FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – The USC Upstate men's and women's track & field programs wrapped up competition Saturday at the Niswonger Invitational as the women's team broke two program records.
Freshman Dominique Nock (Griffin, Ga.) took first-place in the women's long jump with a leap of 5.77-meters (18-11.25), eclipsing her previous school record mark of 5.35-meters (17-06.75) set at Clemson's Orange & Purple Winter Classic Dec. 1.
The rookie teamed with junior Ashley Edmond (Hopkins, S.C.), freshman Ashleigh Torres (Roanoke, Va.) and freshman Semaj Tolliver (Ladson, S.C.) in the 4x400-meter relay to post a program-best time of 4:05.33. The previous Upstate record was 4:10.37 set at the Orange & Purple Winter Classic. The freshman quartet of Rebecca Elliott (Columbus, N.C.), Sarah Thomas (Columbus, Ga.), Heaven Briggs (Columbus, Ga.), Molly Bliss (Milford, Del.) also beat the previous school record, turning in a time of 4:09.32 in the 4x400 relay.
On the men's side, senior Kenny Sugishita (Arroyo Grande, Calif.) claimed second-place honors in the shot put with a toss of 15.40-meters (50-06.25). His classmate, Brandon Curry (Anderson, S.C.), came in ninth in the finals of the men's 60-meter hurdles, clocking in at 8.80. He qualified for the finals after finishing 10th in the prelims Friday with a time of 8.73.
Upstate senior Cameron Thomas (Niceville, Fla.), crossed the line third in the men's one mile run with a time of 4:28.00. Junior Joey Daversa (Chesapeake, Va.) followed Thomas in 13th place, turning in a time of 4:34.49. Daversa teamed with junior Jacob McKown (Greer, S.C.), sophomore Michael Johnson (Elgin, S.C.) and sophomore Mark Rennix (Beaufort, S.C.) in the distance medley relay to finish sixth with a time of 10:49.97.
Johnson and McKown joined forces again in the men's 4x400 relay, adding junior Matt Johnson (Elgin, S.C.) and freshman Tracy Fisher (Lawrenceville, Ga.) to complete the foursome. The quartet clocked in at 3:24.19 to take seventh-place.
Freshman Nia Payne (Conway, S.C.) and Bliss rounded out the top-ten finishes for the Spartan women on the day. In the 800-meter, Payne claimed fifth-place with a time of 2:24.54, while Bliss trailed in 10th with a time of 2:25.42.
In the women's 5,000-meter senior Laura Transue (Anderson, S.C.) crossed the line in 13th with a time of 20:23.77. She was followed by sophomore Erin Gethin (Cocoa Beach, Fla.) and junior Sarah Boyd (Dalton, Ga.), finishing in 20:56.34 and 21:00.70, respectively. Freshman Anastasia Kolesnitchenko (Boiling Springs, S.C.) recorded a time of 2:27.73 to finish 16th in the women's 800-meter. She also turned in a time of 5:31.93 in the women's one mile run to claim 17th.
Both the men's and women's teams return to action Feb. 1, traveling to Winston-Salem, N.C., for the Hilton Garden Invitational. Follow the Spartans this season on your mobile device, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.