June 6, 2017
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The University of South Carolina track & field team reaches the end of another collegiate season when it competes at the 2017 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. The meet runs June 7-10 at historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., with Oregon serving as host.
The Gamecocks will send eight individual entries to Eugene along with two relay teams. On the men’s side, Carolina is represented by Josh Awotunde (shot put), Isaiah Moore (110mH), Ncincilili Titi (200m), Tye Williams (high jump) and Armand Woodley (pole vault). The Gamecock men will also run the 4x100m relay in Eugene, with Ryan Bermudez, DeVon Lewis, David Winters and Titi in action.
Two Gamecocks compete individually on the women’s side, with Natasha Dicks (triple jump) and Rougui Sow (long jump) headed to Eugene. Carolina also fields a women’s 4x100m relay squad, consisting of Sow, Tyler Brockington, Maiya Dendy and Taranisha Taylor.
The Gamecocks are in action beginning with the decathlon on Wednesday, June 7 at 3:30 p.m. ET, and Leemet also begins the festivities on Thursday, June 8 at 1:30 p.m. ET. The first scheduled event on Friday, June 9 is Williams in the high jump at 8 p.m. ET, and should they qualify, the women’s 4x1 will compete in finals to start the action at 6:32 p.m. ET on Saturday, June 10.
WATCH THE GAMECOCKS LIVE ON THE ESPN FAMILY OF NETWORKS
Carolina fans can watch their favorite Gamecocks in action throughout the week in Eugene. The broadcast schedule is as follows:
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 7: ESPN3: 3:30-7:30 p.m. ET | ESPNU: 7:30-8:30 p.m. ET | ESPN2: 8:30-11 p.m. ET
THURSDAY, JUNE 8: ESPN3: 1:30-7:30 p.m. ET | ESPN2: 7:30-11 p.m. ET
FRIDAY, JUNE 9: ESPN3: 3:30-8:30 p.m. ET | ESPN: 8:30-11 p.m. ET
SATURDAY, JUNE 10: ESPN3: 2:30-6:30 p.m. ET | ESPN: 6:30-9 p.m. ET
GAMECOCK HISTORY AT THE NCAA OUTDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
South Carolina reached the pinnacle of collegiate track & field in 2002, when the Gamecock women’s program won the NCAA outdoor national championship in Baton Rouge, La. Guided by a collegiate record in the 4x400m relay, Carolina scored 82 points at the 2002 championship, topping UCLA by 10 points.
The national title in 2002 is one of 12-consecutive top-10 finishes earned by the Gamecock women between 1995 and 2006. Carolina tied for second in 2005, finished third in 2003 and 2006 and came in fourth in 2001 at outdoor nationals.
The Gamecock men have placed in the top-10 four times, reaching a high watermark of sixth in 1999, 2002 and 2009.
The women’s program has tallied 14 event national titles, the most recent coming in 2015 when Jeannelle Scheper was the high jump winner. Miki Barber and Aleen Bailey were each part of three outdoor NCAA crowns, tops in program history.
The Carolina men’s program owns 10 event national championships since 1948, when Norman “Scooter” Rucks made Gamecock history by winning the 400m dash. Brad Snyder broke a 50-year outdoor national drought when he captured the shot put title in 1998. Otukile Lekote and Terrence Trammell were each part of a program-record three outdoor event national championships.
LAST SEASON AT THE NCAA OUTDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
The Carolina women tied for 25th last season at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, their second consecutive top-25 finish. The Gamecock men tied for 47th.
The week was highlighted by Carolina’s 4x400m relay on the women’s side, where current Gamecocks Aliyah Abrams, Tyler Brockington and Precious Holmes were part of a group that finished in third place. Abrams added All-America honors in the 400m, and Brockington was a 400mH All-American. Current Gamecocks Natasha Dicks (triple jump) and Shelby Freedman (javelin) also garnered All-America finishes in 2016.
Josh Awotunde – JR – SHOT PUT – FRANKLINVILLE, N.J.
Awotunde comes into the NCAA Championships ranked seventh nationally in the shot put with a mark of 65-6 that he achieved April 27 in a victorious day at the Penn Relays. In his last two outings, he threw 64-4 ½ to take the silver medal at the SEC Championships and 61-11 ½ to place seventh at the NCAA East Regional.
Awotunde is aiming for a third first-team All-America honor when he heads to Eugene. He placed seventh last season at the NCAA Outdoor Championships and came in fifth earlier this year at the NCAA indoor meet in College Station, Texas.
Natasha Dicks – SR – TRIPLE JUMP – AIKEN, S.C.
Dicks enters the meet ranked 13th in the nation in the triple jump, with an effort of 43-10 ¾ that was good for sixth place at the NCAA East Regional. She took third at the SEC Championships with a mark of 43-8 and finished on the podium in every regular-season meet she participated in this season.
This is the fourth NCAA Championships appearance for Dicks, who finished with the bronze medal at the 2016 and 2017 indoor competition. She also placed sixth last season in Eugene.
Isaiah Moore – JR – 110mH – BURLINGTON, N.C.
Moore finished fourth at the NCAA East Regional, running 13.61 in the quarterfinals to earn a ticket to Eugene. His season-best time of 13.55 came in a bronze medal run at the SEC Championships; that time is the ninth-best mark in the nation this season.
This will be Moore’s first official appearance at the NCAA Championships. He was an alternate last season on the men’s 4x100m relay squad that qualified for Eugene, but he did not run.
Rougui Sow – SO – LONG JUMP – LE HAVRE, FRANCE
Sow jumped 22-0 ¾ at the Spec Towns Invitational on April 7, a mark that stood as the best in the world this season for a three-week stretch. It’s still the fourth-best effort in the NCAA this season. Most recently, Sow hit 21-11 ½ to take bronze at the SEC Championships and came through in the clutch on her final jump at the NCAA East Regional, jumping 21-0 ½ on her last effort to clinch a spot at nationals.
Sow qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships in March. She finished sixth, collecting first-team All-America laurels with a leap of 21-2 ½.
Ncincilili Titi – JR – 200m – BUTTERWORTH, SOUTH AFRICA
Titi set a Gamecock program record in his 2017 outdoor debut, when he clocked a 200m time of 20.14 to win the Gamecock Invitational on April 15. That was the top time in the NCAA for three weeks and is now listed sixth overall in the Division I ranks. The junior placed fifth at the SEC Championships and ran his second-best time of the season at the NCAA East Regional, 20.20, to place fourth.
This is the fifth time Titi will represent the Gamecocks in the 200m at the NCAA Championships. His best result came at the 2017 indoor meet, when he came in eighth to earn first-team All-America status. He also finished ninth indoors in 2015, 12th indoors in 2016 and 16th last season in Eugene.
Tye Williams – JR – HIGH JUMP – CLYO, GA.
After narrowly missing the NCAA Indoor Championships in March, Williams exploded onto the scene during the outdoor campaign. He set a school record at the Penn Relays with a mark of 7-4 ½, the top regular-season mark among NCAA Championships qualifiers. He placed third at the SEC Championships and cleared all three bars without a miss at the NCAA East Regional, stopping at 7-0 ½.
This will be the first NCAA Championships appearance for Williams.
Armand Woodley – SO – POLE VAULT – ORLANDO, FLA.
Woodley entered the NCAA East Regional seeded 45th, but he broke his PR twice in Lexington to earn a spot at the NCAA Championships. The sophomore has achieved a new PR in his last seven meets, progressing from 15-5 at the Weems Baskin Invitational on March 25 all the way to 17-2 ¾ at the regional meet. Along the way, he won the event at Penn Relays and scored for the Gamecocks with a fifth-place result at the SEC Championships.
This is Woodley’s first career NCAA Championships appearance.
MEN’S 4x100m RELAY
The quartet of DeVon Lewis, David Winters, Ryan Bermudez and Titi stopped the clock in 39.12 at the NCAA East Regional, the 14th-fastest time in the nation this season. Carolina won the event at three regular-season meets and finished on the podium at two others.
Carolina won the NCAA title in the 4x100m relay in 1999, with Clint Crenshaw, Terrence Trammell, Shah Mays and Jamie Price clocking a time of 38.92. The championship was part of six consecutive All-America honors for the Gamecock 4x1 squad from 1997-2002. Carolina also finished the event with an All-America nod each season from 2008-12 and again in 2014.
WOMEN’S 4x100m RELAY
South Carolina is ranked 22nd nationally in the women’s 4x1 heading into Eugene, with the squad of Sow, Tyler Brockington, Taranisha Taylor and Maiya Dendy clocking a time of 44.48 on April 7 at the Spec Towns Invitational. Most recently the group ran 44.51 at the NCAA East Regional, originally good for 13th place until a disqualification moved Carolina up to 12th and into the NCAA Championships.
South Carolina won the 4x1 national title in 2002, part of their overall NCAA championship campaign, as Erica Whipple, Demetria Washington, Miki Barber and Aleen Bailey came home in 43.12. The Gamecocks finished with All-America honors every season from 1999-2006 and again in 2008, 2009, and 2011-14.
This season’s 4x100m relay is especially notable for Brockington, as the redshirt senior competes for the final time as a Gamecock. The Greensboro, N.C., native could become the 11th Gamecock female in history to earn 10 career All-America honors with a top-16 finish.
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