March 11, 2005
Fayetteville, Ark. – South Carolina freshmen Jason Richardson and Shalonda Solomon, both National Gatorade Athletes of the Year, made their mark on the NCAA Friday night at the first day of the NCAA Indoor Championship in Fayetteville, Ark. The two earned their first All-American honors before a crowd of 5,006 at the Randal Tyson Track facility at the University of Arkansas.
To start off the competition for the Gamecocks, Richardson had a dynamic performance in the 60m hurdles. Richardson, who had a previous personal best of 7.75, ran 7.73 in the preliminary for to advance to the final with the fourth fastest time in the event. Richardson picked up the pace in the final and earned his first All-American honor with an outstanding third place finish and personal best of 7:70, the fourth fastest time in school history.
“Jason’s performance was up there among USC’s top hurdlers and definitely one of the top freshman times in school history,” said USC Head Coach Curtis Frye. “We are more than pleased and very proud of Jason and his performance.”
In other final events, senior captain Rodney Martin finished strong earning All-American honors with a third place finish in the men’s 200m final. Martin broke the school’s 200m record for the third time this season with a time of 20.38. Arkansas’ Wallace Spearmon ran the fastest time of the day in the event, setting an American record and the second fastest time in the world with a time of 20.10 in the final event to claim the title.
South Carolina men’s team ended the day in eighth place (12) after the two dynamic performances by Richardson Martin.
The women’s team wrapped day one in 18th place (7) overall after an impressive senior-freshman duo in the 200m final that earned the Gamecocks fifth and sixth places. Freshman Shalonda Solomon had her best performance of the season, earning fifth place in the 200m final and her first All-American honor with a time of 23.15, the fifth fastest time in school history. Senior Erica Whipple added her ninth All-American honor finishing in sixth place finish in the 200m with a time of 23.20, a season best and the second fastest time by a Gamecock this season.
In other action, freshman Natasha Hastings ran 52.21 in the 400m preliminary to win her heat and advance to Saturday’s final. Hastings had the third fastest time of the day, while senior All-American Shevon Stoddart and sophomore All-American Stephanie Smith finished as the fifth and seventh qualifiers with times of 52.55 and 52.94, respectively, also advancing to Saturday’s final. Tiffany Ross-Williams (53.72) did not advance to the final.
In the women’s 60m dash preliminary there were no advances to Saturday’s final. Amberly Nesbitt ran 7.32, while senior All-Americans Khalilah Carpenter and Alexis Joyce ran 7.37 and 7.40.
The Gamecocks will be back in action Saturday, March 12th starting at 6:55 p.m. with the women’s 400m finals, followed by the women’s 4x400m relay at 8:05 p.m. and the men’s 4x400m relay at 8:20 p.m. Results will be available following the competition at www.uscsports.com and www.ncaasports.com.