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Jan. 22, 2005


Clemson, SC – USC men’s and women’s track and field both finished in second place, breaking field house records at the Clemson Invitational Saturday in Clemson, S.C. The men’s team scored 123 points, falling short to Clemson who totaled 153 points for first place. Auburn (98.50) and Georgia (80) finished in third and fourth places, respectively. Florida won the women’s competition with 137.5 points, while USC finished second with 124 points, defeating the rival Tigers who finished in fourth place with 68.5 points. Georgia women’s team finished third with 89 points, while Auburn, Alabama and Mississippi State ended the meet in fifth, sixth and seventh places.

Leading the men’s team was senior captain Rodney Martin, with two top three finishes for the weekend. Martin, who broke the field house record in the 200m with a time of 21.27, partnered with teammate Leroy Dixon for a first and second place sweep and upset in the 60m, defeating Clemson All-American Tye Hill with times of 6.79 and 6.80, respectively. Freshman Jason Richardson won the 60m hurdles with a time of 7.81.

Distance runner Steve Mance, who captured a win in the 5,000m on Friday, also finished second in the 3,000m finals on Saturday with a time of 8:30.07. William Emase and Shawn Cunningham finished in second and third places in the 800m with times of 1:52.08 and 1:53.17, respectively.

In the field, Greig Cryer, who jumped 7.28m to a second place finish Friday in the long jump, finished fifth in Saturday’s triple jump finals with a leap of 14.32m.

“It was a great performance by the men’s team,” Head Coach Curtis Frye said. “I didn’t know they would do that well. They broke field house records and left there feeling good. We’re just disappointed we didn’t beat Clemson, but I’m very pleased with their performance.”

On the women’s side, USC finished second, third and fourth in the 60m, with freshman Amberly Nesbit leading the Gamecocks with a time of 7.46. Khalilah Carpenter finished second with a time of 7.47, while Alexis Joyce ran a 7.50 for fourth place. The Gamecocks also finished second, third, fifth and sixth places in the 400m. Stephanie Smith led with a time of 54.08, just ahead of freshman Natasha Hastings who ran a 54.16, while Tiffany Ross (54.59) and Shevon Stoddart (55.05) finished in fifth and sixth places. Hastings also won the 200m with a time of 24.08.

In the field, Monica Bozenski set a personal best in the high jump with a mark of 1.70m on Saturday for third place, while Kemesha Whitmire finished fifth in the triple jump (12.12m).

Both the men’s and women’s 4x400m relay teams broke Clemson facility records with times of 3:12.95 and 3:37.59, respectively, to claim the titles in the events.

“We’re disappointed we didn’t beat Florida, but our women’s team did a good job,” Frye said. “Our challenge now is to beat Florida and stay ahead of Clemson at the national championship. We have some challenges, but we have to continue to stay ahead of those challenges. We’re in a particularly good position right now and I’m pleased with how well we’re performing.”

Among the challenges for the women’s team will be the recovery of All-American Erica Whipple who went down with an injury in the 200m on Saturday. “We’re really concerned about that,” Frye said, “But, we’ll continue to hope for the best.”

The women’s and men’s teams will be back in action next weekend at Clemson for the Multis Meet. The teams will then be headed to New York for the Armory Meet of Champions on February 4th.