March 4, 2004
South Carolina track and field athletes will have their final opportunity to post or improve qualifying marks for the NCAA Indoor Championships when they compete at the Florida Fast Times Meet in Gainesville, Fla. Several Gamecocks will be looking to solidify positioning or to guarantee a spot at NCAA’s during Saturday’s last chance meet. The Florida meet marks the third trip to Gainesville for USC during the indoor season, most of any location.
Headlining the Carolina contingent competing Saturday are Khalilah Carpenter, Alexis Joyce, Ronnetta Alexander and Chelsea Hammond on the women’s side. Carpenter and Joyce will try to improve on their 60m times while Alexander looks to improve on her 60m hurdles time and Hammond on her long jump and high jump marks. Carpenter and Joyce ran provisional times of 7.35 and 7.39 to finish sixth and seventh at last weekend’s SEC Championships. Alexander, ranked eighth in the nation in her event, posted a season-best time of 8.24 for fourth at SEC’s. Hammond, who finished second in the heptathlon with an automatic qualifying scoring total and is ranked No. 2 in the event, will try to reach the NCAA’s is multiple events.
Senior Chris Steddum will attempt to close out his USC career with a berth in the NCAA Indoor Championships.
On the men’s side, Troy Williamson and Adrian Durant lead the way in the 60m while Chris Steddum competes in the pole vault. Williamson and Durant each reached last weekend’s event final and are looking for qualifying times. Steddum, who finished sixth in the SEC pole vault, also is attempting to reach the NCAA’s in his final indoor season of eligibility.
Also running this weekend will be USC’s 4×400 men’s relay team. The quartet is ranked 11th in the nation but did not finish at the SEC Championships after colliding with Arkansas on the first leg.
Saturday’s field events begin at 11 a.m. with track events slated for a noon start. Results from Saturday’s meet will be updated throughout the day on Florida’s website, www.gatorzone.com. The NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships are scheduled for March 12-13 in Fayetteville, Ark.