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May 28, 2004

A freshman from Summerville, S.C., South Carolina’s Precious Akins, the runner-up in the discus, was USC’s first NCAA Championship qualifier tonight at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field East Regional Championships. Also qualifying for the NCAA Championships were long jumpers Tony Allmond – the champion – and Chelsea Hammond.

USC pushed nine Gamecocks through to tomorrow’s finals. The women’s 4x100m relay also qualified for the finals (45.39). The top five individually in the finals and the top three relays in the finals qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships June 9-12 in Austin, TX.

Settting an East Regional record in the long jump, Allmond won the event with a jump of 25′ 8 3/4. He was the NCAA runner-up indoors in 2004 and outdoors in 2003.

“We are excited about both of them – Tony Allmond and Chelsea Hammond – advancing to the NCAA Championships. Right now we are working on some technical things and it was good to see them execute that at the meet,” said USC jumps coach Delethea Quarles. “We are looking forward to nationals and bigger and better things.”

Akins of Summerville was the runner-up in the discus with a throw of 174′ 5 – the second best mark in school history. Fourth at the SEC Championships and already qualified for the USA Junior Championships she also qualifies tonight for the NCAA Championships.

In the finals of the women’s long jump Chelsea Hammond was third with a jump of 20′ 9 3/4. She does qualify for the NCAA Championships. Kemesha Whitmire finished tied for sixth with a mark of 20′ 5 3/4. She doesn’t qualify for the NCAA Championships right now but she could if someone withdraws.

USC qualified three for the women’s 400m hurdles tomorrow – Demus, Stoddart and Martin. Lashinda Demus ran the fastest time of the night in the 400m hurdles to qualify for the finals tomorrow, finishing at 57.28. Shevon Stoddart also won her heat with a time of 58.57. Chaquita Martin was second in her heat with a time of 58.31.

Demus also qualified for the finals of the 100m hurdles, winning her heat at 13.28 – the fourth fastest time of the day.

Fred Townsend, injured most of the outdoor season (hamstring), was second in his heat of the 110m hurdles, running a 13.71, to advance to the finals as the No. 4 seed.

Stephanie Smith, an All-American indoors, won her heat with a time of 52.47, qualifying with the third best time for the finals. Smith was fourth in her heat of the 200m with a time of 23.95 – not making the finals.

Shay Shelton was second in her heat of the 800m, making tomorrow’s finals with a time of 2:08.70.

Also in the women’s 100m hurdles Chiquita Martin was fifth in her heat and did not qualify for the finals. Ronetta Alexander hit the eighth hurdle, did not recover and did not finish the race.

Khalilah Carpenter was fifth in her heat of the 100m (11.69) and Alexis Joyce was fourth in her heat (11.62) – neither advanced.

Erica Whipple was the runner-up in her heat of the 200m, making the finals at 23.53. Later Carpenter was third in her heat of the 200m with a time of 23.57 and qualified for the finals.

Cheryl Terriro did not clear her opening height of the pole vault (12′ 4) and did not advance. Tony Antonio fouled all three throws in the hammer.

Adam Bishop was 10th in the shot put with a throw of 56′ 9 1/4.

Rodney Martin, battling a sore hamstring, was sixth in the 200m at 22.49 and did not make the finals.

NCAA Qualifiers List for NCAA Championships (Austin, TX)


W Discus

Precious Akins – 2nd place – 174′ 5 – second best mark in school history

M Long Jump

Tony Allmond – CHAMPION – East Regional record – 25′ 9

W Long Jump

Chelsea Hammond – 3rd place – 20′ 10

NCAA East Regional Finals Qualifiers for Saturday, May 29

W 4x100m Relay

45.39 – 2nd in heat (R. Alexander, K. Carpenter, L. Demus, S. Smith)

W 100m hurdles

Lashinda Demus – won heat – 13.29 (4th fastest time)

M 110m hurdles

Fred Townsend – 13.71 – second in heat (4th fastest time)

W 400m

Stephanie Smith – 52.47 – won heat (3rd fastest time)

W 800m

Shay Shelton – 2:08.70 -second in heat

W 400m hurdles

Lashinda Demus – won heat – 57.28 (fastest time)

Shevon Stoddart – won heat – 58.87

Chiquita Martin – second in heat – 58.31

W 200m

Erica Whipple – 23.53 – second in heat

Khaliah Carpenter – 23.57 – third in heat