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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The USC Upstate men's and women's track & field teams posted strong marks, while picking up two gold medals and one silver Friday at the first day of the 2013 Atlantic Sun Conference Outdoor Championships hosted by the University of North Florida.
Senior Kenny Sugishita picked up the first gold medal for Upstate on the day, defending his A-Sun title in the men's shot put with a season-best toss of 53-00.00 (16.15-meters). He collected 10 points with the win and added eight more points with a second-place finish in the men's hammer throw. Sugishita earned the silver in the hammer with a hurl of 193-06 (58.99-meters).
Upstate closed out the opening day of the A-Sun Championships, tallying 15 points in the men's 10,000-meter race courtesy of senior Gilbert Kemboi and junior Ross Oden. Kemboi defended his title, taking first-place with a time of 30:36.16, while Oden picked up a big fourth-place finish with a time of 32:07.58, edging Lipscomb's Geoff Musick, who took fifth at 32:07.59.
After one day of competition, the Upstate men's team is third in the team standings with 37 points, trailing Kennesaw State (86) and ETSU (74). LU sits fourth with 29 points.
The Spartan women opened the day as sophomore Brittany Walls and junior Meagan Bailey competed in the heptathlon. After completing four events, Walls sits in second-place with 2,907 points after earning victories in the high jump (5-05.00) and shot put (36-09.50), while taking second in the 200-meter (26.55). Her mark of 5-05.00 beat her own school record in the high jump, which was 5-03.00.
Bailey is currently eighth in the heptathlon, garnering 2,201 points with the opportunity to climb a few more spots Saturday when the heptathlon concludes with the long jump, javelin and 800-meter.
In the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase, senior Christian Ritacco tallied four points for Upstate. He crossed the line fifth with a school record time of 9:25.67, breaking his previous program-best time of 9:36.17.
On the women's side, freshman Dominique Nock scored four points for the Spartans in the long jump, taking fifth-place with a leap of 19-01.25 (5.82-meters). She shattered her previous school record of 18-02.50 (5.55-meters), which she set at the 49er Classic.
Nock came in sixth in the 100-meter dash prelims with a school record time of 11.82 to qualify for the event finals on Saturday. Her classmate Brenicke Johnson finished eighth in the prelims, clocking in at 11.84 for a personal record and qualifying to the finals Saturday. The previous program-best time of 11.95 was set by Johnson at the Raleigh Relays earlier this season.
The Spartan women are sixth in the team standings after the first full day of competition at the A-Sun Championships with four points. Northern Kentucky is just behind Upstate in seventh with three points. KSU tops the leaderboard with 60 points, while Jacksonville is second with 55 points and Lipscomb is third with 49.
In the men's 100-meter dash prelims, freshman Carlton White posted a personal-best time of 11.12, beating his previous personal record mark of 11.35. Junior Joshua Powers turned in a season-best time of 11.44 in the event, smashing his previous season-best time of 11.66.
The 2013 A-Sun Outdoor Championships wrap up Saturday; fans can follow all the action via the live results link here. Follow the Spartans this season on your mobile device, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.