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Feb. 20, 2004

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Complete Gamecock Indoor Open Schedule in PDF Format
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In its final tune-up before the SEC Championships, South Carolina returns to Columbia to host its lone home meet of the indoor season. Saturday’s Gamecock Indoor Open begins with field events at 9:30 a.m. and track events at 1 p.m. at the USC Indoor Complex.

WOMEN TO WATCH: Erica Whipple has won three of five 200m races this season and has two second-place finishes … Lashinda Demus is coming off two meet records last Saturday and has two 400m wins with one second-place finish … Freshman Stephanie Smith posted a collegiate best and NCAA automatic qualifying time of 52.86 in the 400m her last time out.

MEN TO WATCH: Rodney Martin Jr., has three victories and one second-place finish in the 200m this season and set a meet and venue record with an automatic time of 20.84 last Saturday … Fred Townsend placed third in the 60m hurdles and seventh in the long jump last weekend.

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

Women – USC (15th); Lashinda Demus (4th in 400m); Stephanie Smith (6th in 400m); Chelsea Hammond (8th in pentathlon and 12th in long jump); Erica Whipple (9th in 200m); Ronnetta Alexander (12th in 60m hurdles); Shevon Stoddart (12th in 400m); 4×400 relay (2nd).

Men – USC (23rd); Tony Allmond (5th in long jump); Rodney Martin, Jr., (6th in 200m); Fred Townsend (7th in heptathlon); 4×400 relay (11th).

IN A NEW YORK MINUTE: USC athletes compiled three meet records on day two of last weekend’s Armory Collegiate Invitational in New York City. Rodney Martin, Jr. equaled a meet and venue record to win the 200m with a time of 20.84. Later in the day, Lashinda Demus eclipsed the meet record in the 400m with a second-place time of 52.22. Demus also etched her name in the meet’s record book as part of USC’s 4×400 relay team, along with Stephanie Smith, Shevon Stoddart and Tawana Watkins, that posted a record-breaking time of 3:32.83 to win the event.

SECOND DAY SUCCESS IN NYC: The Gamecocks posted nine NCAA qualifying marks, including six automatic times and three victories on day two of the Armory Collegiate Invitational in New York. USC’s women finished second in the meet to LSU and were buoyed by wins in the 4x400m relay and in the shot put by India Odum. Carolina’s women qualifiers were led by a trio in the 400m as Lashinda Demus placed second with a automatic time of 52.22, Stephanie Smith finished third with an automatic time of 52.86 and Shevon Stoddart was fifth with a provisional time of 53.25. Also posting NCAA qualifying marks were Erica Whipple (automatic of 23.40 in the 200m), Khalilah Carpenter (provisional of 23.72 in the 200m) and Ronnetta Alexander (provisional of 8.35 in the 60m hurdles). The women’s 4×400 relay team also posted an automatic time of 3:32.83 for a victory while the men’s team ran an automatic time of 3:09.15 for second place. Individually for the men, Rodney Martin Jr., posted an automatic qualifying time of 20.84 to win the 200m.

ON THEIR WAY TO THE NCAA’S: Through four meets in 2004, eight Gamecocks have posted NCAA qualifying marks, including four automatic berths. All four automatic times came on the same day, Feb. 14 at the Armory Collegiate Invitational. Rodney Martin, Jr., posted a 20.84 in the 200m while Lashinda Demus ran a 52.22 in the 400m, Stephanie Smith posted a 52.86 in the 400m, and Erica Whipple ran a 23.40 in the 200m.

In addition, the Carolina women’s 4×400 relay recorded an automatic time of 3:32.83 on Feb. 14 while the men posted an automatic time of. 3:09.15 on the same day.

Five USC women own NCAA provisional qualifying marks including: Stephanie Smith (52.86 in the 400m on 2/14); Shevon Stoddart (53.25 in the 400m on 2/14); Ronnetta Alexander (7.75 in the 55m H on 1/25); Erica Whipple (7.44 in the 60m on 1/17 and 23.40 in the 200m on 2/14); Khalilah Carpenter (23.72 in the 60m on 2/14); 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.

CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN: The 2004 Gamecock captains include Tony Allomond, Adam Bishop, Otis Harris, Chris Steddum and Fred Townsend for the men. Women’s captains are Rhashida Abdul-Malik, Jenny Lake, India Odum, Shevon Stoddart and Erica Whipple.

USC IS HOME TO CHAMPIONS: Under the guidance of head coach Curtis Frye, South Carolina’s track and field program has solidified itself among the top programs in the nation.

In 2003, the Gamecock Track and Field program produced 41 All-Americans, 15 SEC Champions and three NCAA Champions. At the NCAA’s, the women’s team finished second indoors and third outdoors, becoming one of only three schools to have placed among the top-10 outdoors in each of the last eight seasons.

Over the past two seasons, USC has totaled 91 All-Americans, 33 SEC Champions, 21 NCAA Champions and won a Women’s Outdoor National Championship.