March 13, 2004
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – South Carolina earned eight more All-American honors and had four top-five finishes at the final day of the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships at the University of Arkansas. The Gamecocks totaled 11 All-Americans on the weekend while the women’s team finished 10th with 19 points and the men placed 14th with 16 points.
“Our seniors on the men’s side (Fred Townsend and Chris Steddum) did a great job in this meet,” said head coach Curtis Frye. “Lashinda Demus had a lot of work with multiple races and I think she wore out at the end. Overall, our teams did pretty well. We have a good nucleus of athletes and this weekend will be a good step to beginning the outdoor season.”
Steddum concluded his USC indoor career with a flourish by setting a new school record on his way to a fourth-place finish in the pole vault. The senior from Houston cleared 18’0.5″ to top his own USC mark of 17’9.25″ set in 2003.
“By going out as a senior with a personal best, I could not have asked for more,” said Steddum. “This pole vault competition was one of the best I have been a part of in my collegiate career.”
The Carolina women’s 4x400m relay team placed third as the quartet of Stephanie Smith, Shevon Stoddart, Tawana Watkins and Demus ran a time of 3:30.27, finishing behind Texas and LSU.
Demus, who was attempting to defend the 400m NCAA title she won in 2003, finished fifth in the event with a finals time of 51.63.
Chelsea Hammond finished fifth in the pentathlon with a season-best 4,144 points for the second All-American honor of her career. Hammond recorded three top-four event finishes, including a runner-up showing in the long jump (20’11.25″) and third place in the high jump (5’9.75″).
Fred Townsend, finished sixth in the heptathlon with 5,518 points to earn his second All-American honor. After entering the day in 11th position, Townsend finished strong in the final three events, cruising to a victory in the 60m hurdles with a time of 7.86, one-tenth of a second better than the next closest finisher, and placing fourth in the 1000m with a time of 2:42.90. On Friday, he finished third in the high jump by clearing a height of 6’7.5″.
LSU swept both the men’s and women’s team titles with Florida finishing second on the women’s side and in a tie for second with Arkansas on the men’s side.
Complete meet results are available at www.ncaasports.com and the Arkansas women’s website, www.ladybacks.com. The information is also linked to USCsports.com. ESPN2 will air highlights from the meet on Wednesday, March 17 from 3:30-5 p.m. EST.
USC’s 2004 All-Americans
Lashinda Demus (nine times; 5th in 400m, 6th in 60m hurdles, 3rd in 4x400m relay)
Erica Whipple (seven times, 7th in 200m)
Shevon Stoddart (five times, 3rd in 4x400m relay)
Tony Allmond (three times; 2nd in long jump)
Chris Steddum (three times; 4th pole vault)
Fred Townsend (two times; 6th in heptathlon)
Chelsea Hammond (two times; 5th in pentathlon)
Tawana Watkins (two times, 3rd in 4x400m relay)
Stephanie Smith (first time, 3rd in 4x400m relay)