Spartan Track & Field Posts Strong Marks in Opening Day of Tiger Paw Invite
CLEMSON, S.C. – The USC Upstate men's and women's track and field teams recorded strong finishes at the first day of Clemson's Tiger Paw Invitational.
Junior Brandon Curry (Anderson, S.C.) posted a time of 8.42 in the preliminaries of the men's 60-meter hurdles and advanced to compete in the finals. He posted a 12th-place finish for the Spartan men with a time of 8.34 in the finals of the 60-meter hurdles. Freshman Thomas Perkins (Lugoff, S.C.) and sophomore Joshua Powers (Spartanburg, S.C.) both posted personal-best times of 8.90 and 8.95 in the 60-meter hurdles.
"All three of our hurdlers had their personal best times in the men's 60-meter hurdles today with Brandon Curry then moving to being tied for second in the A-Sun," said head coach Natalie Smith. "I was really glad to see that what we have been working on is starting to make a difference. No one has had a perfect race in the hurdles yet we are still dropping time. I believe that once we put it all together things will really come together."
Upstate sophomore Matt Johnson (Elgin, S.C.) recorded a school record in the men's 300-meter with a time of 35.68, earning a fifth-place finish. His brother Michael Johnson (Elgin, S.C.) posted a time of 1:05.65 in the 500-meter race, claiming third-place in the event. Freshman Evan Woodruff (Sebastian, Fla.) also competed in the 500-meter, registering a time of 1:08.35 to come in 14th.
"Matt Johnson was great again tonight in the 300-meterm finishing second and breaking his fourth school record in the indoor season with a time of 35.68," Smith said. "He now holds records in the indoor 200-meter, 300-meter, 400-meter and 800-meter. It is obvious that when Matt sets his mind to something he will see to it that it happens. His range never does surprise us. This young man, along with his brother, just simply loves to compete. When Matt, like many of the other men on our team, lines up you know that you are on the verge of seeing something special."
On the women's side, senior Joan Tangwar (Eldoret, Kenya) led the way for the Spartans, setting a school record in the one mile run with a time of 4:57.39. This mark passed the previous program-best of 5:01.50 set by senior Carolyne Chelulei (Eldoret, Kenya) at the V-Tech Qualifier in 2010. She finished second in the event at the Tiger Paw Invite. Freshman Jasmine Polite (Goose Creek, S.C.) also competed in the women's one mile run, crossing the line 29th with a time of 5:26.71.
"Joan had an exceptional race today in the mile moving her to first in the A-Sun," Smith said. "Joan looked really strong and ran a very smart race. Anytime a female running is breaking the 5:00 mark it is a great accomplishment."