Myrtle Beach, S.C. – Perrish Goggins highlighted the action for USC Upstate with a strong effort in the high jump as more school records fell in the final day of the Shamrock Invitational Saturday at Doug Shaw Stadium. Upstate finished the day with seven top 10 finishes in a deep and talented field, breaking four more school records along the way.
The Shamrock Invitational was hosted by Coastal Carolina and featured more than 1,110 student-athletes from colleges throughout the east coast. Goggins (Columbia, S.C.) led the Upstate charge on the day, finishing third in the high jump with a leap of 6-08.75. The effort was the second-highest effort in school history behind his own effort of 6-10 in the 2009 Junior Nationals while competing as an Upstate student-athlete.
Upstate also broke school records in the men's 4x400-meter relay and the women's 200-meter, 400-meter and 800-meter races.
"It is sometimes a tough transition coming off of the indoor season and moving outdoors," said Upstate head coach Jimmy Stephens. "I thought we made the transition well. We had some strong performances and hope to build on it as we head toward the conference meet next month. I'm really proud of the team and how hard we are working to get better."
Bolstered by the reigning 400-meter outdoor and indoor A-Sun champion Mike Meissner (Cottage Grove, Minn.), the Upstate 4x400-meter relay team set a new school record with a time of 3:23.15. Michael Johnson (Elgin, S.C.) started things off for the Spartans, giving way to Joshua Powers (Spartanburg, S.C.). Matt Johnson (Elgin, S.C.) ran the third leg of the relay and gave way to Meissner who brought it home for the Spartans. The team finished 13th in the race.
"Our relays have improved dramatically this year," said Stephens. "The 4x400 team really finished strong at the A-Sun Indoor Championships and were really close to winning that title. The guys are focused on bringing home the outdoor championship next month."
Joan Tangwar (Eldoret, Kenya) had a strong meet and a very good day on Saturday. She claimed a pair of top 10 finishes and broke the school record in the 800-meter run. She finished eighth in the event with a time of 2:17.48. She also picked up a seventh-place finish with a time of 4:48.29 in the women's 1,500-meter run.
Ashley Edmond (Columbia, S.C.) had a strong meet as well, breaking two school records. She ran the 400-meter dash in a time of 59.99, breaking the school record by nearly two seconds. She ran the 200-meter dash in a time of 26.08 to break the school record by .62.
"Ashley had an excellent opening meet while breaking two school records," said Upstate associate head coach Carson Blackwelder. "We have a starting point for the outdoor season and we will continue to build on these strong performances."
While Upstate broke four more school records on the day, a couple more all-time marks were almost topped. Brandon Curry (Anderson, S.C.) finished ninth in the men's 110-meter hurdles in a time of 14.89. The effort was just .05 off of the school record. Michael Johnson finished eighth in the men's 800-meter run. The time was just .13 away from the school record.
Upstate was led throughout the meet by its track runners. In addition to the performances of the men's 4x400-meter relay team and Tangwar, there were several other top efforts in races on Saturday. Ben Wheeler (Spartanburg, S.C.), Brenna Crosby (Union, S.C.), Goggins and Meissner teamed to finish 10th in the 4x100-meter dash. Meissner also finished 13th
individually in the 400-meter dash.
While the runners dominated the top performances by the Spartans on the day, a pair of field athletes came through with solid performances. Justin Crawford (Elgin, S.C.) finished fifth in the pole vault with an effort of 14-01.25. On the women's side, LaTerrica Blocker (Stone Mountain, Ga.) finished 13th in the long jump with a leap of 14-11.25.