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June 14, 2003

South Carolina enters Saturday, the final day of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Sacramento, with its women’s team in first-place and poised for a chance to repeat as national champions. The Carolina women brought the school its first NCAA team title in 2002.

USC’s women enter the day pacing the field with 27 points, eight ahead of Texas and Indiana. The Gamecocks men’s team has scored eight points and is tied for 16th-place, but in striking distance of the top ten, just 6.5 points away from the 10th position.

“It is still a long way to the finish of the meet,” said head coach Curtis Frye. “All we control is our destiny on Saturday and we have to fire on all cylinders, then just be happy and satisfied with the finish.”

Both of USC’s 4x400m relay teams look to repeat the titles they won in 2002. The women’s team will race for their second consecutive crown at 9:20 p.m. PDT while the men try to do the same in the final race of the meet at 9:30 p.m. PDT.

The women’s 4x400m relay, the defending champions who set the collegiate record at this meet last year, finished second in their heat of the prelims to advance to the finals at 3:33.14 – posting the fifth fastest time. The team was made up of Shevon Stoddart (54.9 split), Tiffany Ross (52.3), Twanya Watkins (52.8) and Miki Barber (52.3).

The men’s 4x400m relay was third in their heat, crossing the finish line at 3:04.94, advancing to the finals. The team was made-up of Adrian Durant, Kenneth Ferguson, Otukile Lekote and Otis Harris.

The Gamecocks have four athletes chasing individual championships in three events.

Ross races for the 100m hurdles title at 7 p.m. PDT. The sophomore ran a time of 13.21 in the semifinals, good for fourth in her heat, and finished third on Friday in the 400m hurdles final.

Otis Harris, coming off a school-record setting performance in the men’s 400m dash semifinals on Friday, competes in the event’s final at 7:30 p.m. PDT. His semifinal time of 45.08 bested his own USC record of 45.28, set when he won the SEC Championship in May.

At 8 p.m. PDT, the duo of Aleen Bailey and Erica Whipple compete for the women’s 200m dash championship. Bailey, who won her first individual title on Friday in the 100m dash, finished first in her 200m semifinal heat with a time of 22.89. Whipple, who placed sixth in the 100m dash final, advanced to the 200m final with a time of 22.95 in the semis.

A complete schedule and live results from the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship can be found at