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May 11, 2002

Starkville, MS – In the third day of the SEC Outdoor Track and Field Championships, South Carolina had a runner-up in the men’s pole vault and the women’s long jump. USC advanced 10 in five events for tomorrow’s finals with Otis Harris breaking the school record in the 400m semi-finals. All told, USC will have 18 athletes in eight finals tomorrow.

South Carolina sophomore Chris Steddum, the defending champion, finished as the runner-up today in the pole vault. Steddum vaulted 17′ 7 to finish as the runner-up. His best of the year, 17′ 9, has already qualified him for the NCAA Championships.

“He just couldn’t get up the pole at 17′ 11 after having to make three jumps at 17′ 7,” said USC pole vault coach Kevin Brown. “But he and Jared made a good effort today.”

Antoinette Wilks hit 21’3 – a seasonal personal best and an NCAA automatic mark to finish as the conference runner-up in the long jump. Wilks, who finished third in the heptathlon yesterday, made her best jump of the day her last.

“I felt the rhythm today. Coach Dee told me to get past my point and I gradually got faster,” said Wilks, a Palm Beach, FL native. “In the past there were times when I felt like I didn’t know where I was on the board. I didn’t feel organized. But today it all came together. A lot of that had to do with Tacita Bass giving me encouragement all the way.”

Freshman Keri Groover was fifth in the women’s discus with a lifetime best throw of 168′ 7.

Sophomore Otis Harris set a school record in the 400m to win his heat with an NCAA provisional time of 45.42. Freshman Jon Fortenberry was second in his heat but qualified for the finals with a personal best and NCAA provisional mark of 46.05.

USC put two women in the finals of the 400m, with freshman Lashinda Demus grabbing the top spot of the day with a 52.18 – a personal best. Teammate Demetria Washington ran a 52.27 to advance in the second position.

In the men’s hurdles, junior Corey Taylor advanced to the finals with the third best time of the day at 13.90. On the women’s side, in the 100m hurdles, Tiffany Ross advanced to the finals with the second fastest time of the day at 13.30 – a personal best. Another freshman, Shevon Stoddart ran a 13.80 to also advance to the finals.

In the women’s 100m, Lisa Barber advanced with the second fastest time of the day at 11.32. Teammate Aleen Bailey also won her heat to advance at 11.44. Freshman Erica Whipple also advanced to the finals with a time of 11.63.

USC Women’s Results

Discus – Finals
Keri Groover – 168′ 7 – 5th place
India Odum – 142′ 10 – 14th place
Mamee Grovers – 125′ 6 – 19th place

Long Jump – Finals
Antoinette Wilks – 21′ 3 1/4 – 2nd place – All-SEC – seasonal best
Tacita Bass – 19′ 4 3/4 – 12th place
Rhashida Abdul-Malik – 19′ 2 1/2 – 14th place
Chelsea Hammond – 18′ 10 1/2 – 16th place

Aleen Bailey – 11.44 – won heat – advanced to finals
Lisa Barber – 11.35 – won heat – 2nd fastest time of the day
Erica Whipple – 11.63 – advanced to finals
Khalilah Carpenter – 11.71 – finished 13th
Alexis Joyce – 11.96 – 18th
Kelli Walker – 12.55 – 27th

Lashinda Demus – 52.18 – NCAA automatic – won heat – fastest time of the day
Demetria Washington – 52.27 – NCAA automatic – won heat – 2nd fastest time

100m hurdles
Tiffany Ross – 13.30 – NCAA automatic – 2nd fastest time of the day
Shevon Stoddart – 13.80 – qualified for finals
Antoinette Wilks – 14.01 – 11th – did not advance

Jennifer Lake – 4:41.92 – 14th overall

USC Men’s Results

Pole Vault – Finals
Chris Steddum – 2nd place – 17′ 7
Jared Farabee – 10th place – 16′ 4

110m hurdles
Corey Taylor – 13.90 – advanced with 3rd best – won heat

Duan Barrino – 10.60 – 13th
James Law – 10.60 – 14th
Andre Totton – 10.67 – 17th
Martin Jackson – 10.72 – 19th
Shamus Singletary – 10.76 – 21st

Otis Harris – 45.42 – school record – NCAA provisional – won heat – advanced
Jon Fortenberry – 46.05 – NCAA provisional – advanced
Thomas Lewis – 48.07 – 16th overall
Gerald Pressley – 48.31 – 19th overall