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May 15, 2002

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – South Carolina freshman Lashinda Demus was named the SEC INDOOR Female Freshman of the Year in the 2002 coaches’ awards voting, conducted by the league’s coaches. This award was announced today.

Demus had the league’s second-best time in the 400m and finished second at the SEC Championship in the same event. Demus also was a member of the winning SEC Champion 4x400m relay team. The Palmdale, Calif., native also finished 10th in the nation in the 400m. Demus was also a member of USC’s NCAA champion 4x400m relay which ran the third fastest collegiate time ever. The USC women’s team finished fourth indoors.

Tennessee hurdles/sprinter Justin Gatlin was awarded the SEC Male Indoor Track & Field Athlete of the Year, while Auburn long jumper Elva Goulbourne and LSU sprinter Muna Lee received the SEC Co-Female Athlete of the Year honors.

Tennessee mid-distance runner Marc Sylvester was named the male freshman of the year. Also, Tennessee men’s coach Bill Webb and Florida women’s coach Tom Jones were named SEC Men’s and Women’s Track Coaches of the Year, respectively.

Gatlin, a sophomore from Pensacola, Fla. and 2001 SEC Freshman of the Year, was the NCAA Indoor Champion this season in the 60 meters and 200 meters, leading the Volunteers to the school’s first-ever NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championship. He also won the Commissioner’s Trophy (leading individual scorer at the SEC Indoor Championships), earning 22 points with wins in the 60m and the 200m. He was the SEC Indoor Track Athlete of the week for Jan. 30.

Goulbourne, a junior from St. Catherine, Jamaica, was the NCAA Indoor Champion this season in the long jump and tied for 11th overall in the female individual scorers. As a team, Auburn placed in a tie for 11th overall at the NCAA Indoor Championship with 18 points – 10 of which came from Goulbourne. She also won SEC Indoor title in the long jump, leading Auburn to a fifth-place finish in the conference championship.

Lee had a standout year for LSU. The Kansas City, Mo. native won the NCAA individual scoring title by accounting for 17.5 points and leading LSU to the 2002 Indoor National Championship. Lee was the national champion in the 200m and placed third in the nation in the 60m. The sophomore All-American won two events at the SEC Championship (60m and the 200m), leading the Tigers to a third-place finish.

Sylvester had the league’s third-best time in the 800m and placed third at the SEC Indoor Track Championship in the event. He broke 600M indoor school record with a 1:18.12 in his second race as a Vol at the Kroger Invitational (Jan. 19) at Virginia Tech. Sylvester also helped the Vols to the national title by finishing second in the 800m to South Carolina’s Otukile Lekote who won his second straight NCAA title.

The 2002 SEC Men’s Indoor Coach of the Year honor for Webb is his second overall and first since 1996. Webb also received the 2001 SEC Outdoor Coach of the Year. The Volunteers won their first-ever Indoor National Championship to follow their 2001 Outdoor National Championship. UT also placed second at the conference championships this past season, being edged out by first-place Arkansas 137-130. Just recently, Webb led UT to the school’s conference-leading 24th SEC outdoor title.

Jones picks up his second SEC Women’s Indoor Coach of the Year honor. He previously won the award in 1997 and also won the SEC outdoor coach of the year award in 1997 and 1998. The Gators claimed their fourth SEC Indoor Track & Field Championship, outscoring second-place Arkansas, 147-139. The Gators closed the indoor season with a third-place finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships. In 1997, Jones was selected as the National Coach of the Year by the NCAA.