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May 30, 2002

Baton Rouge, LA – South Carolina senior Tacita Bass finished third in the two-day heptathlon, scoring 5622 points. The women advanced another three athletes to the finals on Saturday, its 4x400m relay and had two athletes make the semi-finals tomorrow. The men advanced one athlete to the finals on Saturday and their 4x400m relay.

“We had an outstanding day. We are very pleased with the way we managed the meet today,” said USC Head Coach Curtis Frye. “We didn’t kill ourselves getting through to the finals. We are now set up for another good day tomorrow. Tacita Bass met expectations and came up big. I am pleased with our results so far as we have advanced all the ladies to the next round or the finals.”

Bass scored 5622 points and picked up All-American honors for the second straight year after finishing 11th in 2001 . Her second day totals included a jump of 19′ 8 in the long jump, a toss of 116′ 2 in the javelin and 2:16.29 in the 800m.

“It was tough out there at times, but I wanted to score as many points as I could,” said Bass, a native of Moblie, Alabama. “I wasn’t sure how to run the 800m. I didn’t want the woman from Iowa State to get too far in front of me. I am pleased and very happy with the finish.”

“Tacita is a fighter,” said multi event coach Dee Quarles. “Tacita put together a very good heptathlon.

Junior Antionette Wilks was sixth in the women’s long jump, hitting 20′ 9 3/4. She picks up her first All-American honors and makes the finals for the first time of her career. Wilks, the runner-up at the SEC Championships, will compete in the triple jump Saturday.

Senior Demetria Washington won her heat with a blistering 51.51 to advance to Saturday’s finals in the 400m. In the heat before freshman Lashinda Demus won heat heat with the day’s third best time at 51.78. The time was a personal best for Demus. Also advancing to the finals of the 400m was Lisa Barber who ran a personal best 52.01 to finish second in heat.

“I wanted to go out there and run a nice clean race, hoping my two teammates made it as well,” said Washington. “Having three in the finals, you know, that’s not half, but that three ladies in there from my school.”

“I felt really good the whole race, really relaxed,” said Demus, the SEC champion two weeks ago. “At the indoor NCAAs I didn’t qualify for the finals so it was important I focused a lot today.”

Sophomore Otis Harris was third in his heat of the 400m and advanced to the finals with a time of 45.65. Freshman Jon Fortenberry was ninth overall with a time of 45.67 – finishing third in his heat. He did not advance but the time was a personal best.

Junior Aleen Bailey advanced to the semi-finals of the 100m with a time of 10.42.

Freshman Tiffany Ross made the semi-finals of the 100m hurdles with a time of 13.37. She was third in her heat.

Senior Andre Totton was seventh in his heat and junior Corey Taylor was seventh in his heat of the 110m hurdles at xx. Neither advanced to the finals.

The men’s 4x400m relay, after a bobble with the hand-off from Otis Harris to Jon Fortenberry, fought back from last to finish third in their heat. Their time of 3:05.49 qualified for them for the finals on Saturday. The relay included James Law, Otikile Lekote, Harris and Fortenberry.

USC’s women’s 4x400m relay ran a time of 3:30.49 to make the finals. The team was made up of Shevon Stoddart, Tiffany Ross, Demetria Washington and Mechelle Lewis.

Women’s Finals
Tacita Bass – finishes third – 5622 points
2nd day totals
long jump – 19′ 8 – 3rd overall
javelin – 116′ 2
800m – 2:16.29

Long Jump
Antoinette Wilks – 6th – 20′ 9 3/4 – All-American – makes finals for the first time in her career

Women Prelims
100m hurdles
Tiffany Ross – 13.37 – third in heat — advances to semi-finals

Aleen Bailey – 11.42 – second in heat – advances to semifinals

Demetria Washington – 51.51 – won heat – advances to finals with top time
Lashinda Demus – 51.78 – won heat – advances to finals
Lisa Barber – 52.01 – 2nd in heat – advances to finals – personal best

4x400m relay
3:30.49 – made finals
Mechelle Lewis, Tiffany Ross, Demetria Washington, Shevon Stoddart

Men’s Prelims
110m hurdles
Corey Taylor – 14.41 – 7th in heat — does not advances

Otis Harris – 45.65 – 3rd in heat – advances to finals Jon Fortenberry – 45.67- 3rd in heat – no finals – 9th overall

4x400m relay
3:05.49 – third in heat – made finals
James Law, Otukile Lekote, Otis Harris and Jon Fortenberry