FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Katie Parker, firstname.lastname@example.org
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate men's and women's track & field teams will travel to N.C. State Friday and Saturday to compete in the Raleigh Relays.
The Spartans snagged three of the four Atlantic Sun Conference Track & Field weekly accolades after turning in strong performances last weekend at Western Carolina's Catamount Classic. Reigning A-Sun Women's Field Athlete of the Week, Brittany Walls returns to action this weekend in the high jump, long jump, shot put and 100-meter hurdles. At the Catamount Classic, she set a school record in the high jump, clearing 5-03.00.
Upstate swept the league's weekly honors on the men's side as Cameron Thomas was named the Track Athlete of the Week and Kenny Sugishita was named the Field Athlete of the Week. The seniors are slated to compete at the Raleigh Relays this weekend as Thomas hits the track again in the 800-meter, while Sugishita will participate in three throwing events. Thomas has steadily improved his time in the 800-meter in each meet this season, recording a school record time of 1:51.31 in the event last weekend to lead the A-Sun and rank 19th nationally. Sugishita recorded season-best tosses in the discus and hammer throws at the Catamount Classic with marks of 165-01 and 188-01, respectively. This will be his first time this season competing in the shot put.
Junior Matt Johnson will join Thomas in the 800-meter, while also participating in the 400-meter. Johnson was the Upstate record holder in the 800-meter until Thomas broke that last weekend. At the Catamount Classic, Johnson crossed the 800-meter finish line in 1:53.43. He leads the team this season in the 400-meter with a time of 49.06 at the 49er Classic.
Upstate senior Gilbert Kemboi is slated to compete in the 10,000-meter for the Spartan men. This will be the first time he has ran the 10K this season, however Kemboi broke his own school record in the 5,000-meter earlier this season at the 49er Classic, clocking in at 14:14.34. He is also the reigning A-Sun 10K champion.
Senior Brandon Curry returns to action this weekend in the 110-meter hurdles. He posted a season-best time in the event at the 49er Classic, crossing the line in 15.15.
On the women's side, the Spartans have five freshmen scheduled to compete in the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes in Simmie Bray, Dominique Nock, Brenicke Johnson, Heaven Briggs and Semaj Tolliver. Nock posted a personal-best time in both events last weekend at the Catamount Classic, turning in a time of 12.17 in the 100-meter and 25.37 in the 200-meter. Brenicke Johnson and Briggs have combined to set two school records in the events this season as Brenicke Johnson clocked in at 12.09 in the 100-mter dash at the 49er Classic and Briggs came in at 25.12 in the 200-meter also at the 49er Classic.
Nock and Shawanda Stokes are slated to join Walls in the women's long jump. Nock set a school record in the event with a leap of 18-02.50 at the 49er Classic, while Stokes recorded a personal-best jump of 17-08.00 at the 49er Classic.
Upstate junior Ashley Edmond came in 11th in the 400-meter last weekend with a season-best time of 1:01.07, while freshman Sierra White followed with a personal-best time of 1:02.21. Sarah Thomas and freshman Rebecca Elliott trotted closely behind, clocking in at 1:02.37 and 1:02.43, respectively. Edmond, White, Sarah Thomas and Elliott will all return to action in the 400-meter at the Raleigh Relays this weekend.
The Spartan women are scheduled to run in three distance events this weekend in the 1,500-meter, 5,000-meter and 10,000-meter races. Freshman Anastasia Kolesnitchenko holds the second-best time for Upstate this season in the 1,500-meter, finishing in 4:54.30, which she recorded at the 49er Classic. That same weekend, freshmen Molly Bliss and Ashleigh Torres also posted personal-best times in the 1,500-meter with times of 5:02.15 and 5:09.43, respectively.
Senior Laura Transue holds the best time this season for the Spartans in the 5K, crossing the line in 19:07.98 at the 49er Classic. She was followed in the event by senior Hannah Chaney and sophomore Erin Gethin, clocking in at 19:42.96 and 19:49.66, respectively. All three athletes are entered in the 5,000-meter this weekend at the Raleigh Relays. They will be joined by Upstate junior Jasmine Polite, who consistently led the Spartan distance runners during cross country season. This will the first time this season Polite has competed in the 5K. She posted a time of 10:56.49 in the 3,000-meter March 16 at the 49er Classic.
Upstate junior Sarah Boyd is the lone Spartan running in the women's 10,000-meter race. This will mark the first time this season that a Spartan has competed in the 10K. She registered a time of 20:46.37 in the 5,000-meter march 15 at the 49er Classic.