The South Carolina Gamecock track and field team visited Annapolis, Maryland, over the weekend for the Navy Winter Invitational to kick off their indoor track season. Though the Gamecocks felt they did not have the best competition, they did not fail to put up impressive marks, including a new school record.
Freshman Stephanie Davis won the 400 with a time of 54.58 — the only competitor in this event to run under the 55 second barrier. The Gamecock coaching staff was impressed with her early success.
“To have Stephanie [Davis] win the 400 in her first meet is a good sign for what she can accomplish going forward," head coach Curtis Frye said. "We’re looking for promising things from her, and I think she can get into that 53 range.”
On the men’s side, senior Tye Williams set a new personal and school record in the high-jump with a height of 7 feet and 2.5 inches. Williams is continuing the success he had last year in which he earned first-team All-American and an SEC Bronze medal in the high jump.
“Tye’s performance was a carry-over from last year. This kind of performance is the expectation for him, being an All-American last season and already jumping 7 [feet] 4 [inches] outdoors," Frye said. "Tye knows that today’s performance would be middle of the pack at NCAA’s, so he is excited to get back to training with the goal of going even higher.”
The coaching staff expects big things from Williams this indoor season as he enters his last indoor track season as a collegiate athlete.
South Carolina won 16 events, with three being from athletes making their debut and a fourth from a freshman in the men’s 4 by 400 meter relay. They also made seven additions to the school’s top-10 all-time list, including Williams’ school record.
Up next, the Gamecocks will compete in their home state for the first time this season when they travel to Clemson for the Clemson Invitational. Frye realizes that their season opener has set high expectations for what's to come.
“Expectations are high, and we’ve got to continue to build on what we did today," Frye said. "We’ll evaluate our team Monday and see what kind of lineup we send to Clemson next week.”