Two SC State Runners Seek Spot on Team USA

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Richard and Kemp

ORANGEBURG, S.C. – SC State sprinters Tyrell Richard and Demek Kemp have enjoyed sparkling seasons for the Bulldog track and field team, turning in school and conference record-breaking performances in NCAA competition.

Now the two will be among the country’s best track and field athletes competing at the 2018 USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships June 21-24 at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Richard will compete in the 400 meters, while Kemp is entered in both the 100 meters and 200 meters, noted Bulldog head track coach Tim Langford.

“I am very pleased to have these two young men compete at the USATF Championships,” he beamed recently. “Should they earn a spot on a national team and represent SC State and their hometowns on foreign soil, it would truly be a fitting end to a remarkable season.”

The meet is the country’s premier outdoor track and field championship of 2018 and will feature collegians, professional athletes and Olympians vying for national titles and a spot on Team USA, which will compete internationally later this year.

Richard is coming off of a strong performance at the June 6-9 NCAA Outdoor Championship in Eugene, Oregon, where he finished fifth overall in a time of 45.10 and earned All-America honors. He was clocked in 44.70 in the semifinals to set a school and MEAC mark.

The Georgetown, South Carolina rising senior said he was pleased – not satisfied – with what he has accomplished on the track this season, but added that he was anxious for the opportunity to compete against the nation’s best.

“Competing in the USA Championship is a huge step in my quest to becoming a professional track athlete,” said Richard, who once thought his ticket to a professional career was in football. “Being able to compete against the nation’s top collegiate and professional athletes, while representing SC State, is an honor. My goal is to take SC State to the international stage of competition.”

Kemp, despite coming off a major injury sustained during the 2016-17 indoor campaign, was outstanding during the 2017-18 indoor season. The Monroe, Georgia senior established school and conference records and earned a bronze medal and indoor All-America accolades with a third-place finish in the 60 meters at the NCAA Indoor Championship.

Kemp was also dominant in NCAA outdoor competition until sustaining a hamstring injury that slowed him down the stretch. He had a strong outing at the MEAC Championship and joined Richard and two other teammates at the NCAA Regionals at Tampa, Florida, but failed to advance to the NCAA Finals.

“The USATF Championship means a great deal to me,” Kemp said. “I get another chance to compete for SCSU. This meet is an opportunity for redemption for me due to the fact that I was hampered by a hamstring injury late in the (outdoor) season. I want to go out, run well and make Team USA.”

Kemp’s quest in the 100 meters begins Thursday at 6:10 p.m. (CDT) with first-round competition and a field of 32 performers. The top 16 will advance to Friday’s 5:50 p.m. semifinals with the finals set for Friday at 7:30 p.m.

The 200-meter first round, which he is also entered in, is set for Saturday at 1:10 p.m., with the semifinals Sunday at 2:15 p.m., followed by the finals at 4:10.

First-round action in the 400-meter run, in which Richard will compete, is set for 5:05 p.m. (CDT) Thursday, followed by the semifinals Friday at 6:20 p.m. and the finals Saturday at 4:30 p.m.

All four days of the competition will be televised by NBC, NBC Gold and the Olympic Channel. Interested persons should check local listings for the network coverage in their area.