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Feb. 13, 2004


New York, N.Y. – A number of USC athletes advance to Saturday event finals, many recording season best marks, at day one of the New Balance Armory Collegiate Invitational. Lashimda Demus led the way by running an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 52.89, her best this season and Friday’s top preliminary mark, to lead three Gamecocks into the finals of the women’s 400m. Stephanie Smith recorded a time of 53.70 as the event’s third-fastest qualifier and Shevon Stoddart was the sixth-fastest qualifier at 55.29.

Rodney Martin Jr. paced the men’s 200m field with an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 21.07, equaling his season best. Erica Whipple advanced to the women’s 200m final with a provisional time of 23.58, also her season best.

“It was a good day for us with a lot of kids advancing to the finals,” said Head Coach Curtis Frye. “This meet is a great experience for us against great competition. It provides a good lead-in into the championship portion of our season.”

In the men’s long jump final USC recorded a 4-6-7 finish. Tony Allmond lead the way with a distance of 24’1.5″ followed by teammates Greig Cryer at 24’1.5” and Fred Townsend at 23’11”.

In the women’s long jump final Chelsea Hammond placed fourth with a season-best distance of 20’0.5”. Teammate Kemesha Whitmire followed her in fifth place with a mark of 19’9.75”.

Jenny Lake ran a season-best time of 17:06.26 to finish fifth in the women’s 5000m run.

USC recorded a pair of top-five finishes in the distance medley relay. The men placed second with a time of 10:12.17 while the women finished fifth at 12:04.21.

In the weight throw finals, Tony Antonio placed sixth with a season best mark of 62’11.5′. On the women’s side, freshman Precious Akins finished eighth with a season best mark of 48’11”.

In team scoring the Carolina men are in third place with 21 points behind Purdue, with 38 and LSU with 31. The women’s team is tied for fourth with Purdue at 18 points, trailing LSU and Duke each with 26 points and Columbia 23.