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May 18, 2003

Complete Results?|? Quotes?|? Notes

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – South Carolina won four individual titles on the final day of competition at the SEC Outdoor Championships. Otis Harris, in the 400m dash, and Kenneth Ferguson, in the 400m hurdles, turned in school-record performances en route to conference crowns. On the women’s side, Tiffany Ross claimed her second consecutive SEC title in the 400m hurdles and Erica Whipple earned the 200m championship as she earned the Commissioner’s Cup as the highest scoring female of the meet. Whipple became the second straight Gamecock female athlete to win the Commissioner’s Trophy as teammate Antoinette Wilks won the trophy last year. USC’s women placed fourth while the men finished in a tie for sixth place as the Gamecocks racked up 12 personal records and three school records over the weekend.

“Our kids are at a level where we expect to have a number of champions,” said head coach Curtis Frye. “We finished off the meet is a great way and are very happy about that. Both the men and women picked it up and took it to a different level despite the fact that we were fighting a number of injuries. They battled back and showed their resiliency.”

Harris notched his first conference title and established a school-record by running a time of 45.28 in the race to shatter the USC record that he twice set previously, 45.42 in 2002 and 45.37 earlier this season at Clemson.

“Winning a championship is all I have dreamed of since I came to the SEC,” said Harris. “It is a blessing from God. I knew I had to run a personal record to win and from my coach to my teammates and trainers, it is a whole team and family effort.”

Ferguson ran a school and personal record time of 48.79 in the 400m hurdles to earn his first SEC crown. The nation’s top-ranked 400m hurdler also went on to a second-place finish in the 110m hurdles with a personal-best and regional qualifying time of 13.53. It was also the third-fastest 110m hurdle time recorded in school history.

The Gamecocks swept the 400m hurdle events competition when Ross ran a time of 57.13 and cruised to her second consecutive SEC title. Teammate Shevon Stoddart placed fourth with a qualifying time of 58.53.

Erica Whipple set a personal record with a time of 22.82 to take the 200m championship. Teammate Aleen Bailey placed third with a time of 22.94.

Whipple obliterated USC’s 100m dash record when she ran a time of 11.15, besting her own school record of 11.25 set in Saturday’s preliminary round. Teammate Aleen Bailey ran a time of 11.24 to place third in the event.

In the relays, the men’s 4×400 team won a back and forth race with Auburn, posting a time of 3:04.66 to claim the SEC title. The women’s 4×100 team posted a regional qualifying time of 43.53 to finish second in the event while the 4×400 team placed third.

A pair of USC women placed fifth and sixth in 400m dash as Stoddart and Tawana Watkins reached personal best times. Watkins’ time of 55.02 was her personal best time while Stoddart equaled her personal best time and regional qualifying time of 53.54 set earlier in the weekend during preliminaries.

Otukile Lekote fell short in defense of his SEC 800m Championship and placed fourth with a time of 1:47.13.

Tony Antonio placed fifth in the men’s discus with a NCAA Regional qualifying throw of 169’2″, easily eclipsing his previous personal best mark of 161′. Teammate Adam Bishop finished 12th with a throw of 152’11”.

In other USC results from finals competition: Antoinette Wilks finished fifth in the women’s 100m hurdles with a time of 13.54 … Corey Taylor finished sixth with a regional qualifying time of 13.96 in the 110m hurdles and teammate Charles Ryan was seventh … William Emase placed sixth in the 1500m run by finishing with a time of 3:50.53 … India Odum placed sixth in the shot put with a mark of 50’4.5″ and teammate Mamee Groves finished 18th … Fred Townsend’s high jump of 6’7.5″ placed him seventh in the event … Cheryl Terrio posted the best pole vault height of any USC female this season and set a new personal-best by clearing 12 feet for a ninth-place finish.

Complete coach and athlete quotes, USC post-meet notes and SEC Outdoor Championship results can be found at The meet can be seen on television when Fox Sports Net airs its broadcast on May 31 and June 1.

USC returns to action on Friday, May 30 at the NCAA East Regional hosted by George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.

Final Men’s Team Scores: 1. Arkansas, 149; 2. Tennessee, 111.50; 3. Georgia, 89; 4. Auburn, 85; 5. Florida 84; t6. SOUTH CAROLINA, 75; t6. Louisiana State, 75; 8. Mississippi State, 69; 9. Alabama, 32.5; 10. Kentucky, 27; 11. Mississippi 16.

Final Women’s Team Scores: 1. Florida, 159; 2. Arkansas, 130; 3. Louisiana State, 110; 4. SOUTH CAROLINA, 86; 5. Auburn, 77; 6. Georgia, 66; 7. Tennessee, 55; 8. Kentucky, 49; 9. Alabama, 38; 10. Mississippi State 22; 11. Vanderbilt, 19; 12. Mississippi, 5.