Upstate Competes at First Day of Niswonger Invitational

Upstate Competes at First Day of Niswonger Invitational

Contact: Katie Parker,


JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – The USC Upstate men's and women's track & field programs competed at Day One of ETSU's 35th annual Niswonger Invitational Friday.

This marked the first meet for the Spartans since opening the indoor season at Clemson's Orange & Purple Winter Classic Dec. 1 and the first meet for Upstate's distance athletes. The opening day of the Niswonger Invite was highlighted by Upstate senior Gilbert Kemboi (Eldoret, Kenya) taking top honors in the men's 5,000-meter with a winning time of 14:39.31. Junior Ross Oden (Salisbury, N.C.) trailed Kemboi in the 5K, earning 12th-place with a time of 15:24.41.

On the women's side, junior Ashley Edmond (Hopkins, S.C.) posted a time of 62.75 in the 400-meter. Three other Spartans joined her in the 400-meter as freshmen Rebecca Elliott (Columbus, N.C.) came in at 63.15, Ashleigh Torres (Roanoke, Va.) in 63.88 and Molly Bliss (Milford, Del.) in 64.01.

Junior Matt Johnson (Elgin, S.C.) crossed the line fifth in the men's 800-meter finals, clocking in at 1:56.85. Upstate senior Cameron Thomas (Niceville, Fla.) followed in eighth-place with a time of 1:57.52. Johnson went on to finish 10th in the men's 400-meter with a preliminary time of 50.30. His brother Michael Johnson (Elgin, S.C.) posted a time of 52.07 in the event.

In the men's 60-meter hurdles, senior Brandon Curry (Anderson, S.C.) clocked in at 8.73 to finish 10th in the prelims. He qualified for the finals, which will take place Saturday. He had a time of 8.00 in the men's 60-meter dash prelims. Sophomore Brittany Walls (Chester, S.C.) recorded a time of 10.43 in the prelims of the women's 60-meter hurdles. She also competed in the women's shot put, coming in 16th with a toss of 11.33-meters (37-02.25).

Freshman Dominique Nock (Griffin, Ga.) turned in strong times for the Spartan women on the first day of the Niswonger Invite. She recorded a time of 26.26 in the 200-meter, just missing the Upstate record of 26.24 set by Edmond at last year's A-Sun Indoor Championships. Her classmate Semaj Tolliver (Ladson, S.C.) crossed the 200-meter finish line with a time of 26.40.

In the women's 60-meter dash, Nock paced the Spartans alongside freshman Brenicke Johnson (Loris, S.C.) as both recorded times of 7.98 in the prelims. Nock set the program record in the 60-meter dash at Clemson's Orange & Purple Winter Classic Dec. 1, clocking in at 7.81.

The Niswonger Invitational concludes Saturday as action gets underway at 8 a.m. For more information about the meet please click here. Follow the Spartans this season on your mobile device, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.