March 29, 2003
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – South Carolina continued to rewrite the record book Saturday as the Gamecocks won four, qualified six for the NCAA Championships, and set two Florida Relays and Percy Beard Track Facility records. Throughout the four day meet, South Carolina recorded 13 first-place finishes, 40 top-10 finishes and qualified 19 for the NCAA Regional Championships. Moreover, the Garnet and Black set three Percy Beard Track records and three Florida Relays records throughout the weekend. Carolina will next compete at the SEC Five-Way at the Weems Baskin Track Facility in Columbia, S.C. on April 5, hosting Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt.
South Carolina swept all of the relays the Gamecocks competed win. USC was the top collegiate finisher in the men’s and women’s 4x100m, 4x200m, and 4x400m relays, as well as taking the women’s Distance Medley Relay.
“It’s been a great weekend,” said Carolina Head Coach Curtis Frye. “Our kids came here and had a lot of fun. We’re still preparing for next weeks big showdown at home and I’m just real proud of them. Our “B” teams ran well today, our long jumpers and triple jumpers both ran well today. We’re ready for a big meet next weekend at home. Corey Taylor is the only athlete that has an injury and if we can get him healthy, we’re going to have a great meet at home against Tennessee and Florida.”
The Carolina women’s 4x100m relay team set a new Florida Relays and Percy Beard Track Record with a time of 43.49. The Percy Beard Track record was previously held by Louisiana State (43.51, 1998) while the Florida Relays record was previously held by Clemson (43.91, 1998). The time, recorded by Erica Whipple, Miki Barber, Alexis Joyce, and Aleen Bailey qualified Carolina for the NCAA Regional Championships and topped their season best mark of 44.23.
The men’s 4x100m relay team, with Shamus Singletary, Thomas Lewis, Duan Barrino, and Martin Jackson, finished third overall and was the top collegiate finisher as they qualified for the NCAA Championships with a time of 39.89.
In the women’s 4x400m relay, South Carolina, lead by Tiffany Ross, Lashinda Demus, Shevon Stoddart, and anchored by 16-time All-American Barber, the Gamecocks easily took the event in which they hold the collegiate record, winning with a time of 3:28.93. That time shatters their previous season best of 3:43.99, set last week at the Weems Baskin Relays.
In the men’s 4x400m relay, the foursome of Otis Harris, Otukile Lekote, Jonathan Fortenberry, and Kenneth Ferguson ran a qualifying mark of 3:03.99 to win the race.
The women’s distance medley relay continued the Gamecocks’ dominance as they took the DMR race with a time of 11:41.44. The team of Boikhutso Ramomene, Shevon Stoddart, Tawana Watkins, and Jenny Lake won the race by an easy two seconds.
In the women’s shuttle hurdle, South Carolina finished second with a time of 54.18. The group of Stoddart, Lashinda Demus, Antoinette Wilks, and Tiffany Ross recorded a new track and relays record, which then fell to Miami, who won the event with a time of 53.87.
The men’s shuttle hurdle placed third, behind SEC rivals Florida (54.78) and Tennessee (55.53). The group of Kenneth Ferguson, Fred Townsend, Charles Ryan, and Jared Farabee finished with a time of 56.79.
In the invitational women’s long jump, Kemesha Whitmire recorded a qualifying mark of 19′ 6.75″ as she placed fourth. Rashida Abdul-Malik recorded a mark of 17′ 0.5″ to place 16th.
Carolina next competes at the SEC Five-Way in Columbia, S.C. on April 5. “That is going to be a great meet,” said Frye. “You can never underestimate the Southeastern Conference. Tennessee and Florida are going to be ready next weekend, but so will we.”