South Carolina set for NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships

South Carolina set for NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships

From staff reports | Photo by Allen Sharpe

South Carolina track and field will have entrants in nine events at the 2019 NCAA Outdoor Championships, which will take place from June 5-8 at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin, Texas.

Aliyah Abrams (women’s 400m), Eric Favors (men’s shot put), Quincy Hall (men’s 400m hurdles), Wadeline Jonathas (women’s 400m), Otis Jones (men’s 800m), Isaiah Moore (men’s 110m hurdles) and Yann Randrianasolo (men’s long jump) will compete, as well as the Gamecock men’s and women’s 4x400m relay teams.

“I feel like we can do special things this week,” South Carolina head coach Curtis Frye said in a release. “Our coaches have done a fantastic job preparing our team for this moment and our student-athletes believe in this program and believe in themselves. Our kids want to go out and compete for national titles and All-America spots, and I’m excited to see what they can accomplish.” 

Men’s preliminary action begins Wednesday, with the first Gamecock in action at 8:32 p.m., while women’s prelims begin Thursday, with the Gamecocks in action at 9:30 p.m. Men’s finals are scheduled for Friday, and the competition concludes with women’s finals on Saturday. 

MEET SCHEDULE

June 5

5:32 p.m. — Men’s 110m Hurdles Semifinals (Isaiah Moore)

6 p.m. — Men’s Long Jump (Yann Randrianasolo)

6:14 p.m. — Men’s 800m Semifinals (Otis Jones)

6:30 p.m. — Men’s 400m Hurdles Semifinals (Quincy Hall)

6:40 p.m. — Men’s Shot Put (Eric Favors)

7:48 p.m. — Men’s 4x400m Relay Semifinals (Chance, Hall, O. Jones, Robbins)

June 6

8:30 p.m. — Women’s 400m Semifinals (Aliyah Abrams, Wadeline Jonathas)

10:18 p.m. — Women’s 4x400m Relay Semifinals (Abrams, Davis, Jonathas, Mills)

June 7

8:12 p.m. — Men’s 110m Hurdles Final (Moore)

8:44 p.m. — Men’s 800m Final (Jones)

8:57 p.m. — Men’s 400m Hurdles Final (Hall)

9:51 p.m. — Men’s 4x400m Relay Final (Chance, Hall, O. Jones, Robbins)

June 8

6:32 p.m. — Women’s 400m Final (Aliyah Abrams, Wadeline Jonathas)

7:51 p.m. — Women’s 4x400m Relay Final (Abrams, Davis, Jonathas, Mills)

ABRAMS

Abrams enters the NCAA Championships in her best form of the season after running an outdoor personal best, 51.63, in the quarterfinal round of the NCAA East Regional. That was the fourth-best mark of the Regional weekend and ranks 10th overall on the 2019 NCAA leaderboard. 

The Grayson, Ga. native is headed to an NCAA Championships meet for the fifth time. In her last NCAA appearance she led the 4x400m relay squad to a national title and finished second individually in the 400m. She led the 4x4 to a bronze-medal performance at the 2016 NCAA outdoor meet. Last season in Eugene, she placed 17th in the mile relay and 18th in the individual 400m. 

FAVORS 

Favors set a new outdoor personal record in the shot put, 19.11m (62-8 ½) at the NCAA East Regional. That was good for eighth place, and it was the 34th-best mark in the NCAA this season. The redshirt junior also reached a milestone at the SEC Championships, finishing third with a throw of 18.87m (61-11) for his first podium finish at the conference level.

This is the first NCAA Championships appearance for Favors, who qualified for the meet in his third trip to the regional round.

HALL

Hall enters the NCAA Championships with the nation’s top 400m hurdles time after running 48.54 at the NCAA East Regional. That’s also the second-best time in South Carolina history and the third-best mark in the world this season.

This is Hall’s second NCAA Championships appearance. He placed fourth in the 400m and led the Gamecocks to a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships in March. The Sequoias transfer was a six-time CCCAA state champion at the junior college level, and he also owns gold medals in the 400 hurdles from the USATF and Pan American junior championships. 

JONATHAS

Jonathas earn the bronze medal at the SEC Outdoor Championships with a 400m run of 51.19. The junior ranks fourth in the NCAA with that time, the best quarter-mile effort by a Gamecock in 12 years. Most recently, Jonathas ran 51.46 to finish third at the NCAA East Regional.

Jonathas was part of the team’s 4x400m national title at the NCAA indoor meet. She also earned second-team All-America laurels in the open 400.

While at UMass Boston, Jonathas won nine individual NCAA Division III national championships, including indoor 400m and outdoor 200m and 400m titles in 2017 along with indoor 60m, 200m, 400m and long jump titles and outdoor 200m and 400m titles in 2018. As a sophomore, she scored enough points at the 2018 NCAA indoor meet to single-handedly win the team title for the Beacons. 

JONES

Jones had his second-consecutive bronze-medal finish in the 800m at the SEC Outdoor Championships. His SEC final time of 1:48.09 is his best of the year and ranked 24th nationally. Jones finished second in his heat at the NCAA East Regional, running 1:49.77 to earn an automatic bid to Austin. 

This is the first individual NCAA Championships appearance for Jones, who will run the 800m at the national meet for the first time after seeing his season end at regionals each of the last three seasons. 

MOORE

Moore ran a wind-aided 13.25 and a wind-legal 13.39, which ranks third in the country, at the Gamecock Invitational in April, and he earned bronze medals at both the indoor and outdoor SEC Championships. He was also a Penn Relays champion, and most recently, he finished third in the high hurdles at the NCAA East Regional, winning his heats with times of 13.56 and 13.51.

This is Moore’s third and final trip to the NCAA Championships. He finished as a first-team All-American in the 110mH in 2017 and the 60mH this season.

RANDRIANASOLO

Randrianasolo is a contender in the long jump after posting a mark of 8.07m (26-5 ¾) at the Gamecock Invitational in April. That puts him No. 4 on the 2019 NCAA leaderboard. Most recently, he finished third at both the SEC Championships (7.97m | 26-1 ¾) and the NCAA East Regional (7.81m | 25-7 ¼).

The senior from France is now a four-time NCAA Championships qualifier, and he’s looking for his third All-America finish. Last season at the NCAA outdoor meet, he placed 13th, his highest finish at the national level, with a jump of 7.73m (25-4 ½). 

MEN’S 4x400 RELAY 

South Carolina enters the NCAA Championships with the nation’s seventh-best time, as Hall, Jones, Arinze Chance and Ty Jaye Robbins ran 3:03.33 at the Gamecock Invitational. The Gamecocks finished fourth at both the SEC Championships (3:04.43) and the East Regional (3:04.35). Indoors, the quartet placed fifth at the NCAA Championships in March.

Jordan Sessom and Noah Walker will serve as alternates.

The Gamecocks own one men’s 4x400m national championship, which came in 2002 with James Law, Otukile Lekote, Otis Harris and Jonathon Fortenberry running 3:02.16.

WOMEN’S 4x400 RELAY

The Gamecocks hold the fastest time in the nation in the women’s mile relay, as Stephanie Davis, Abrams, Tatyana Mills and Jonathas posted a time of 3:27.53 at the Florida Relays in March. That same quartet won a Championship of America title at Penn Relays (3:32.33), placed fourth at the SEC Championships (3:31.24) and ran the fastest time at the NCAA Regional (3:28.17).

Frye’s program owns seven national titles in the women’s 4x400m relay, including indoor crowns in 2001, 2002, 2005, 2007 and 2019 and outdoor titles in 2000 and 2002.

The Gamecocks will be looking for their second NCAA title of the season in the 4x400m relay after winning the NCAA Indoor Championships with a time of 3:30.76, which just edged out Texas A&M (3:30.85) and Arkansas (3:30.86). The same squad has won NCAA indoor and outdoor women's 4x400m titles four times in the last decade: 2010 (Oregon), 2011 (Texas A&M), 2016 (Texas) and 2018 (Southern California). The Gamecocks accomplished the feat in 2002.

This is the second-straight season that Abrams, Davis and Mills will run the mile relay at outdoor nationals. The trio was part of the Carolina 4x400m relay that finished 17th last season.