June 20, 2003
PALO ALTO, Calif. – Dawn Ellerbe became the first athlete with USC ties to qualify for the 2003 World Championships and a trio of hurdlers affiliated with the Carolina program advanced at day two of the U.S. Track Championships.
Ellerbe, a USC alumnus and current volunteer assistant coach, became the first athlete with Carolina ties to reach qualify for the World Championships this August in Paris by placing third in the hammer throw at the USATF Championships. The 2002 champion finished with a mark of 66.76m/219’0″.
“Reaching the World Championships for the third time is an incredible feat,” head coach Curtis Frye said of Ellerbe’s achievement. “It is the best performance for a Carolina graduate. She is a great example for our athletes to follow and see what it takes to be successful.”
USC’s Corey Taylor ran a personal best time of 13.70 to move into the men’s 110m hurdles semifinals. He will be joined by a pair of Gamecock volunteer assistant coaches in Terrence Trammell, a USC alumnus, and Allen Johnson. Trammell (13.43) and Johnson (13.38) each placed second in their heats to advance. Carolina’s Charles Ryan did not finish his race because of a hamstring injury.
“I did not think I ran as fast as I did,” said Taylor. “I feel good about my time and it was a lifetime best. Now I move on to the semifinals and hopefully I can do it again.”
Tiffany Ross placed fifth in her 400m hurdles semifinal heat while teammate Shevon Stoddart was sixth in her heat. Neither athlete advanced to the event final.
Erica Whipple finished sixth in her 100m dash semifinal and did not advance to the event final.
“Our athletes have had an excellent competition,” said Frye. “We had some kids that did not reach the finals, but gained experience that will pay off for them next year. Tiffany Ross had a tremendous year and is one of the nation’s best hurdlers, but she ran out of gas because she had to run in too many races over the past two meets.”
USC’s Otis Harris did not compete in Thursday’s 400m dash preliminary round after suffering an injury earlier in the week.
“Otis injured himself warming up for the meet,” said Frye. “We wanted him to go out on a good note (from the NCAA Championships) and I am proud of what he has done. He is the fastest 400m runner I have ever coached.”
The U.S. Championships continue through Sunday in Palo Alto with NBC televising events live on Saturday from 4-6 p.m. EDT. Complete USATF Championship schedules and results can be found at www.usatf.org.