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June 13, 2003

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Aleen Bailey won the women’s 100m championship and USC set three school records on day three of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Sacramento State’s Hornet Stadium. Tony Allmond establish a new school mark in the long jump, Otis Harris ran a school-best time in 400m dash, and the women’s 4x100m relay team etched their name at the top of the school records.

After eight scored events, USC’s women’s team is in first-place with 27 points, eight ahead of Texas and Indiana. Overall, the Gamecocks have collected 12 All-American honors at the meet.

“This was an overall team effort tonight, including Aleen’s win,” said USC Head Coach Curtis Frye. “She has been working hard the last month. She has had great practices. She was able to do something for her teammates, that’s what she is all about, and that’s what I love the most about her.”

“It’s a long way to the finish (on being in first tonight). All we control is our destiny tomorrow. We have to fire on all cylinders tomorrow. Then just be happy and satisfied with the finish,” said Frye. “We are were we are right now due to a great coaching staff and wonderful support from our trainers, massage therapist – everyone involved with our program. All the coaches helped Aleen, Tony – the entire team get to this position. We are blessed.”

Bailey won her first NCAA crown with a time of 11.18, narrowly missing the school-record of 11.15 held by Erica Whipple. Coupled with her work on the 4×100 relay team, she now owns eight All-American honors. Whipple finished sixth in the event with a time of 11.42.

“I just did what Coach Frye told me to – just relax and tap, tap, tap and keep my legs under me,” said Bailey. “I came out a winner. The only person I was concentrating on was right next to me (LSU’s Muna Lee) and when I passed her I knew I won.”

Allmond shattered the school long jump record with a mark of 26’3.75″ on his way to a second-place finish and his first All-American honor. The previous standard was 25’7 by Rolando Adams in 1979.

“I came in seated No. 16 and to finish second is very good,” said Allmond. “I told Coach Frye I wanted to compete well for the team. I broke the school record yesterday, first in the preliminaries and that was cool. Today I had the lead for awhile and then the Auburn jumper finished it. I have confidence for next week (USAs) and this just helps me get ready for next year – I was to win.”

Harris placed second is his heat with a school-record time of 45.08 to advance to Saturday’s final of the 400m dash. The previous school mark was 45.28 set by Harris to win the SEC Championship. The reigning SEC and NCAA East Regional Champion had the third-best semifinal time and is chasing his first individual NCAA crown.

The Gamecocks narrowly missed out on defending their 4x100m relay championship but established a new school-record on the way to a second-place finish. The quartet of Tiffany Ross, Whipple, Alexis Joyce and Bailey ran a blistering time of 42.83, shattering the previous USC standard of 43.12 set by Bailey, Lisa Barber, Whipple and Demetria Washington, to win the 2002 NCAA Championship. LSU won the event with a time of 42.55, just 0.05 seconds shy of the NCAA and collegiate records.

“Alexis (Joyce) and I had a great exchange,” said Whipple. “Tiffany (Ross) and I had a great exchange. Everyone did their best and we ran great. I am kind of surprised we did not win with the time we ran but we did our best and we are very proud.”

“I thought it would take 42.50 to win the race and 42.55 won it,” said Frye. “We ran a school record and these young ladies worked very hard. Everyone counted us out. In the trials we ran 43.50 and everybody thought we were dead. We are not dead yet.”

Twenty-five minutes later, in her eighth race of the competition, Ross went on to a third-place finish in the 400m hurdles by running a time of 56.08 for her seventh All-American honor. The sophomore won both the SEC Championship and NCAA East Regional Championship this season and placed second in the intermediate hurdles at the 2002 NCAA Championships.

“I was so excited coming off the 4x100m relay – we almost won it. So the adrenaline was in my race. I came off the curve and started to feel fatigue,” said Ross. “I thank God I got third, it’s quite an accomplishment. I am disappointed in my time but it’s points for the team and I am happy about that.”

In addition, finishing 10th in the women’s long jump, Chelsea Hammond collected her first career All-American honors and Fred Townsend, finishing ninth in the decathlon Thursday night, was also named All-American.

Saturday is the final day of competition with event finals throughout the day. Complete NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship results can be found at