Eubanks, Ladson Lead Upstate at Season-Opening UNCG Six-Way Meet

December 2, 2014 at 9:00 am

The USC Upstate track & field team opened its 2014-15 indoor season Monday evening by taking home 18 top-five finishes at the UNCG Six-Way Meet, hosted by UNC Greensboro from the JDL Fast Track.

The Upstate women led the way with 12 top-five performances while the men recorded six.

“For the most part I was really pleased with how we started out today,” said head coach Natalie Smith. “There are some areas that we seem to have some real potential in, although we have a whole two seasons to really get into.”

KeAndrea Ladson had three finishes of fifth or better highlighted by two second-place showings in the 60-meter hurdles (8.97) and long jump (5.23-meters). She also placed fifth in the high jump with a mark of 1.55-meters.

Alexis Jacobs added a second-place finish in the shot put after a throw of 13.52-meters and was fourth in the weight throw with a 15.55-meter mark. Brittany Walls tied the school record in the high jump as her leap of 1.65-meters matched the mark set by Ladson last season at the Appalachian Invitational. Walls tied for third in the high jump, and was fourth in both the 60-meter hurdles and shot put events.

Heaven Briggs and Kennedy Holton finished behind each other in the 400-meter run as Briggs was third (1:02.40) and Holton fifth (1:07.05). The Spartans had a third- and fourth-place performance in the 4×400-meter relays; as the quartet of Holton, Sierra White, Courtney Bradley and Ashleigh Torres were third, and Briggs, Adia Simpkins, Destinie Sykes and Rebecca Elliott came in fourth.

“Brittany, KeAndrea and Meagan (Bailey) really looked well today after having some personal-bests,” Smith said. “These three will be vital for us in the multi-events this season.”

On the men’s side, Griffin Eubanks took home top honors in the 3000-meter run. Eubanks, running in his first indoor meet at Upstate, turned in a time of 9:01.42, finishing just ahead of North Carolina A&T’s Darren White. Joey Daversa added a fifth-place finish in the race with a time of 9:30.48.

Blake Hayes, also participating in his first collegiate meet, compiled a third-place finish in the weight throw (12.67-meters) and was fourth in the shot put (11.92-meters). Also collecting fifth-place finishes were Kyle Drollette in the 60-meter hurdles (8.94) and Donnie Hutchinson in the shot put (9.18-meters).

“We had four newcomers on the track look very well in their respective events in Griffin, Kyle, Patrick (Jamison) and Darius (Marshall),” added Smith. “We were just glad to see that our athletes are competitive and it was good to finally suit back up.”

In the team scoring portion of the meet, the Spartans combined for a 7-3 record. The men had three wins while the women tallied four.

Upstate will be back in action Jan. 16-17, 2015 at the ETSU Indoor Classic in Johnson City, Tenn.

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