Jackson Records First-Place Finish to Conclude 49er Classic for Upstate

Jackson Records First-Place Finish to Conclude 49er Classic for Upstate

Charlotte, N.C. – Essence Jackson won her first career individual race and USC Upstate broke two school records on Saturday as it finished up competition at the 49er Classic from Irwin Belk Track & Field Center.

Jackson took home top honors as she broke her old school record in the 800-meter run. The sophomore surpassed her previous school record time in the event by nearly two seconds after running a personal-best time of 2:12.12 en route to the first-place performance. She is the first Upstate athlete to win an event this season and gives her two finishes of second or better in the 800-meter run.

Destinie Sykes followed her performance yesterday by breaking her own school record in the 400-meter hurdles for the second straight day. Sykes finished sixth in the finals as she posted a personal-best time of 1:05.05. The sophomore bested her own time by over one second and marks the third time this season she has broken the 400-meter hurdles record.

Overall, the Spartans recorded five top-five finishes on Saturday led by the showing from Jackson. Alexis Jacobs added a second-place finish in the shot put as she posted a throw of 13.85-meters. Sykes also turned in a fifth-place finish in the triple jump following a leap of 11.39-meters.

Upstate compiled two top-five finishes in the relay races as both the men and women had one each. In the women's 4x100-meter relay, the team of Semaj Tolliver, Courtney Bradley, Heaven Briggs and Brenicke Johnson placed third after crossing the finish line in 47.09. The men's 4x400-meter relay combination of Kyle Jones, Kyle Drollette, Cameron Pratt and Patrick Jamison posted a time of 3:20.80 to finish in fifth place.

Individually, Donnie Hutchinson led the Spartan men with a 15th place finish in the triple jump with a leap of 11.97-meters.

A total of seven personal-bests were attained by Upstate with the women achieving four and the men three. Along with Sykes and Jackson, the women had two others reach personal-bests in Brittany Walls (shot put) and Storm-Alexis Gandy (800-meter run). Hutchinson and Blake Hayes both set new personal-bests in the discus throw, while Calin Schumacher established a new mark in the 800-meter run.

The Spartans are back in action next weekend at the Winthrop Invitational (Mar. 26-28) and Raleigh Relays (Mar. 27-28).

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