Feb. 26, 2005
Fayetteville, Ark. – South Carolina women’s track and field completed the second day of competition at the SEC Indoor Championship at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville on Saturday evening.
The last competition of the day was worth the wait for the Gamecocks as senior runner Jenny Lake earned her highest finish ever in the 3,000m, while also breaking a school record in the event at the SEC Indoor Championship. Lake, who wrapped up Saturday night’s events with a personal best performance of 9:41.77 in the women’s 3,000m, breaking the previous school record of 9:44.36 set by Lake in 2003, finished in fourth place, becoming the second scorer of the day for the Gamecocks.
Also earning points for USC’s women’s team was junior Kemesha Whitmire, who finished seventh in the long jump with a leap of 19’6 ¾.
On the track, All-American Tiffany Ross-Williams won her heat of the 60m hurdles with the second fastest time of the day of 8.33, automatically advancing to the finals. Chiquita Martin ran a season best in the 60m hurdles with a time of 8.70, but did not advance to the finals.
In the women’s 60m dash, freshman Amberly Nesbitt put on her best performance of the season. Nesbitt tied the second fastest time of the day with a NCAA provisional qualifying time of 7.31, while also tying the school’s second fastest 60m indoor time set by former Gamecock and 2004 Athens Olympian Aileen Bailey in 2003. In a very tight run, All-Americans Alexis Joyce and Khalilah Carpenter finished in ninth and 10th places with times of 7.359 and 7.364, respectively, behind Alabama’s Tahesia Harrigan 7.355, preventing them from advancing to the finals.
Once again, the women’s team dominated the 400m. Of the eight heat event, four of the top nine times that advanced to the finals belonged to the Gamecocks. With the second fastest time of the event, freshman Natasha Hastings won her heat with a time of 52.77. Ross-Williams, in her second event of the day, also won her heat and finished third overall with a time of 52.95. All-American Stephanie Smith finished fourth overall with a time of 53.27, while All-American Shevon Stoddart finished first in her heat and sixth overall with a time of 53.36. Each of these Gamecocks will advance to the 400m finals on Sunday.
The Gamecocks also had a strong performance in the 200m preliminaries, running nine athletes, of which four advanced to Sunday’s finals. Senior All-American Erica Whipple led the Gamecocks with a season best time of 23.38 for third place overall, while Hastings, Carpenter and freshman Shalonda Solomon finished sixth, seventh and ninth to advance to Sunday’s finals. Both Stoddart, who did not advance, and Hastings had personal bests in the 200m with times of 23.55 and 23.41, respectively.
Distance runner Shay Shelton also continues to make her mark on the track as she finished sixth overall in the 800m preliminaries with a time of 2:11.06, also advancing to Sunday’s finals.
In the field, pole vaulter Cheryl Terrio finished 15th with a vault of 11’11 ¾, while Precious Akins finished 11th in the shot put with a throw of 44’0 ½.
The Gamecocks will be back in action on Sunday morning starting in the field with the weight throw at 9:00 a.m. and the women’s 60m hurdles final at 12:35 p.m. on the track. The women’s portion of the championship will conclude on Sunday with the 4x400m relay final at 4:00 p.m.
Results will be available following the meet at www.uscsports.com.