April 24, 2003
PHILADELPHIA, Penn. – Top-ranked 400m hurdler Lashinda Demus proved worthy of her world ranking by winning the event at the Penn Relays. The sophomore ran a NCAA qualifying time of 56.90 to capture the title Thursday morning at Franklin Field.
“This was not my best time, but with the cold I was happy with it,” said Demus. “I did not run that well but was able to get through the event healthy.”
Teammate Tiffany Ross, ranked third in the nation, ran a season-best qualifying time of 57.72 to finish third in the race while teammates Shevon Stoddart and Tawana Watkins also posted qualifying times. Stoddart ran a 59.97 for an 11th-place finish and Watkins finished with a time of 1:00.80 to finish 20th.
Head coach Curtis Frye is wearing the “yellow hat” this weekend, a prestigious honor for serving as the honorary college women’s referee. He is one of only five honorary referees at the Penn Relays. “The yellow hat is representative of the meet referee, the person who overturns or upholds officials’ rulings,” said Frye. “For college coaches, it’s an honorary award. It goes to the coach who has the most wins who hasn’t been awarded the honor before. In 100 years, only 100 other people have been given such an honor and I am proud to have been selected.”
USC’s 4×400 women’s relay team, ranked second in the nation, won its heat with a qualifying time of 3:35.69, the second-best preliminary, just 0.47 seconds off the pace set by Texas. Carolina’s 4×100 women’s relay team, also ranked second, won its heat with a qualifying time of 45.09.
Chelsea Hammond won the women’s long jump with a season-best qualifying mark of 20’10.75. Teammate Kemesha Whitmire placed fifth in the event with a jump of 20’01.75.
Keri Groover finished second in the discus throw with a season-best and NCAA qualifying mark of 159’05. Antoinette Wilks placed third in the long jump with a qualifying mark of 21’03.75 while India Odum finished eighth in the shot put with a qualifying throw of 46’11.
Jenny Lake capped USC’s entries on Thursday placing 26th in the 5,000m run with a time of 17:01.41, a personal best mark.
Action at the Penn Relays continues Friday morning. Check www.thepennrelays.com for live updates and an updated schedule of events.
USC Results at Thursday’s Penn Relays Competition
Women's 400m Hurdles: 1. Demus (56.90), 3. Ross (57.72), 11. Stoddart (59.97), 20. Watkins (1:00.80)Women's 4x400 Relay Heat: 1. USC (3:35.69) [Stoddart, Ross, Watkins, Demus]Women's 4x100 Relay Heat: 1. USC (45.09) [Whipple, Carpenter, Joyce, Bailey]Women's Discus Throw: 2. Groover (159'05)Women's Long Jump: 3. Wilks (21'03.75), 5. Whitmire (20' 1.75)Women's Shot Put: 8. Odum (46'11.00)Women's 5,000m Run: 26. Lake (17:01.41)