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May 11, 2004

USC junior Chelsea Hammond has been named The United States Track Coaches Association (USTCA) National Athlete of the Week for NCAA Division I track & field. Andrew Ellerton of Michigan (800m) won the award on the men’s side.

“It’s nice to be recognized,” said Hammond (Elmont, N.Y). “I kept working hard on the little things and felt when I hit the board on Saturday it might be a big one. I knew when I looked at Coach Dee (Quarles) that it was far. I hit the Olympic A standard with the jump so that takes a little stress off. I am really looking forward to continuing to compete and thank God for my success.”

“We knew through her consistency that she was approaching that mark. She has matured a lot in other areas of her life that are contributing to her success on the track. We hope she will continue to improve and also be consistent – we look forward to better and better things happening in the future,” said USC assistant coach Dee Quarles. Quarles has the No. 1 jumper nationally in Hammond on the women’s side and the No. 2 jumper nationally on the men’s side in Tony Allmond (26’2 last weekend).

Hammond captured the long jump title at the Clemson Orange and Purple Classic with her leap of 21-06.25 (6.57m) on Saturday, May 8 – breaking the school and Clemson facility mark. Her mark also hits the A standard for the Olympics Games as she will compete in the Jamaican Olympic Trials in June. The Penn Relays long jump champion moved up as the national leader in the event as well. She is also ranked fourth in the nation in the heptathlon with 5405 points.

Hammond is qualified in the heptathlon, high jump and long jump for the NCAA East Regional on May 28-29 hosted by Florida.

Hammond and the rest of the Gamecocks will travel to Oxford, Mississippi to compete in the SEC Outdoor Championships this weekend (May 14-16). Hammond will compete in the heptathlon, long jump and high jump this weekend.