CLEMSON, S.C. (Feb. 9, 2024) – South Carolina Track & Field freshmen were on full display Friday at both the Tiger Paw Invite and the David Hemery Valentine Invitational.
Over in Tiger country, Nyck Harbor elevated his performance in the 60-meter sprint, advancing all the way to the final round. The Washington, D.C. native opened with a 6.71 to win his heat and automatically qualify for the semifinal round later in the afternoon. Harbor then clocked a new personal best time of 6.61 in the semifinal round to finish second overall. In addition to his finish, Harbor’s time of 6.61 became the second fastest 60m dash in Gamecock history and vaulted him into a tie for 12th in the NCAA leaderboard this year. The dual-sport athlete then concluded his day with a sixth-place finish in the final after clocking 6.64.
On the women’s side, three freshmen paved the way while at Clemson, led by Bowerman Watch List candidate JaMeesia Ford. Ford ran a new personal best in the 400m, running 51.33 for the overall win in the event. Ford’s time also ranks second in the NCAA, third in South Carolina history, seventh in the current world standings and broke the Clemson Indoor Track & Field Complex facility record.
Fellow 400m runner Zaya Akins also set a new personal best when she won her heat and finished fifth overall with a time of 52.23. The Missouri native jumped into ninth all-time in Gamecock history with her time, as well as 10th on the current NCAA leaderboard this season. Hannah Togami captured her third win of the year in the pole vault and second of the season at Clemson. The South Carolina native successfully cleared 3.95m (12-11.5) to tie her indoor personal best.
Meanwhile in Boston, the Gamecock women’s distance runners achieved four new personal bests, highlighted by yet another pair of freshmen. Reigning SEC Women’s Freshman Runner of the Week, Judy Kosgei, finished 10th overall in the mile after running a personal best time of 4:34.21 to improve on her second-fastest time in Gamecock history. Fellow Kenya freshman Teresa Cherotich then capped off the night by breaking the program record in the indoor 5,000-meter run. Cherotich consistently clocked 38-40 seconds per 200m split until her 25th and final lap when she turned on the afterburners and ran 34.02 in her final split to come from behind and win her heat in a time of 16:06.16. Cherotich’s time broke Kayla Lampe’s record of 16:19.02 set in 2013.
South Carolina will be back in action…