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Feb. 25, 2004

SEC Indoor Championships Schedule in PDF Format
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Complete SEC Indoor Championships Release in PDF Format
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South Carolina travels to Lexington, Ky., for the 2004 SEC Indoor Championships this weekend. The three-day meet begins Friday night with final events slated for late Sunday afternoon.

Last season, USC’s women placed second and the men third at Gainesville, Fla., as both the men’s and women’s 4x400m relay teams earned titles. This year, USC’s women will be aiming for their fourth consecutive 4x400m relay crown.

FOLLOWING THE MEET: For updated results, click on the SEC Indoor Championships results link on For more meet information visit Kentucky’s website at Fox Sports Net will broadcast the event on a tape-delayed basis. Check local listings for the date and time.

WOMEN TO WATCH: Lashinda Demus set a USC Indoor Facility record to win the 55m hurdles last weekend … Erica Whipple has won three of five 200m races this season and has two second-place finishes … Freshman Stephanie Smith posted a collegiate best and NCAA automatic qualifying time of 52.86 in her most recent 400m race.

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 on Feb. 14 in New York … Fred Townsend was SEC Athlete of the Week after setting a new USC Indoor Facility record in the 55m hurdles last weekend.


Freshman Ronnetta Alexander is ranked 12th nationally in the 60m hurdles.



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

Women – USC (14th); Lashinda Demus (4th in 400m); Stephanie Smith (6th in 400m); Chelsea Hammond (9th in pentathlon); 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., (5th in 200m); Fred Townsend (7th in heptathlon); Chris Steddum (12th in the pole vault); 4×400 relay (11th).

CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN: The 2004 Gamecock captains include Tony Allmond, 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.

MY OLD KENTUCKY HOME: With this weekend’s SEC Championships, USC is making its second trip to Lexington, Ky. The Gamecocks first trip to the Bluegrass State came on Jan. 16-17 for the Kentucky Invitational. USC has made multiple stops in two other cities during the indoor season with trips on consecutive weekends to Gainesville, Fla. (Jan. 25 and Feb. 1) and New York City (Feb. 6 and Feb. 13-14).

GAMECOCKS FROM THE GRIDIRON: Four members of USC’s football team are competing in track this spring. Troy Williamson, who led the Gamecocks in receiving last fall, earned his first win on the track at last weekend’s Gamecock Indoor Open, running a time of 6.32 to claim the 55m dash. Taqiy Muhammad, a defensive back for USC, placed third last Saturday in the 55m hurdles with a time of 7.50. Also making the transition from the gridiron to the track are defensive backs Jermaine Harris and Andrea Gause.

SEC CHAMPIONSHIP EXPERIENCE: Of the athletes currently competing for USC in 2004, four own SEC titles, including three with individual titles. Erica Whipple won the 200m dash at the 2003 outdoor championships en route to earning the Commissioner’s Trophy. Lashinda Demus won the 400m at the 2002 outdoor championships and has earned two additional titles in the 4×400 relay, including one at the 2003 indoor championships. Shevon Stoddart also owns two titles as part of 4×400 relay teams, including one at the 2002 indoor championships. On the men’s side, Chris Steddum was victorious in the 2001 pole vault competition at the outdoor championships.


Lashinda Demus set a USC facility record last weekend in the 55m hurdles.



RECORDS FALL AT GAMECOCK INDOOR: Two USC Indoor Facility records were rewritten at last weekend’s Gamecock Indoor Open in Columbia. Lashinda Demus won the women’s 55m hurdles final with a new venue record time of 7.65. In the men’s 55m hurdles final, Fred Townsend crossed the line first with a facility record time of 7.30.

TOWNSEND EARNS SEC WEEKLY AWARD: Fred Townsend was named Men’s Track Athlete of the Week by the SEC on Tuesday. His honor is the first weekly award claimed by a Gamecock this season. The senior from Baton Rouge, La., established a new USC Indoor Facility record at Saturday’s Gamecock Indoor Open by running a winning time of 7.39 seconds. Townsend’s time was an NCAA provisional qualifying mark, his best of the year and a Carolina season-best in the event. He had held the team’s best 55m hurdles time of 7.41, set on Jan. 25.

BEST IN THE SEC: USC owns the top women’s 4×400 relay time in the SEC this season. The time of 3:32.83 was recorded by Stephanie Smith, Shevon Stoddart, Tawana Watkins and Lashinda Demus on Feb. 14 at the Armory Collegiate Invitational in New York City.

ON THEIR WAY TO THE NCAA’S: During the indoor season, 11 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. Seven USC women own NCAA provisional qualifying marks including: Ronnetta Alexander (7.66 in the 55m H on 2/21); Khalilah Carpenter (6.93 in the 55m on 2/21 and 23.72 in the 200m on 2/14); Lashinda Demus (7.65 in the 55m H on 2/21); India Odum (52’1″ in the shot put on 1/25); Stephanie Smith (52.86 in the 400m on 2/14); Shevon Stoddart (53.25 in the 400m on 2/14); Erica Whipple (7.44 in the 60m on 1/17 and 23.40 in the 200m on 2/14). The duo of Fred Townsend (7.39 in the 55m H on 2/21) and Jonathan Fortenberry (47.13 in the 400m on 1/17) own provisional marks on the men’s side.

IN A NEW YORK MINUTE: USC athletes compiled three meet records on Feb. 14, day two of the 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.