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Feb. 14, 2003

COLUMBIA, S.C. – With their highest ranking of the season, the second-ranked South Carolina men’s track and field team, along with the sixth-ranked women’s team, travel to New York City for the prestigious Meet of Champions this weekend.

This is the highest ranking of the season for the men. In the second week of the season, they were ranked third in the nation. Leading the men this weekend will be Otukile Lekote in the 800m run. Lekote has yet to lose an 800m race this season and looks to maintain that streak in New York. Also leading the men will be vaulter Chris Steddum, who set a school record in the pole vault last week with a NCAA provisional qualifying mark of 17’9.25″.

The women will be led by Lashinda Demus and Demetria Washington, both of whom have automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships in the 400m dash. Nicole Kendrick also will lead the women after an impressive provisional qualifying mark of 53’3″ last weekend in the shot put .

The Gamecocks will also send a few select distance runners to the Virginia Tech Open Saturday in Blacksburg, Va.

Next weekend South Carolina hosts the annual USC Invitational at the Indoor Facility in Columbia.