After taking last week off from competition, the USC Upstate track and field team returns to action this weekend as it travels to Charlotte, N.C., for the Charlotte Invitational hosted by UNC Charlotte at Irwin Belk Track & Field Center.
The Spartans are returning to Charlotte for the second time this season after competing at the 49er Classic Mar. 19-21 in their second outdoor meet of the season. Upstate recorded six top-five performances and set two school records at the 49er Classic, while 26 personal-bests were achieved. Essence Jackson won the 800-meters in school record time and Destinie Sykes surpassed her old school record twice in the 400-meter hurdles.
USC Upstate is back on the track for the first time since Apr. 3-4 when it took part in both the VertKlasse Meeting and Terrier Relays.
Griffin Eubanks led six distance runners at the VertKlasse Meeting on Apr. 3 as the junior finished second in the mixed 10,000-meter run and was one of four to finish inside the top 10. Joining Eubanks were Martin Morrow in fourth, Alex Love in fifth and Cody Ellison in seventh.
The Spartans captured their first relay victory of the season on Apr. 4 at the Terrier Relays in Spartanburg. In the women’s 4×100-meter relay race, the combination of Courtney Bradley, Dominique Nock, Heaven Briggs and Brenicke Johnson crossed the finish line in a combined time of 46.64, giving them the third-fastest time in the A-Sun this season.
Jake McKown broke his old school record in the 400-meter hurdles and was one of nine Upstate men to record a personal-best performance. McKown also teamed up with Cameron Pratt, Kyle Drollette and Patrick Jamison to finish second in the 4×400-meter relay. Donnie Hutchinson led the men’s side with four personal-best marks in the 110-meter hurdles, long jump, triple jump and discus throw.
On the women’s side, the Spartans logged three second place performances from Nock, Brittany Walls and Alexis Jacobs. Nock recorded her best individual finish of the season following a time of 12.13 in the 100-meter dash. Walls had a leap of 1.60-meters in the high jump and Jacobs a 43.92-meter toss during the hammer throw. The women received five personal-best performances from Bradley, Walls, Keiyonna Gusby, Kelsey Warren and Storm-Alexis Gandy.
Upstate will be one of eight schools competing at the two-day Charlotte Invitational. Joining the Spartans will be host school Charlotte, Appalachian State, Davidson, Southern Wesleyan, UNC Wilmington, VMI and Winthrop.
The Charlotte Invitational kicks off Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. with the women’s hammer throw. The final event on day one is the men’s 3000-meter steeplechase scheduled to start at 8:30 p.m. The schedule of events on Saturday begins at 11 a.m. with the women’s long jump and concludes at 4:25 p.m. with the running of the women’s 4×400-meter relay.
The Spartans head to Rock Hill, S.C. next Wednesday, Apr. 22 for the Carolina’s Cup hosted by Winthrop University.