Spartanburg, S.C. – The USC Upstate track and field team begins its outdoor season this weekend as the Spartans travel to Myrtle Beach, S.C. for the CCU Invitational hosted by Coastal Carolina University at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium.
The CCU Invitational begins Friday morning at 10 a.m. with the men’s and women’s hammer throw, and the men’s 10,000-meter run concludes the day at 7:45 p.m. The schedule of events on Saturday starts at 10 a.m. with the men’s and women’s discus throws and finishes up at 4:45 p.m. with the 4×400-meter relays.
Upstate collected eight school records and four All-Conference honors two weeks ago at the A-Sun Indoor Track & Field Championships in Winston-Salem, N.C. The Spartan women finished 4th with a program-best 75.50 points and the men were 5th with 17 points. Alexis Jacobs, Jasmine Polite, Brenicke Johnson and Brittany Walls each received individual All-Conference accolades, while Sierra White, Essence Jackson, Courtney Bradley and Draneisha Griffin teamed up for another All-Conference award.
Johnson won the first 60-meter dash race for USC Upstate at the indoor championships after falling just 0.01 seconds shy of tying the conference record. Jacobs and Walls both became the first female athletes in program history to pick up All-Conference recognition in their respective events as Jacobs finished 2nd in the shot put and Walls was also 2nd in the high jump. Polite earned the team’s first All-Conference medal in the 3000-meter run in three years with her 3rd place performance.
The women’s 4×400-meter relay combination of White, Jackson, Bradley and Griffin became the second group in as many seasons to garner All-Conference honors in the event. At last season’s indoor championships, Jackson, Dominique Nock and Heaven Briggs helped produce the program’s first award in the race.
Upstate took home six medals (five women, one men) at last year’s A-Sun Outdoor Track & Field Championships to conclude its season including four for the first time in school history. Walls led the Spartans with two All-Conference performances as she was named Second Team in the high jump and Third Team for the heptathlon. Jacobs was Second Team All-Conference in the shot put and Jackson Third Team All-Conference for the 800-meter run. In the women’s 4×100-meter relay, Nock, Briggs, Johnson and Semaj Tolliver were named Second Team All-Conference.
Overall, Upstate set a total of 16 outdoor school records last season with the women tallying 13 and the men three.
Admission will be charged on both days of the CCU Invitational. Adults are $5 per day or $10 for the event, while children and students with a school I.D. are free.
The Spartans make the short trip to Charlotte, N.C. next week (Mar. 19-21) for the 49er Classic at Irwin Belk Track & Field Center.