bid on the men's side, while Hanifah Abdulqadir, Jordan Fields, Lissa Labiche and Rougui Sow will compete for national titles on the women's side.
The 2018 NCAA Indoor Championships will be held March 9-10 in College Station, Texas. The Gamecocks will return to a familiar venue, as Texas A&M's Gilliam Indoor Stadium hosted the 2017 NCAA meet as well as the 2018 SEC Championships last weekend.
Gamecock fans can watch live streaming throughout the duration of the 2018 NCAA Championships. ESPN3 will stream Friday's events at 6 p.m. ET, with Saturday's coverage starting at 5 p.m. ET.
Hanifah Abdulqadir -- JR -- KINGSTON, JAMAICA -- TRIPLE JUMP
Abdulqadir enters the NCAA Championships listed 11th nationally in the triple jump. She achieved her qualifying mark of 43-4 ¼ on Jan. 26 at the Columbia Challenge in New York City. Last weekend, she placed 10th in the event at the SEC Championships.
This is Abdulqadir's first NCAA Championships bid. She does have national championship experience from her time at New Mexico Junior College; last season at the 2017 NJCAA Indoor Championships, she placed third in the triple jump and 10th in the high jump.
Josh Awotunde -- SR -- FRANKLINVILLE, N.J. -- SHOT PUT
Awotunde was already assured of an NCAA Championships berth when he journeyed to the SEC Championships last weekend, but the senior wasn't satisfied, and he left College Station with one of the most memorable performances in Carolina history. The Franklinville, N.J., native won the conference title with a throw of 69-11 ¾, a new school and SEC Championships record, the second-best mark in the nation this season and the 10th-best collegiate mark of all-time.
Awotunde is no stranger to the NCAA Championships environment. He finished fifth last season at the NCAA indoor meet, and he was also a first-team All-American outdoors in 2016. Overall, this will be his fourth appearance at an NCAA Championships event.
Jordan Fields -- SO -- JACKSONVILLE, FLA. -- HIGH JUMP
Fields got off to a fantastic start in 2018, jumping 6-0 ¾ on Jan. 19 at the Clemson Invitational, and that mark still holds as the seventh-best effort in the nation this season. Most recently, the sophomore competed at the SEC Championships, where she placed eighth in the heptathlon and 11th in the high jump.
This will be the first NCAA Championships appearance for the Jacksonville, Fla., native.
Lissa Labiche -- R-SO -- MAHE, SEYCHELLES -- HIGH JUMP
A two-time Olympian, Labiche entered the SEC Championships on the edge of the national top-40 and needing a season best to get in the mix for nationals. She rose to the occasion, clearing 6-0 ¾ to punch a ticket to the NCAA Indoor Championships. That earned a silver medal at the conference meet and is listed seventh on the national leaderboard.
Labiche represented her native Seychelles at both the 2012 London and 2016 Rio Olympics, and she is also a three-time African continental champion, but this will be her first NCAA Championships appearance.
Yann Randrianasolo -- SR -- TOULOUSE, FRANCE -- LONG JUMP
Randrianasolo entered last week's SEC Championships needing a season best to lock down a trip to the national meet, and the senior delivered. Randrianasolo laid down four separate PRs and finished as the silver medalist with a final attempt of 25-10 ¾. That ranks ninth nationally heading into College Station.
This will be Randrianasolo's first appearance at the NCAA Championships. He was an NCAA East Regional qualifier last outdoor season, finishing 16th.
Rougui Sow -- JR -- LE HAVRE, FRANCE -- LONG JUMP
Like she did in 2017, Sow has steadily gotten better throughout the 2018 season. She jumped a season-best in each of her last two meets, including a mark of 20-11 ¼ at the SEC Indoor Championships that ranks 12th in the nation this season.
This will be Sow's third appearance at the NCAA Championships. She finished sixth indoors last season, earning first-team All-America status with a mark of 21-2 ½. She also finished sixth last year at the outdoor meet to finish the campaign as a double first-team All-America honoree.
Ncincilili Titi -- SR -- BUTTERWORTH, SOUTH AFRICA -- 200m
A six-time All-American, Titi enters his sixth NCAA Championships as one of the favorites to win the men's 200m dash. The senior posted a time of 20.45 on Jan. 19 at the Clemson Invitational, a mark that still ranks second on the national leaderboard (and tops among non-altitude marks).
Titi has already experienced a great deal of success on the Gilliam Indoor Stadium track. He earned first-team All-America honors last season at the national indoor meet, and last week he finished fourth on the track in the 200m. He was also a second-team indoor All-American in the event in 2015 and 2016 in addition to 200m outdoor All-America laurels in 2016 and 2017 and a 4x100m relay All-America nod last season.
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