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Feb. 29, 2004

LEXINGTON, Ky. – USC’s women finished fifth and the men placed seventh at the final day of the SEC Indoor Championships at Nutter Fieldhouse on the University of Kentucky campus. The fifth-place finish by Carolina’s women marked the ninth consecutive year among the top-five at the SEC Indoor Championships. On Sunday, the Gamecocks collected nine top-five event finishes and 10 NCAA qualifying marks.

USC’s three-time defending champion women’s 4×400 relay team placed second as the SEC-leading quartet of Stephanie Smith, Shevon Stoddart, Tawana Watkins and Lashinda Demus posted a time of 3:29.53. The recorded time is a new USC record and was the second fastest time in the nation this season, trailing only LSU’s winning time of 3:29.45.

“We had a good meet and our kids fought hard and gave a good effort,” said head coach Curtis Frye. “Our women’s 4×400 relay had a great run with the second fastest time in the nation.”

Carolina posted a 3-5-8 finish in the women’s 400m, led by Demus, who set new school, SEC and venue records in the Saturday’s preliminaries. In Sunday’s final, Demus ran a time of 51.59 while Smith won her finals flight with a season-best time of 52.44 for fifth and Stoddart finished eighth at 53.54. Demus and Smith’s times were NCAA automatic qualifiers while Stoddart’s time was a provisional mark.

USC recorded a 3-6-9 finish in the women’s 200m, led by Erica Whipple’s season-best and NCAA Automatic time of 23.13. Khalilah Carpenter ran a season-best and automatic time of 23.35 for sixth and Smith posted a season-best and provisional time of 23.68.

Martin, Jr., ran a time of 20.85, an NCAA automatic qualifying time to finish third in the men’s 200m dash.

The women’s distance medley relay (Boikhutso Ramomene, Chikuita Martin, Shay Shelton, Tristan Rackow) finished fifth with a time of 11:45.21. USC’s men finished eighth in the DMR (Sean Leyh, Jason Jackamonis, Shawn Cunningham and Steve Mance) with a time of 10:08.93.

“Lashinda Demus had a great run for us and Khalilah Carpenter had a great meet,” added Frye. “Our freshmen Stephanie Smith and Ronnetta Alexander did very well in their first every SEC meet. On the men’s side, Rodney Martin did a great job and Chris Steddum came back with a real good performance in the pole vault.”

Complete results for the SEC Indoor Championships are available at and also linked through Fox Sports Net will air the meet on March 13 at a time to be determined.

Women’s Highlights

Cheryl Terrio recorded a personal-best to finish third in the pole vault, clearing 12’10”. The sophomore topped her previous best mark of 12’4″, set earlier this season in a win at Florida … Ronnetta Alexander registered an impressive performance to place fourth in the 60m hurdles as the freshman ran a season-best time of 8.24 … India Odum finished fifth in the shot put with an NCAA provisional mark of 51’10.5″ … Khalilah Carpenter recorded a season-best time of 7.35, an NCAA provisional time, to finish sixth in the 60m. She was followed by teammate Alexis Joyce, who also posted a season-best and provisional time, with a mark of 7.39 for seventh …Kemesha Whitmire finished in eighth place in the triple jump with a distance of 39’6.5″ … Jenny Lake placed ninth in the 5000m with a season-best time of 17:03.09.

Men’s Highlights

Chris Steddum finished sixth in the pole vault with a height of 16’10.75”Greig Cryer placed seventh in the triple jump with a mark of 49’10” … Tony Antonio finished eighth for the Gamecocks in the weight throw with a distance of 62’3.25″.