Gamecocks Prepare For USA Junior National Championships
June 14, 2012
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By Miquel Jacobs
COLUMBIA, S.C. - A group of current and future Gamecocks travel to Bloomington, Ind., this weekend to compete at the USATF Junior Outdoor Track & Field Championships that will be held June 15-17 at the Robert C. Haugh Track and Field Complex on the campus of the University of Indiana.
The meet will serve as a qualifier for this year's IAAF World Junior Championships. Top performers will be part of the American team that will compete in Barcelona, Spain from July 10th to July 15th.
Five current Gamecocks qualified to compete at the championships with four scheduled to hit the track. The quartet of three women and one man that will compete were all freshman in the 2012 season. On the men's side, Chris Walker will compete in the 200-meter dash on Saturday and Sunday with his qualifying time of 21.36. Representing the women will be Chalese Davis, Tamera Harris and Erika Rucker, a trio that all earned SEC All-Freshman Team honors during the outdoor season. Davis will compete in the 100-meter hurdles on Saturday with her qualifying time of 13.60 set at the SEC Outdoor Championships. Harris will compete in the 400-meter hurdles Friday and Saturday with a qualifying time of 1:00.72. Rucker, the 2012 SEC Indoor Freshman Runner of the Year and a three-time All-American this season, will compete in the 400-meter dash on Saturday and Sunday with her top time of 52.58.
Also qualifying was freshman Kaleb Zuidema in the men's javelin throw, but he scratched and will not compete after also missing the 2012 South Carolina season with a medical redshirt.
Three incoming Gamecocks have also qualified to compete this weekend in Dondre Echols, Jermaine Collier Jr., and Olivia Hassler. Echols (Temple Hill, Md.) qualified in the men's 100-meter hurdles at 13.59, Collier (Trenton, N.J.) provisionally qualified in the men's 400-meter hurdles at 52.40, and Hassler (Allentown, Pa.) qualified in the women's javelin with a top mark of 149'10 (45.66m).