Spartans Set for Tiger Paw Invitational

Spartans Set for Tiger Paw Invitational

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate men's and women's track & field teams will make the short trek to Clemson, S.C., this weekend to compete in the annual Tiger Paw Invitational, marking the second meet for the Spartans this season at Clemson.

Upstate opened the indoor season at Clemson's Orange & Purple Winter Classic Dec. 1, turning in strong performances and setting several school records. The Spartans return to Clemson this weekend, participating in the annual Tiger Paw Invitational Friday and Saturday. The event gets underway at 2 p.m. Friday with multiple field events and the qualifying rounds of the 60-meter dash and 60-meter hurdles.

Senior Brandon Curry (Anderson, S.C.) is slated to compete in both the 60-meter dash and 60-meter hurdles for the Spartan men, while junior Josh Powers (Spartanburg, S.C.) and freshman Carlton White (Greenwood, S.C.) will also race in the 60-meter. Powers recorded the best time in the 60-meter this season for Upstate at the Organ & Purple Winter Classic, crossing the line in 7.35. Curry recorded a season-best time of 8.51 in the 60-meter hurdles at Clemson Dec. 1.

Upstate senior Cameron Thomas (Niceville, Fla.) returns to action in the men's 800-meter. At the Hilton Garden Invitational last weekend, he set a school record in the event, posting a first-place finish with a time of 1:53.01. Junior Matt Johnson (Elgin, S.C.) joins Thomas in the 800-meter, after finishing eighth in the event last weekend with a season-best time of 1:56.62. Johnson is scheduled to run in the 200-meter as well. He turned in a time of 23.10 in the 200-meter last weekend. Johnson and Thomas will join forces in both the 4x400-meter and the distance medley relays.  

After setting a school record in the men's 3,000-meter last week at Notre Dame's Meyo Invitational with a time of 8:20.05, senior Gilbert Kemboi (Eldoret, Kenya) returns to action this weekend, competing in the one mile run. Senior Davey Dennison (Carlisle, Pa.) and junior Joey Daversa (Chesapeake, Va.) will so participate in the one mile. Dennison is the school record holder in the event with a time of 4:13.80 set at the Atlantic Sun Conference Indoor Championships last year.

Upstate sophomore Ross Oden (Salisbury, N.C.) came in 22nd in the men's 3,000-meter race last weekend at the Hilton Garden Invite, posting a time of 8:57.63. He was followed by junior Andrew Kipchumba (Eldoret, Kenya), who came in at 9:34.79. Oden and Kipchumba are on the docket to compete in the 3K this weekend at Clemson along with sophomore Riley Doherty (Tallahassee, Fla.).

Senior Kenny Sugishita (Arroyo Grande, Calif.) also returns to action this weekend, competing in the men's shot put and weight throw. He recorded a season-best toss of 50-06.25 in the shot put at ETSU's Niswonger Invitational Jan. 19. His best performance this season in the weight throw came at the Orange & Purple Winter Classic Dec. 1 with a mark of 54-04.5.

On the women's side, freshman sensation Dominique Nock (Griffin, Ga.) is back at this weekend, competing in the 60-meter dash and the 400-meter. She set an Upstate record in the 60-meter dash at Clemson Dec. 1, clocking in at 7.81. Fellow freshmen Heaven Briggs (Columbus, Ga.) and Brenicke Johnson (Loris, S.C.) will also participate in the 60-meter dash and the 400-meter, while junior Ashley Edmond (Hopkins, S.C.) will join the freshman trio in the 400-meter. Brenicke Johnson recorded a time of 7.82 Dec. 1 in the 60-meter dash, while Briggs posted a time of 7.96. Edmond has registered the best time this season in the 400-meter, crossing the line in 62.75 at the Niswonger Invite Jan. 18.

After recording personal-best times in the 800-meter last weekend, freshmen Anastasia Kolesnitchenko (Boiling Springs, S.C.) and Molly Bliss (Milford, Del.) return to action in the 800-meter this weekend. Kolesnitchenko led all the Spartan women last weekend in the event with a time of 2:24.30, while Bliss crossed the line in 2:24.48.

Upstate senior Laura Transue (Anderson, S.C.) returns to action in the women's 3,000-meter this weekend at the Tiger Paw Invitational. She turned in a personal-best performance in the 3K, crossing the line in 11:13.18. She will be joined in the event by, sophomore Erin Gethin (Cocoa Beach, Fla.) and junior Sarah Boyd (Dalton, Ga.), who also recorded person-records in the 3K last week, coming in at 11:49.51 and 11:50.21, respectively.

In the women's one mile run, sophomore Jasmine Polite (Goose Creek, S.C.)  and freshman Danielle Horneff (Haddon Heights, N.J.) will represent the Spartans this weekend. At last the Hilton Garden Invite last weekend, Polite clocked in at 5:29.89, while Horneff turned in a PR with a time of 5:36.05.

Live results from Clemson's annual Tiger Paw Invitational can be found here. Follow the Spartans this season on your mobile device, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.