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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The USC Upstate men's and women's track & field teams kicked-off the 2012 outdoor season, setting four school records at the Charlotte 49er Classic Friday.
The young Spartan women's team started things off, breaking records in the 100-meter dash as freshman Brenicke Johnson crossed the line in 12.09 for 14th-place. The previous school record was 12.72 set by Gabby Walker at the Atlantic Sun Conference Championships in 2010. Johnson was followed in the 100-meter by classmates Heaven Briggs at 12.48, Semaj Tolliver at 12.52 and Dominique Nock at 12.62, all finishing under the old program record time.
Upstate kept the record-setting day going in the women's long jump as Nock set a new program-best mark with a sixth-place leap of 5.55-meters (18-02.50). The previous school record jump was 5.08-meters (16-08.00), which Shawanda Stokes recorded at last year's A-Sun Championships. Nock was joined in the long jump finals by Stokes, who finished ninth with a personal-best leap of 5.38-meters (17-08.00).
Briggs turned in the third school record performance for the Spartan women on the day in the 200-meter, crossing the line in 25.12 to finish 17th. The previous program-best mark was 25.48 set by Ashley Edmond at the 2011 A-Sun Championships.
Senior Gilbert Kemboi rounded out the Upstate record-setting performances, taking second-place in the men's 5,000-meter with a time of 14:14.34. He beat his previous school record time of 14:16.66, which he recorded at the Duke Invite last season.
Upstate junior Matt Johnson opened the 2012 outdoor campaign with a strong outing in the 400-meter, clocking in at 49.06 to take fourth in the prelims and qualify for the finals on Saturday. Senior Kenny Sugishita turned in a sixth-place finish in the men's hammer throw with a toss of 55.27-meters (181-04).
In the men's 1,500-meter, senior Cameron Thomas crossed the line 12th with a time of 3:57.37, while his classmate Brandon Curry also garnered 12th-place in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 15.51.