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Feb. 12, 2005


Fayetteville, Ark. – The Powered by Tyson Invitational went underway at the Randal Tyson Track Center on Friday, February 11th with some of the most elite track and field athletes in the world. Among those athletes were 23 Gamecocks who finished the two-day meet with several impressive performances on Saturday in Fayetteville, Ark.

Senior captain Rodney Martin had a dynamic 200m performance Friday night that aired Saturday night on ESPN2. Martin, who ran against professional runners, as well as Arkansas’ Wallace Spearmon in the 200m Invitational, finished third with a personal best and USC indoor record of 20.67.

Friday, however, was not the best performance day for South Carolina men’s and women’s relays. Both relay teams took a fall, causing the women to be disqualified and the men’s team to finish in last place Friday night.

On Saturday, the Gamecocks got into their groove and picked up eight top-five finishes, including 12 season best performances. In the women’s 60m dash, Alexis Joyce and Erica Whipple qualified for the finals, finishing seventh and eighth in the preliminaries with times of 7.40 and 7.41, respectively. Whipple could not compete in the finals due to an injury suffered in the preliminaries; however, Joyce went on to finish sixth in the finals with a time of 7.41.

For the women’s 200m, freshman Natasha Hastings ran the fastest time of the day for the Gamecocks with a fourth place finish and season best time of 23.62. Erica Whipple, who currently holds the season best time of 23.59 set last week at the Armory, did not complete in the 200m.

In the men’s 200m, Leroy Dixon ran a 21.29 for his fastest time of the season and seventh place at the Tyson Invite. Adrian Durant and Jamil James both ran a 21.72 for 17th and 18th places, respectively.

In the 400m, the Gamecocks claimed four top five finishes. For the women, Hastings had another outstanding performance, finishing second and setting a personal best for the second week in a row with a time of 51.85 in the 400m championship. Senior captain Tiffany Ross, who had a disappointing 4x400m performance Friday night, also ran the 400m championship and finished seventh with a time of 54.22. Leading USC with an impressive performance in the college 400m was senior captain Shevon Stoddart. Stoddart finished second with a time of 53.15, the second fastest time of the season for the Gamecocks, while junior Tawana Watkins finished fifth with a time of 54.21.

In the men’s 400m, freshman Keith Hinnant ran a fourth place and an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 47.33, while teammates Jamil James and Aaron Luster finished seventh and eighth with times of 47.47 and 47.48, respectively.

Distance runner LaShay Shelton claimed her first victory of the season in the 800m with a season best time of 2:09.19, while men’s William Emase finished fifth in the event with a season best of 1:50.85. Jenny Lake represented the Gamecocks in the 3000m championship with a 14th place finish time of 9:50.88, while in the field, Kemesha Whitmire finished fifth in the long jump championship with a leap of 20’0.25.

South Carolina men’s and women’s teams will be home next weekend to host the USC Invitational on Saturday, February 19th at the indoor facility. For complete results of the Tyson Invitational, go to