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March 1, 2004

Several athletes with USC ties posted strong showings at the USA Indoor Track and Field Championships this weekend in Boston. Volunteer assistant coach Allen Johnson and former Gamecock Jimmie Hackley led the way with event victories. Johnson and Hackley will be joined by former Carolina standout Demetria Washington and USC signee Natasha Hastings on Team USA’s roster for the World Indoor Track and Field Championships March 5-7 in Budapest, Hungary.

Johnson won the USA Indoor title in the 60m hurdles on Saturday by running a time of 7.44, just one-hundredth of a second off his world-leading time of 7.43 set at the Verizon Millrose Games on Feb. 6 in New York. The world indoor hurdles champion in 1995 and 2003, Johnson enters the weekend as the favorite and is seeking his seventh overall world title.

Hackley, a two-time All-American at USC after beginning his career at Florida, won the 200m dash with a time of 20.83 to advance to the World Indoor Championships.

A former and future Gamecock each earned a spot in the women’s 4x400m relay for Team USA. Washington, a 22-time All-American for USC, finished third in the 400m final with a time of 53.34 at the USA Indoor Championships. Carolina signee and current New York City prep Natasha Hastings placed sixth in the race with a time of 53.72.

Former Gamecock Dawn Ellerbe finished fourth in the weight throw at the USA Indoor Championships as the six-time All-American at USC posted a mark of 72’7.25″. Current volunteer assistant coach Melissa Morrison placed eighth in the women’s 60m hurdles with a time of 8.93.