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Aug. 21, 2003

A contingent of seven female athletes with USC ties will begin the pursuit of a world title at the 2003 IAAF World Track and Field Championships, beginning August 23 in Paris, France.

The field of 400m competition is heavily represented by garnet and black as three former Gamecocks will vie for the finals.

Demetria Washington, a 22-time All-American at South Carolina, will be running for Team USA along with former Gamecock teammate Lisa Barber, a 15-time All-American at USC. Washington enters competition ranked No. 11 in the world while Barber is listed at No. 38. The duo will also run on Team USA’s 4×400 team.

In July, Washington was victorious in the 400m at the Norwich Union Classic in Great Britain, part of the IAAF Golden League presented by Finish Line. The previous month, she placed second at the U.S. Championships in Palo Alto, Calif., by running a time of 51.54 to advance to her second World Championships.

“I am happy to have advanced to the Worlds and it means a lot to me,” said Washington. “My goal in Paris is to make the final against the great competition that will race there.”

Washington is familiar to International competition as her resume includes two gold medals at the 2001 World University Games and an appearance in the semifinals of the 2001 World Championships. The Fayetteville, N.C., native, was a seven-time NCAA Champion while at USC.

“Demetria is running very well,” said USC head coach Curtis Frye. “Hopefully she can reach the finals in the 400 and bring home a medal in the 4×400. If she has a good round in the relay, she may be the team’s anchor on the final day.”


Demetria Washington, a 22-time All-American at USC, is one of three former Gamecocks scheduled to compete in 400m.



Barber, a two-time NCAA Champion at Carolina, placed fifth in June’s U.S. Championships with a time of 52.04.

Also running in the 400m is Tonique Williams of the Bahamas. The two-time All-American at USC enters competition ranked No. 8 in the world, the highest of any former Carolina female.

Aleen Bailey, who capped her senior season by completing a sweep of the NCAA’s 100m and 200m Championships, will run for her native Jamaica, where she won the national 100m championship this summer. The nine-time All-American at USC is running well and enters the week with a pair of top-25 world rankings, No. 18 in the 200m and No. 23 in the 100m. Bailey earned three national championships during her two-year career with the Gamecocks after a successful junior college career where she was a seven-time All-American.

The hammer throw is the field event with the most USC representation as a trio of former Gamecocks are among the competitors.

Dawn Ellerbe of Team USA, coached by current Carolina assistant Mike Sergent, headlines the trio with a No. 16 world ranking. Presently a volunteer assistant coach at USC, Ellerbe placed third at both the USA Indoor and Indoor Championships in 2003. During collegiate competition, Ellerbe won four NCAA titles and was a six-time All-American. She also owns six U.S. Outdoor titles and five U.S. Indoor crowns. Ellerbe placed seventh at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

An additional pair of former USC athletes will be competing in the hammer throw for other nations. Lisa Misipeka, an 11-time All-American for Carolina, is ranked No. 21 in the world and will represent American Samoa while Michelle Fournier, a three-time All-America for the Gamecocks, competes for Canada.

“Competition at the World Championships will be great preparation for the 2004 Olympics,” said Frye. “Carolina will be well represented in what will be a great lead in for next year.”

The World Championships in Paris begin Saturday, Aug. 23 and continue through Sunday, Aug. 31. Daily event schedules, results and other information is available online at Events from the final six days of competition will be televised by ESPN2 and ABC, who broadcasts the final day only. Highlights of the first three days will be included in the first show aired.

IAAF World Track and Field Championships Television Schedule:

Tuesday, Aug. 26,   ESPN2,      2-4 p.m. ET
Wednesday, Aug. 27, ESPN2, 2:30-4:30 p.m. ET
Thursday, Aug. 28, ESPN2, 2:30-4:30 p.m. ET
Friday, Aug. 29, ESPN2, 2:30-4:30 p.m. ET
Saturday, Aug. 30, ESPN2, 4:30-6:30 p.m. ET
Sunday, Aug. 31, ABC, 12:30-4 p.m. ET