SC State’s Kemp, Richard Advance at USAT&F Championships

Friday, July 26, 2019

DES MOINES, Iowa – Former South Carolina State sprinters Demek Kemp and Tyrell Richard moved one step closer to a berth on Team USA Track on Thursday when they earned a spot in Friday’s semifinals in the 100 meters and 400 meters, respectively.

Kemp was clocked in a time of 10.29 in the 100 meters, fourth-best in his heat but good enough to get him to the next round, Saturday’s semifinals which is scheduled for 7:02 p.m. ET Friday. Kemp’s time was tied for seventh overall.

Richard completed the 400-meter course in a time of 45.55, second in his heat and 10th-best overall to earn an automatic qualifying berth in Saturday’s semifinals set for 8:14 p.m. ET.

The top three finishers in each of Thursday’s four heats earned an automatic qualifying berth in the semifinals, along with the next four best times. Kemp and Ameer Webb were both clocked at 10.29 but Webb edged the former Bulldog by two-hundredth of a second, 10.281 to 10.283, to get the automatic qualifying slot.

The top four finishers in Friday’s two semifinal heats will move on to Saturday’s finals, with the top three earning a spot on the Team USA, which will compete at the World Championships Sep. 27-Oct. 6 in Doha, Qatar.

Making it to the semifinals was somewhat of a redemption for Kemp, who failed to advance out of the first round last season when he was edged out by a margin similar to his fourth-place finish on Thursday./p>

“Our goal in the first round was to make it through the round as easily as possible,” said Bulldog head Track Coach Tim Langford. “And, I’m pleased that both of our competitors are moving on. “The performances by Demek and Tyrell today were a great step towards our making the World Championship.

“As far as Demek, it shows that he’s learned from last year when he narrowly missed qualifying out of the first round. Now, we have to get both he and Tyrell ready for the next round (semifinals) which includes rest and recovery. “We’ve achieved the first step but the task is not finished.”