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March 2, 2004

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina women’s and men’s track teams and six individual athletes all moved up in the national rankings as released by Trackwire. USC’s women are among the nation’s top ten teams while three women and three men are ranked among the top-five in their respective events.

Listed at No. 9 this week, Carolina moved up five spots in the women’s team rankings while the men’s squad moved into a No. 16 ranking, up seven spots. USC’s women finished fifth while the men placed seventh at the SEC Indoor Championships last weekend in Lexington, Ky. The Gamecocks are the fourth-highest ranked women’s team from the SEC and the fifth-highest ranked men’s team from the conference.

Chelsea Hammond is USC’s highest ranked female athlete, checking in at No. 2 in Trackwire’s “Dandy Dozen” pentathlon rankings, rising seven spots after an SEC runner-up performance. Also ascending in the women’s individual rankings are Erica Whipple, up five places to No. 4 in the 200m, and freshman Ronnetta Alexander, listed at No. 8 in the 60m hurdles, up from 12th last week. Lashinda Demus continues to hold the No. 4 ranking in the 400m while freshman Stephanie Smith is ranked seventh in the event.

Fred Townsend moved up four places in the men’s heptathlon rankings and is now ranked No. 3 after his SEC runner-up finish. Also ascending this week are Rodney Martin, Jr., now ranked fourth in the 200m, and Tony Allmond, ranked fourth in the long jump. Both Martin and Allmond moved up one spot this week.

USC’s women’s 4x400m relay team is ranked second after posting a school-record time this weekend to finish as runner-up to LSU. The Gamecock men’s 4x400m relay team is ranked 11th.

Several Carolina athletes will compete in this Saturday’s NCAA Last Chance meet in Gainesville, Fla., and attempt to qualify for the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, March 12-13 in Fayetteville, Ark.