SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate men's and women's track and field teams are set to open the 2012 outdoor season at Charlotte's 49er Classic March 16-17.
Both programs closed out the indoor season, tallying the most points and highest team finishes in school history at the Atlantic Sun Indoor Championships. The Upstate men's team earned a third-place finish, totaling 95 points, while the women came in fifth-place with 51 points.
Seven Spartan men snagged A-Sun All-Conference team honors after turning in strong performance in their respective events. Juniors Kenny Sugishita (Arroyo Grande, Calif.) and Gilbert Kemboi (Eldoret, Kenya) were both double champions at the A-Sun meet. Sugishita claimed titles in the weight throw and the shot put, while Kemboi won the 3,000-meter and 5,000-meter events. This weekend, Sugishita returns to action, competing in the hammer throw, discus throw and the shot put. Kemboi will run the 5,000-meter at Charlotte, alongside classmate Davey Dennison (Carlisle, Pa.), who earned all-conference accolades in the mile and distance medley relay (DMR).
Junior Cameron Thomas (Niceville, Fla.) was an All-A-Sun selection for Upstate in the men's 800-meter and DMR last month. He is slated to compete in 1,500-meter and 800-meter events at the 49er Classic. Sophomores Matt and Michael Johnson (Elgin, S.C.) are also running the 800-meter as well as the 200-meter and 400-meter events. Matt Johnson earned second team all-conference nods at the A-Sun Indoor Championship for his performances in the 400-meter and DMR, while Michael Johnson was also a second teamer in the DMR.
Sophomore Brandon Curry (Anderson, S.C.) grabbed All-Atlantic Sun Third Team accolades with his effort in the 60-meter hurdles event at the conference indoor meet last month. He will represent the Spartan men in the 100-meter, 110-meter hurdles and the men's 4x100 relay.
On the women's side, Upstate had three athletes earn All-A-Sun honors for their efforts at the 2012 A-Sun Indoor Championships and all three will be participating at the 49er Classic this weekend. Senior Joan Tangwar (Eldoret, Kenya) claimed the conference title in the 5,000-meter last month, taking all-conference first team honors. She is scheduled to run the women's 1,500-meter at Charlotte this weekend. Seniors Jemeli Sang (Eldoret, Kenya) and Carolyne Chelulei (Eldoret, Kenya) both snagged All-A-Sun accolades in the 3,000-meter and 5,000-meter events. Both are set to compete in the women's 5,000-meter run this weekend.
Also competing for the Spartan women this weekend are sophomore Ashley Edmond (Hopkins, S.C.) and junior Velegar Mark (Spartanburg, S.C.). Edmond is slated to take part in the women's 200-meter, 400-meter and the women's 4x100 relay at the 49er Classic. Mark will compete in the high jump as well as the 200-meter and 4x100 relay with Edmond.