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    SEC Track & Field Today: Friday, January 31

    Graham, Asselin Shine in Multi-Events to Open Weekend

    WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. and STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Redshirt sophomore Sarah Graham and freshman Alexandre Asselin had career days in the multi events while freshman Precious Holmes claimed her second-consecutive 400-meter dash win on Friday. Graham traveled to the Penn State-hosted PSU National while the rest of the Gamecocks competed at the Hilton Garden Invitational at the JDL Fast Track.

    At the PSU National, Graham notched an impressive performance in her first pentathlon of 2014. Graham's stellar day began in the 60-meter hurdles where she posted a time of 8.74, just off her lifetime best of 8.70 set earlier this season. She continued the pace, setting new personal records in the high jump (1.73m // 5-08.00) and the shot put (10.86m // 35-07.75). In the 800-meter run, the final event, Graham recorded her third PR of the day despite a fall in the race.

    Her total of 3,823 points is the fifth-best in school history and tops her previous PR of 3,460. Based on totals entering the weekend, Graham would rank 11th in the NCAA.

    At the Hilton Garden Invitational the rest of the Gamecocks competed against teams from across the Eastern seaboard.

    Asselin made his first heptathlon appearance in the Garnet & Black. The French native started his day with a win in the 60-meter dash, clocking in at a personal best 7.18. A collegiate best mark in the long jump at 23'1"3/4 (7.05m) and a lifetime best in the shot put at 42'9" ½ (13.04m) followed. In the final event of the day, Asselin added another collegiate-best mark, this time in the high jump with a clearance of 6'2" (1.88m).

    Asselin won all four events of the day and takes a nearly 400-point lead into tomorrow's final three events - the 60-meter hurdles, pole vault and 1,000-meter run.
    In the women's 400-meter dash, freshman Precious Holmes won for the second-consecutive weekend. Holmes chased down the leader of her heat from behind to cross the line in 55.57, the fastest time in a field of 90. Fellow freshman Briana Haith grabbed third place, running a 56.54. The Gamecocks claimed four spots in the top eight (6. Tamera Harris - 57.41; 8. Maya Evans 57.85).

    Freshman Jussi Kanervo and sophomore Dondre Echols won their respective heats in the 60-meter hurdles to move on to tomorrow's semifinals. Kanervo qualified second overall with a time of 8.01 with Echols not far behind in the third slot with a time of 8.08. Freshman Mollie Williams moved on in the women's section after winning her heat. Tomorrow's semifinals are slated for 9:45 a.m. with the finals at 2:00 p.m.

    Every Gamecock that entered the 60-meter dash advanced to tomorrow's semifinals as well. Junior Kendall Kee advances as the top qualifier with a time of 6.79 and junior Eric Winfrey took the third spot in the prelims (6.81). Freshman Ryan Bermudez joins the duo in tomorrow's race.

    In the women's 60-meter dash, senior Vashti Bandy and junior Ahtyana Johnson moved on after finishing 3-4 in the prelims. Sophomore Alexis Murphy advanced as well. Tomorrow, the men's and women's 60-meter dash semifinals are set for 11:20 a.m. with the finals later in the afternoon at 3:15 p.m.

    South Carolina picks back up tomorrow with the long jump at 9:30 a.m. and the 60-meter hurdle semis at 9:45 a.m.

    Aggie men and women currently in 2nd place at Razorback Invitational after first day

    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Texas A&M women’s distance medley relay posted the second fastest time in school history as they placed third in the event at the Razorback Invitational on Friday at the Randal Tyson Track Complex. Action continues on Saturday with a start time of 11 a.m.

    Following the first day of action at the Razorback Invitational, Arkansas leads the women’s field with 84 points and Texas A&M is currently second with 54. They are followed by Florida State (43.5), Florida (37), Tulsa (18), Texas (18), Oklahoma (17.5), Oklahoma State (14) and Stanford (4).

    On the men’s side Shavez Hart and Prezel Hardy, Jr. placed second and third in the 200 meters. Hart clocked 20.91, moving to No. 10 on the Aggie all-time list, while Hardy produced a 20.98. Florida’s Arman Hall won the event with a 20.71 that just missed Hardy’s 2014 collegiate leading time of 20.70.

    First day team scores for the men have the Razorbacks leading with 63.5 points with the Aggies in second place with 52.5 points. The rest of the field includes Florida State (27.5), Oklahoma (26.5), Florida (25), Oklahoma State (17), Tulsa (17), Texas (13) and Stanford (10).

    The Aggie distance medley foursome consisted of Grace Fletcher (3:33.17, 1200m), Shamier Little (53.59, 400m), Aliese Hyde (2:12.24, 800m) and Hillary Montgomery (4:54.66, 1600m).

    Their time of 11:33.65 placed third behind an 11:22.16 for Texas and an 11:32.20 for Arkansas. It was the second fastest mark in A&M history, trailing only the Aggie school record of 11:29.89 set in 2012 and included current A&M athletes Kamaria Brown and Hyde.

    When Fletcher completed her led the Aggies were in fourth place. They moved up to third following Little’s effort. Then Hyde promptly moved into the lead within the first 100m of her relay leg. After falling back into second place with a lap remaining on her 800m carry, Hyde regained the lead when she gave the baton to Montgomery for the anchor leg.

    In sprint events the Aggie women fared well in the 200 meter final while advancing all six sprinters to the semifinal of the 60 meters.

    Ashton Purvis led three A&M scorers in the women’s 200 by placing third with a 23.42. Florida’s Kyra Jefferson won the event in 23.06 over Regine Williams of Arkansas, who clocked the same time but was 0.006 of a second slower than Jefferson. Texas A&M’s Olivia Ekpone finished fifth in the race with a 23.72 while Ashley Collier placed sixth in 23.74.

    LaQue Moen-Davis won the long jump with an effort of 19-11.75 (6.09) while additional points were added to the Aggie team score with Jennifer Madu placing fifth (19-6) and Jena Hemann taking sixth (17-8).  

    In the women’s high jump Kara Erickson placed second as she cleared 5-5. Brittany Wooten finished third in the pole vault, clearing her three heights in the event on the first attempt. Her highest clearance was 13-0.25 (3.97) and then she missed on three attempts at a personal best of 13-4.25 (4.07).

    Third place was earned by Olabanji Asekun in the men’s long jump with a mark of 24-3.75 (7.41) as well as Clifton Harlin in the pole vault with a 15-11 (4.85) clearance. Devion Harris tied for third place in the high jump with a height of 6-9 (2.06).

    In the men’s distance medley relay the Aggies placed third in 9:52.39 with the foursome of Isaac Spencer (2:59.27), Greg Coleman (48.12), Hector Hernandez (1:50.60) and Cameron Villarreal (4:14.42). Oklahoma State passed Arkansas on the final lap for the victory in 9:39.00 with the Razorbacks second with a 9:41.54 while Texas placed fourth behind A&M in 10:01.38.

    Running the 5,000 meters had Austin Wells (14:39.34) finishing second in the men’s race with Ryan Miller (15:01.48) in third while Gabby Salazar (17:25.86) placed fourth in the women’s race.

    In qualifying races all six Aggie women advanced to the semifinals of the 60 meters. Ekpone led qualifying with a 7.30 that matched her personal best set last weekend. Madu was second to Ekpone in the second heat with a 7.35.

    Aaliyah Brown set a career best of 7.35 for second place in the first heat of the 60, moving to No. 9 on the Aggies all-time list, with India Daniels fifth with a 7.60. In the final heat Regine Williams of Arkansas won in 7.32 with Collier second in 7.34 and Purvis fourth with a 7.47.

    Two of the three A&M sprinters in the men’s 60 advanced to the final. Michael Bryan claimed a heat win over Hardy as they clocked times of 6.78 and 6.79. Jermaine Davis finished second in another heat with a 6.94 and did not advance to the final.

    Razorbacks In The Lead After Day One of Razorback Invitational

    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – After day one of the Razorback Invitational, the University of Arkansas is in first place with 84 points. The Razorbacks tallied three event titles and five second-place finishes during the first day of competition to earn a first-place lead.

    Alex Gochenour led the collegiate performers in the pentathlon, finishing second behind former Razorback Makeba Alcide who competed unattached. Gochenour’s 4,116 points was good for second place and currently ranks fourth in the NCAA and the SEC this season. It was Gochenour’s first pentathlon with the Razorbacks. Leigha Brown came in fourth with 3,891 points, posting a personal best in the 60-meter hurdles (8.77), high jump (5-8) and 800-meter (2:18.38).

    Ariel Voskamp earned the first event title of the day for Arkansas with a first place finish in the pole vault at 13-4.25. Megan Zimlich posted the same mark, finishing in second place and recording a new personal record. Danielle Nowell’s mark of 13-00.25 gave her a fifth-place finish and four points, bringing the Razorback’s total to 22 points for the event.

    Regine Williams finished second in the 60-meter and 200-meter, setting a personal record in both events. Her time of 7.32 in the 60m surpasses her previous record of 7.33. Her personal-best 200m time of 23.06 ranks third in the NCAA this season and makes her the third-fastest 200-meter runner in Razorback history.

    Dominique Scott picked up her fourth title of the season with a win in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 16:13.44.

    Action resumes on Saturday with the 3,000-meter run beginning at noon.

    Arkansas Men’s Track and Field in First Place After Day One Of Razorback Invite

    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Arkansas men’s track and field team sits in first place with 56.5 points after day one of the Razorback Invitational. Following a third-place standing, the Razorbacks pulled ahead in the final few events of the night to take the top-place spot.

    Three Razorbacks led the heptathlon standings after day one of events, with Kevin Lazas, Nathanael Franks and Lane Austell in the top three spots. After the first four events of the 60-meter dash, long jump, shot put and high jump, Lazas had a top-place 3,277 points. Franks came in second place with 2,808 points and Austell held onto the No. 3 spot with 2,780 in his first-ever heptathlon. Brad Culp made his collegiate debut with 2,754 points for a fifth place finish through the first four events. The 60-meter hurdles, pole vault and 1,000-meter run will take place on Saturday to determine the heptathlon champion.

    Noah Kittelson and Ken LeGassey recorded identical marks of 6-11 in the high jump to finish first and second, respectively. Devin Randall broke his personal record in shot put by more than a foot, with a mark of 58-9.5 for a second-place finish.

    Jarrion Lawson posted a fifth-place finishing time of 21.11 in the 200-meter dash. Curtis Brown recorded a personal best 21.56 ti finish 11th.

    The distance medley relay team of Patrick Rono, Travis Southard, Tomas Squella and Stanley Kebenei finish in 9:52.39, the best time in the SEC the season and fourth-best in the NCAA.

    Action resumes Saturday with the final heptathlon events beginning at noon.

    Gator Track & Field Opens Razorback Invitational in Record-Breaking Fashion

    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Sophomore sprinter Kyra Jefferson shattered a six-year-old school record in the 200m with a speedy 23.06 performance and junior jumper Marquis Dendy put up a nation-best 7.87m/25-10 mark in the men’s long jump to open competition at the Razorback Invitational for the Orange and Blue at the Randal Tyson Track Center Friday in Fayetteville.

    Junior Brittany Harrell used a top finish in the long jump portion of the pentathlon (5.80m/19-00.5) to pave the way to a third-place overall finish – second among collegians – in the event, notching 4,042 points, second-best in Gator history behind her own PR (4,118), while sophomore Arman Hall (20.71) and freshman Nick Uruburu (21.53) both clocked personal bests in finals of the 200m.

    Day two action kicks off at the Razorback Invitational at noon ET with both weight throws, while running events commence Saturday at 1 p.m. ET.


    ·         Back in action in the jumps since being sidelined in the fall due to injury, junior Marquis Dendy debuted a nation-leading 7.87m/25-10 his first time out in the long jump this season, good for first place

    ·         Florida junior Brittany Harrell finished first in the pentathlon field in the long jump (5.80m/19-00.5), third in the 800m (2:18.57),  third overall in the hurdles (8.69), fifth in the high jump (1.70m/5-07) and sixth in the shot put (10.76m/35-3.75), for a total score of 4,042, the second-best performance in the multis in school history behind her own personal best 4,118, set in 2012

    ·         Sophomore sprinter Kyra Jefferson eclipsed the school record in the 200m, downing Natalie Knight’s 23.14 previous No. 1 mark set on March 14, 2008

    ·         Alongside Jefferson in the 200m, sophomore Destinee Gause raced her way into a tie for fifth in the Florida record book with her 23.44 performance in the 200m Friday

    ·         Sophomore Arman Hall jumped into the Florida men’s all-time top 10 in the 200m last week at the Rod McCravy and continued working his way up the list with his personal-best 20.71 in Friday action at the Razorback Invite

    ·         Sophomore Jared Watkins tied a season-best 4.85m/15-11 in the men’s pole vault, securing a fourth-place finish