Scheper medals at SEC Indoor Championships

Jeannelle Scheper of South Carolina University medalled at the recent SEC Indoor Championships.

Three South Carolina Gamecocks combined to earn three medals and one school record to conclude the final day of competition at the 2012 SEC Indoor Championships over the weekend at Lexington, Kentucky.
Kierre Beckles and Marvin Reitze both earned silver and Jeannelle Scheper (St Lucia) earned bronze to lead the Gamecocks.
“The SEC is a team event,” South Carolina head coach Curtis Frye said. “We had a lot of good individuals and some great performances. Kierre had a great performance and so did Marvin in the pole vault. Jeannelle did a good job in the high jump. We had some signs there of promise. We finished number nine on the men and 10 on the women, two points from eighth place. We have to roll it up and see if we can go to nationals and get in the top 25 with our women’s team and see if Marvin can score.”
Senior Kierre Beckles had yet another record-breaking day, something that has become a regular occurrence for the hurdler from Pinelands, Barbados. Beckles placed second overall in the 60-meter hurdles Sunday, but it was her time of 8.11 that she can be proud of heading into NCAA’s. Her time set a new Barbados national record as well as a new South Carolina program record, matching the 8.11 that Olympian Lashinda Demus ran in 2004.
Marvin Reitze continued his SEC medal streak by earning silver medal honours in the men’s pole vault competition. Reitze, who earned bronze medal honours at the 2009 and 2010 SEC Indoor Championships before missing the 2011 championships due to injury, cleared an indoor personal best of 17’11 ? (5.48m) to continue South Carolina’s impressive form at the SEC Indoor Championships. The Gamecocks have had at least one man medal in the pole vault every season since 2009.
Reitze was in a two-man battle with Arkansas’s Andrew Irwin for the top crown. Both were perfect with first-attempt clearances at every bar from 17’0 (5.18m) to 17’11 ? (5.48m) before missing on their first attempts at 18’1 ? (5.53m). Irwin cleared the bar on his second attempt, and Reitze missed his final attempt after moving the bar up to a would-be collegiate leading mark 18’1 ? (5.53m) to finish second.
The Gamecocks earned a final medal from 17-year old sophomore Jeannelle Scheper, the St Lucia native who holds the South Carolina program record. Scheper became just the second Gamecock woman to medal in the high jump at any SEC Championship – indoor or outdoor – when she cleared 5’11 ? (1.82m) on her first attempt. Scheper’s bronze medal now gives her the distinction of having not only the top mark in school history but also the top SEC finish in school history after matching the bronze medal finish that Monica Bozinski earned at the 2005 SEC Indoor Championships. Freshmen Sarah Graham and Tamera Harris both cleared 5’4 ? (1.63m) to tie for 21st.
“The first two bars, my nerves were getting to me a bit, but as the competition progressed I got more focused and knew what I had to do,” Scheper said. “My coach told me to just calm down. I got over on my first attempt because I had my thoughts together. I was happy about my performance. I felt like I could have done better. I wanted to hit an automatic (qualifying mark), but I feel like I’ll still make it to nationals, so I’m happy with my performance.”

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