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April 22, 2004

South Carolina travels to Philadelphia, Penn., for the most prestigious meet of the year — Penn Relays. For complete meet information visit: The meet will be televised live on NBC from 4:30 – 6 pm on Saturday, April 24.

COACH COMMENTS: USC Head Coach Curtis Frye, in his seventh year at the helm, thoroughly enjoys all the action on and off the track at Penn Relays. “My goals this weekend? I hope we get out of the meet healthy and are in the Championship of America in most of the relays. The women have the ability to make the 4x100m, the 4x200m and 4x400m relays finals. If the men make any of the Championship of America finals, that would be a plus.

“I want our team to compete well and get to the finals. This is a very tough meet to go to expecting to win events,” continued Frye. “We hope to also make a good impression on the recruits in the area. That’s very important. The reputation we have in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania has been built through our success in the past at Penn Relays. Our athletes are highly regarded in that area and I expect them to carry themselves with class and compete to the best of their ability.

“I enjoy visiting with a number of good friends we have made at the relays in the past,” said Frye. “They are very supportive of the Gamecocks and it’s very important for us.” Coach Frye also talked about the Penn Relays setting the standard: “It is not one of the best meets — it is thee best track and field review in the world. No meet hosts collegiate athletes at all levels, at all divisions that get to put on a show like Penn Relays,” said Frye. “The USA vs. the World relays benefit from a collegiate event as well. They will work to run qualifiers for the Olympic games so it’s an important meet not only for the collegiate set but for countries all over the world as well.”

RANKED: South Carolina’s women are ranked No. 8 this week in the Trackwire poll. The men are currently not ranked in the top 25.

WOMEN TO WATCH: The USC women’s 4x100m relay, the 4x200m relay, the 4x400m relay, and shuttle hurdle relay — all be looking to make the Championship of America events … Lashinda Demus, who has the world leaders in the 400m hurdles will run all three of those relays and then also compete on the shuttle hurdle relay and individually in the 100m hurdles … Shevon Stoddart is one of the nation’s top 400m hurdlers and she will run in this event and in the relays.

MEN TO WATCH: The USC men’s 4x100m relay, the 4x200m relay and the 4x400m relay — with USC itching to make the finals of each one …Tony Allmond, has already hit the board at 26 feet in the long jump and will be looking to push that further this week after finishing second at the NCAA Indoor Championships this year.

OTHER GAMECOCKS COMPETING: Former Gamecocks, who are now competing as professional athletes and will run in the USA vs. the World Relays include the following: Lisa Barber (USA, 4x400m relay); Aleen Bailey (Jamaica, 4x100m relay), Terrence Trammell (USA, 4x100m relay) and Jimmy Hackley (USA, 4x400m relay).

RANK AND FILE: This week’s Trackwire team poll and “Dandy Dozen” individual rankings list the following Gamecocks:

Women – USC (8th); 4x100m relay (5th); 4x400m relay (3rd); Lashinda Demus (1 in 400m hurdles, 6 in 400m); Khalilah Carpenter (11th in 100m); Erica Whipple (7th in 200m); Stephanie Smith (11th in 400m); Shevon Stoddart (9th in 400m hurdles).

Men – USC (NR); Tony Allmond (3rd in long jump); Fred Townsend (12th in decathlon).

REGIONALS – NOT JUST A CONCEPT ANYMORE: USC will compete in the NCAA East Regional Championship – May 28-29 in Gainesville, Fla.

Thus far the Gamecocks have qualified 24 women, eight men and relays on both sides (4x100m, 4x400m relays for both teams). The entire list of qualifiers can be found on page six.

Last year, at the NCAA Outdoor Championships the Gamecock women were fourth, while the Gamecock men finished 10th. The women have been in the top 10 the past eight years, while the men have enjoyed top 20 finishes each of the last six years, including three finishes in the top 10.

WOMEN NATIONAL LEADER IN DUAL MEET POLL: The South Carolina women and the Arizona State men hold the top spots in the USTCA Team Power Rankings for NCAA Division I track & field. South Carolina is ranked No. 8 this week in Trackwire’s top 25.

South Carolina takes the top spot this week (392.44 points) after moving up thanks to outstanding performances in the 400 meter hurdles by national leader Lashinda Demus and in the 4×400 meter relay which is ranked second. South Carolina looks to capture its second team title in three years after winning the crown at the 2002 NCAA Outdoor Championships.

On the women’s side Nebraska enters in at second (382.50) and UCLA enters in at third (377.35). Rounding out the top ten includes Brigham Young (4th, 351.19), Louisiana State (5th, 350.67), Kansas State (6th, 344.87), California (7th, 343.55), Georgia (8th, 338.93), San Diego State (9th, 338.57) and Miami, Florida (10th, 338.15).

The men’s top 10 includes Arizona State (377.67 points), No. 2 Tennessee (373.96), No. 3 Florida (371.73) and rounding out the top ten includes Brigham Young (4th, 359.89), Louisiana State (5th, 357.45), Georgia (6th, 346.39), UCLA (7th, 344.19), Mississippi State (8th, 340.41), Iowa State (9th, 338.02) and Nebraska (10th, 335.3).

CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN: The 2004 Gamecock captains include Tony Allmond, Adam Bishop, Otis Harris, Chris Steddum and Fred Townsend for the men. Women’s captains are Rhashida Abdul-Malik, Jenny Lake, India Odum, Shevon Stoddart and Erica Whipple.

WORLD LEADER: South Carolina’s Lashinda Demus has already put down a world leader this season when she ran a 54.87 in the 400m hurdles a few weeks ago in Columbia.

Her personal best is 54.70 at the NCAA Championships her freshman year when she won the NCAA title and was named Athlete of the Meet.