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Jan. 30, 2004

Weekly Release in PDF Format
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Gator Invitational Schedule in PDF Format
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South Carolina’s track and field teams travel to Gainesville for their second consecutive Sunday meet at Florida. This week’s Gator Invitational begins at 10:30 a.m. at the O’Connell Center and involves 14 schools, including three other SEC foes, Auburn, Georgia and host UF. Results will be updated periodically throughout the day on Florida’s website,

WOMEN TO WATCH: Erica Whipple has won two of three 200m races this season and finished second in the other … Freshman Stephanie Smith has finished second or better in the 400m all season, including one victory … Ronnetta Alexander has finished no lower than second in the 60m hurdles, including one win … Lashinda Demus won the 400m at last weekend’s SEC Invitational, her first race for USC this season.

MEN TO WATCH: Rodney Martin, Jr., has two wins and a second-place finish in the 200m … Tony Allmond has recorded consecutive runner-up finishes in the long jump.

RANK AND FILE: This week’s Trackwire team poll and “Dandy Dozen” individual rankings list the following Gamecocks:

Women – USC (14th); Lashinda Demus (3rd in 400m); Erica Whipple (5th in 200m, 12th in 60); Stephanie Smith (7th in 400m); Ronnetta Alexander (7th in 60m hurdles); 4×400 relay (6th).

Men – Tony Allmond (5th in long jump); Rodney Martin, Jr., (6th in 200m); Otis Harris (8th in 400m); Fred Townsend (9th in heptathlon); 4×400 relay (10th).

WHERE IN THE WORLD?: A bevy of athletes with USC ties are listed among the IAAF’s Jan. 26 world rankings. Among the current and former Gamecocks and volunteer assistant coaches listed are:

Women – Tonique Williams (5th in 400m); Melissa Morrison (6th in the 100m H); Aleen Bailey (10th in 100m and 23rd in the 200m); Demetria Washington (11th in the 400m); Dawn Ellerbe (19th in the hammer); Lisa Misipeka (23rd in the hammer); Tiffany Ross (38th in the 400m H); Erica Whipple (38th in the 200m); Lisa Barber (39th in the 400m); Lashinda Demus (40th in the 400m H).

GETTING TO KNOW GAINESVILLE: South Carolina’s track and field teams might call Gainesville, Fla., its “home away from home” in 2004. The Gamecocks are competing in their second of two indoor meets at the University of Florida. On consecutive weekends, USC participated in the SEC Invitational and return this Sunday for the Gator Invitational. In addition, USC will return twice during the outdoor season, for the Florida Relays on March 26-27 and the NCAA East Regional on May 28-29.

TOPS IN THE SEC: USC’s women’s 4×400 relay team recorded a league-best time of 3:36.46 at the Kentucky Invitational on Jan. 16.

ON THEIR WAY: Through three meets in 2004, eight Gamecocks have posted NCAA qualifying marks, including one automatic berth. Leading the way is Rodney Martin, Jr., who ran an NCAA automatic time of 21.07 to win the 200m on Jan. 25 at the SEC Invitational.

Six USC women own NCAA provisional qualifying marks including: Lashinda Demus (53.49 in the 400m on 1/25); Stephanie Smith (53.60 in the 400m on 1/17); Shevon Stoddart (53.93 in the 400m on 1/17); Ronnetta Alexander (7.75 in the 55m H on 1/25); Erica Whipple (7.44 in the 200m on 1/17 and 23.84 in the 200m on 1/25); India Odum (52’1″ in the shot put on 1/25). Jonathan Fortenberry (47.13 in the 400m on 1/17) owns a provisional mark on the men’s side.

In addition, the Carolina women’s 4×400 relay recorded a provisional time of 3:36.46 on 1/16.