March 20, 2017
NEW ORLEANS — The University of South Carolina has both programs ranked in the USTFCCCA 2017 preseason national outdoor poll, it was announced today. The Carolina women are ranked 22nd, and the men check in at 25th.
The Gamecocks return several All-Americans from the 2016 NCAA Outdoor Championships and looked primed to do big things again in 2017. On the women's side Aliyah Abrams (400m, 4x400m), Tyler Brockington (400mH, 4x400m), Natasha Dicks (triple jump), Shelby Freedman (javelin) and Precious Holmes (4x400m) are back after securing All-America status last season at the NCAA outdoor meet. On the men's side, Josh Awotunde (shot put) and Jussi Kanervo (400mH) return as outdoor All-Americans.
Carolina’s ranks are also bolstered by a group of 2017 indoor All-Americans who are aiming for even greater heights in the outdoor season. Ncincilili Titi (200m) joined Awotunde as indoor All-America recipients in College Station, Texas, earlier this month. For the women, Dicks repeated as the bronze medalist in the triple jump, while Rougui Sow (long jump) and the 4x400m relay team of Abrams, Brockington, Holmes and Briana Haith also finished with an All-America nod.
The 2017 USTFCCCA preseason rankings utilize a combination of last season’s top collegiate marks, previous career bests achieved before the 2016 season and new high marks posted during the first week of the 2017 season. The Gamecock men have three individuals holding down top-10 marks in the preseason rankings: Isaiah Moore (third, 110mH), Awotunde (seventh, shot put) and Kanervo (eighth, 400mH).
The Gamecock women hold the fifth-best returning 4x400m relay time. Individually, Dicks is ranked sixth in the triple jump, Sow is seventh in the long jump and Brockington is listed seventh in the 400mH. A complete list of marks used to determine the 2017 preseason outdoor rankings can be found here.
For the Carolina women, the No. 22 ranking is the highest outdoors since the second week of the 2014 season, when they were listed 25th; however, the Gamecocks did place 20th overall at the 2015 NCAA Outdoor Championship and 25th last season.
The Gamecock men hold their highest USTFCCCA outdoor ranking since occupying the 22nd spot in the sixth week of the 2016 season.
UP NEXT FOR THE GAMECOCKS
South Carolina officially opens the brand-new Sheila & Morris Cregger Track this weekend, when it hosts the Weems Baskin Invitational. The meet runs March 24-25, and Gamecock fans planning to attend the event are encouraged to find out more information here.
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