Gamecocks Set for SEC Indoor Championships | News
This weekend, the Gamecocks trek to the Randal Tyson Track Center for the 2013 SEC Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. After the men finished ninth and the women returned home with a 10th-place finish in 2012, South Carolina will look to improve its standing. The women’s squad carries the 14th spot in the USTFCCCA rankings as one of six SEC schools in the top 25. It is the fifth week in a row that the Gamecocks have been included in the poll.
The men return nine conference scorers from the 2012 SEC Indoor Championships – sophomore Damiere Byrd (60-meter dash); sophomore Juan Stenner, junior Clayton Gravesande, seniors Eric Winfrey and Andre Carter (4x400-meter relay); sophomores Chris Walker and Thomas Gaither with redshirt senior Robert Razick (DMR) and redshirt junior Dorian Johnson (triple jump). On the women’s side eight scorers from last year will be in Fayetteville – sophomore Erika Rucker (400-meter dash); redshirt senior Kierre Beckles (60-meter hurdles); senior Nadonnia Rodriques, Rucker and junior Amber Allen (4x400-meters); junior Jeannelle Scheper (high jump); junior Petra Olsen (pole vault); senior Breanna Radford (shot put) and sophomore Chalese Davis (pentathlon).
Four of the five South Carolina marks that rank in the top-10 of the collegiate season were set at the site of the SEC Indoor Championships. Scheper enters the weekend as the Division I leader in the women’s high jump with a mark of 6-2 ¼ (1.91m) set at the Tyson Invitational. Beckles set her season best of 8.17 in the 60-meter hurdles in Fayetteville as well. She currently ranks fourth in the country. Olsen set a new personal record at the track in the pole vault, clearing 13-10 ¼ (4.23m) in Fayetteville. Olsen’s mark ranks 10th this season. Finally, the women’s 4x400m relay of Rucker, Beckles, freshman Tyler Brockington and sophomore Christal Green ran a time of 3:34.81 at the Tyson Invite.
Rucker ran her season best of 52.93 at the Armory Collegiate Invitational earlier this season and enters the championship season ranked sixth nationally in the 400 meters this season. There are two South Carolina men in the top 15 this season – Byrd in the 60-meters with a time of 6.66 at the Hokie Invitational, senior Jarrod Hutchen stands in 10th place in the long jump with a mark of 25-2 (7.67m) at the Auburn Invitational.