Spartans Set for Hilton Garden Invitational

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Katie Parker, kparker@uscupstate.edu

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate men's and women's track & field programs head to Winston-Salem, N.C., to participate in the Hilton Garden Invitational Feb. 1-2 at the JDL Fast Track.

Sophomore Ross Oden (Salisbury, N.C.) returns to action for the Spartan men this weekend, competing in the 3,000-meter. Last time out, he posted a 12-place finish with a time of 15:24.41 in the 5K at ETSU's Niswonger Invitational Jan. 18.

Upstate senior Davey Dennison (Carlisle, Pa.) is slated to make his 2013 track debut this weekend in the one mile run. He was an Atlantic Sun All-Conference selection for cross country this past fall and earned Second Team All-Conference honors for the mile and distance medley relay at the 2012 A-Sun Indoor Championships.

The men's 800-meter race will feature junior Matt Johnson (Elgin, S.C.), senior Cameron Thomas (Niceville, Fla.) and junior Michael Johnson (Elgin, S.C.). Matt Jonson crossed the line fifth in the 800-meter finals at the Niswonger Invite, clocking in at 1:56.85. He was followed by Thomas in eighth with a time of 1:57.52. Thomas claimed third in the one mile run at the Niswonger Invite Jan. 19, turning in a time of 4:28.00.

Both Johnson brothers are scheduled to compete in the 400-meter as well. At the Niswonger Invite, Matt Johnson finished 10th in the 400-meter with a preliminary time of 50.30, while Michael Jonson posted a time of 52.07 in the event. Matt Jonson will also participate in the 200-meter race. He holds the Upstate record in the 200-meter with a time of 22.48.

Senior Brandon Curry (Anderson, S.C.) will compete in both the 60-meter dash and the 60-meter hurdles. He came in ninth in the finals of the 60-meter hurdles at the Niswonger Invite Jan. 19, clocking in at 8.80, while recording a time of 8.00 in the men's 60-meter dash prelims Jan. 18.

On the women's side, freshman Brenicke Johnson (Loris, S.C.) is set to race in the 60-meter dash and the 200-meter. At the Niswonger Invite, she recorded a time of 7.98 in the 60-meter prelims. Her classmate Heaven Briggs (Columbus, Ga.) will also participate in the 60-meter dash, while also competing in the 200-meter. Briggs registered a time of 7.96 in the 60-meter dash at Clemson's Orange and Purple Winter Classic Dec. 1 and a time of 26.82 in the 200-meter at the Niswonger Invite Jan. 18.

Upstate sophomore Brittany Walls (Chester, S.C.) will continue to be a jack of all trades for the Spartan women this weekend, competing in the pentathlon, shot put and long jump. She posted a school record in the pentathlon at the Orange and Purple Winter Classic, collecting 2825 points. At the Niswonger Invite, Walls recorded a toss of 11.33-meters (37-02.25) in the shot put.

Junior Ashley Edmond (Hopkins, S.C.) returns to action for the Spartans, competing in the 400-meter. She posted a time of 62.75 in the women's 400-meter at the Niswonger Invite, while freshmen Rebecca Elliott (Columbus, N.C.) came in at 63.15, Ashleigh Torres (Roanoke, Va.) in 63.88 and Molly Bliss (Milford, Del.) in 64.01. Elliott will join Edmond in the 400-meter again this weekend at the Hilton Garden Invitational, while Bliss and Torres will join Elliott in the 800-meter.

Jasmine Polite (Goose Creek, S.C.) is slated to open her sophomore track season this weekend, competing in one mile run. She led the Spartan women's cross country team all season back in the fall, pacing the squad at the A-Sun Championships with a time of 18:49.50.

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