ORANGEBURG, SC (January 15, 2024) – The South Carolina State track and field teams had a strong showing at the Gamecock Indoor Opener on Saturday (Jan. 13). The teams combined for three Top 5 performances and ten Top 10 finishes, while also qualifying an additional five performers for the upcoming Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Championships Feb 18-20 at Virginia Beach and establishing nine indoor personal records (PRs) and eight season-best marks.

“It was a productive local meet for us, coming off the winter break” said SCSU head coach Donald Cooper following the meet, the second of the season for his teams. “We still have a lot of work to do.”

Top five performers for Cooper’s teams were Dexter Ratliff, third in the weight throw (16.55m; 54-3.75ft.); Erick Hill, fourth in the long jump (6.95m; 22-9.75ft.); and Cameron Gist, fourth in the women’s triple jump (11.67m; 38-3.50 ft.). Ratliff, in a Nov. 29 meet at Liberty University, set the school record in the weight throw with a toss of 17.01 meters.

Other outstanding finishes included Jaden Barker (1:20.19), third in the 600 meters; Jacob Alexander (21.87) and Dwayne Curnell (21.88), sixth and seventh, respectively, in the 200 meters; Jovan Brooks (48.20, 1st in MEAC) and Alexander (48.24), fourth and sixth, respectively, in the 400 meters; Kennedy Spears (1.61m; 5-3.25 ft.), sixth in the women’s high jump; the 4x400m relay team (Alexander, Barker, Brooks, Eric White), sixth (3:15.47); and the women’s 4x400m relay team (TyQwasia Williams, Angelica FrederickDebrielle Williams and Makylah Jones), eighth (3:57.30).

Establishing indoor PRs were Barker in the 600 meters, Alexander and Curnell in the 200 meters, Jalen Alleyne in the 200 meters (22.27), Brooks and Alexander in the 400 meters, Makayla Toussaint in the women’s 400 meters (1:02), Dallas Carraway in the shot put (42-11 ft.), and Zaria Walker in the women’s 60 meters (8.32).

Season-best showings were turned in by Curnell in the 60 meters (6.94), Johnathan Williams in the 60m hurdlers (8.41), Kaden Priester in the 200 meters (23.19), White in the 400 meters (50.35), Hill in the long jump (22-9.75), the men’s 4x400m relay team (3:15.47), TyQwasia Williams in the 60m hurdles (9.70), and the women’s 4x400m relay team (3:57.30).

SC State resumes its outdoor schedule Friday in Gainesville, FL at the two-day (Jan. 19-20) RADD Sports Invitational, hosted by the University of Florida.

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