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June 9, 2003

NCAA Outdoor Championship Notes in PDF Format
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NCAA Outdoor Championship Schedule in PDF Format
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South Carolina’s track teams head to Sacramento, Calif., for the 2003 NCAA Outdoor Championships at Hornet Stadium on the campus of Sacramento State University. Competition begins Wednesday, June 11 and continues through Saturday, June 14.

USC is looking to defend the women’s championship it earned in 2002 while the men’s team tries to improve on its sixth-place finish of a year ago, the best in school history. Otukile Lekote aims for his third consecutive National Championship in the 800m run while Aleen Bailey and Erica Whipple return to defend the women’s 4×100 title. Tiffany Ross and Shevon Stoddart were part of the 4×400 relay champion team in 2002 and look toward a repeat. On the men’s side, Lekote, Jonathan Fortenberry and Otis Harris return to defend USC’s 4×400 relay title. Last season, the Gamecocks totaled 20 women’s All-Americans and 12 men’s All-Americans.

“We are going in as a dark horse, not as a favorite,” said head coach Curtis Frye. “Right now LSU and Texas are the powers of the NCAA on the women’s side. On the men’s side, there’s Arkansas, Auburn, Stanford, and even Florida, after they won our region, they indicated that they will be a team that has a chance. The Southeastern Conference will be very strong at the NCAA Championships. We will represent South Carolina well. We have some kids that can win championships and when you get some wins, you find yourself in the position to get a top five or at least a top 10 finish.”

Tiffany Ross stole the show for South Carolina on the final day of competition at the NCAA East Regional on the campus of George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. The sophomore collected four regional titles, including individual crowns in the 100m hurdles and 400m hurdles. She also was a key contributor on USC’s 4×100 and 4×400 relay champion teams.

Otis Harris triumphed in the 400m dash and Aleen Bailey won the 100m dash, narrowly missing out on a career-best time, to capture USC’s other individual championships.

The Gamecocks qualified eight individual athletes for the NCAA Championships during the regional meet. Also reaching the NCAA Championships were the women’s 4×100 and 4×400 relay teams and the men’s 4×400 relay team. Four USC athletes posted career best marks at the East Regional, including Corey Taylor’s time of 13.70 in the 110m hurdles, advancing him to the NCAA Championships. Five additional Carolina athletes set season-best marks during the weekend.

“All the preparation for the NCAA Championships has occurred,” said Frye. “What we are doing right now is restoration – trying to recover from this past weekend [at the NCAA Regionals] and trying to heal some athletes. We have a lot of sore, beat up people after some hard work at the Regionals. Hopefully we can get our training staff to get them recovered. It is difficult, but it is difficult for everybody that ran this past weekend.”

SOUTH CAROLINA’S 2003 NCAA OUTDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS QUALIFIERS: Men – Tony Allmond (Long Jump), Kenneth Ferguson (110m Hurdles, 400m Hurdles), Jonathan Fortenberry (400m Dash, 4×400 Relay), *Otis Harris (*400m Dash, 4×400 Relay), Otukile Lekote (800m Run, 4×400 Relay), Thomas Lewis (4×400 Relay), Charles Ryan (110m Hurdles), Corey Taylor (110m Hurdles), Fred Townsend (Decathlon); Women – *Aleen Bailey (*100m Dash, 200m Dash, *4×100 Relay, 4×400 Relay), Miki Barber (400m Dash), Chelsea Hammond (High Jump, Long Jump), *Alexis Joyce (4×100 Relay), *Tiffany Ross (*100m Hurdles, *400m Hurdles, *4×100 Relay, *4×400 Relay), *Shevon Stoddart (*4×400 Relay, 400m Dash, 400m Hurdles), *Tawana Watkins (*4×400 Relay), *Erica Whipple (100m Dash, 200m Dash, *4×100 Relay), Antoinette Wilks (Heptathlon, Long Jump, 100m Hurdles).
* indicates 2003 NCAA East Regional Champion

FOLLOWING THE 2003 NCAA TRACK & FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS: On the Internet: Complete schedules, live event results and other information on the 2003 NCAA Oudoor Track & Field Championships can be found at the NCAA website,, or through Sacramento State’s athletics website,; On Television: CBS will air coverage of the 2003 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships on a tape delayed basis. The broadcast is scheduled to air on Saturday, June 21 at 3 p.m. ET. The network will also air CBS Sports Presents: Championships of the NCAA, a show highlighting the spring championships. Broadcast is scheduled for Sunday, June 29 at 3 p.m. ET.