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April 2, 2005


Atlanta, Ga. – Despite an unusually cold and windy day in April that consisted of both sunshine and sleet, USC track and field teams put on impressive performances at Georgia Tech’s Yellow Jacket Invitational on Saturday in Atlanta, Ga.

The Gamecocks’ men’s and women’s teams competed for the first time on the road during the outdoor season without any interruption this weekend and they took advantage of every opportunity to show off their abilities, winning four events, two by USC freshmen, and totaling more than 10 top-five finishes.

“We had a great meet,” said USC Head Coach Curtis Frye. “Everyone had a strong performance and we got some NCAA qualifying marks and greats wins from freshmen Shalonda Solomon and Keith Hinnant in the 200m and 400m, and Trey Bell in the pole vault. The performance by our women’s 4x100m relay for first place was a big highlight for us as we prepare for regionals.”

Starting off the day, in the field sophomore Precious Akins threw for 163’1 in the hammer for 10th place, while finishing sixth in the shot put with a throw of 45’7 ¼.

Field success continued throughout the day as the Gamecocks represented strong in the long and triple jumps. For the women’s team junior All-American jumper Kemesha Whitmire, who has already set a personal best in the triple jump this season, finished third in the event with a jump of 39’8 ¾.

Junior pole vaulter Cheryl Terrio had another great performance in the event to finish in second place with a height of 11’11 ¾ , while junior Monica Bozenski high jumped for 5’7.

For the men’s team, sophomore Trey Bell won the pole vault with a height of 16’0 ¾, while Greig Cryer jumped an NCAA qualifying mark of 24’8 for second place and top collegiate in the long jump.

Cryer also started the running events for the men’s team, leading off the men’s 4x100m relay that finish fourth with a NCAA qualifying time of 40.09, with Adrian Durant, Rodney Martin and Leroy Dixon.

The women’s 4x100m relay dominated the event with an impressive run to claim the title with a NCAA qualifying time of 43.83 ran by All-Americans senior Khalilah Carpenter, freshman Shalonda Solomon, senior Alexis Joyce and freshman All-American Amberly Nesbitt. The Gamecocks also had a B team, consisting of All-Americans Stephanie Smith and Shevon Stoddart, as well as freshmen Faraign Giles and Dishari’ck Howze, that finished fifth with a time of 45.79, also an NCAA qualifying time.

Freshmen sprinters and first-time All-Americans Solomon and Nesbitt continued to have impressive freshmen performances, as the two finished second and third, respectively, in the 100m dash with NCAA qualifying times of 11:45 and 11.54. Carpenter and Joyce finished in sixth and seventh places, both with times of 11.64, also qualifying for regionals.

The second title won for USC women’s team was done so by Solomon, who was a member of the winning 4x100m relay and the second place finisher in the 100m dash. Solomon concluded Saturday’s meet adding a win in the 200m dash and qualifying for regionals with a time of 23.16. Smith ran 23.53 for fourth place, while Joyce finished seventh with a time of 23.78, both NCAA qualifying times.

For the men, USC junior and 2004 Olympian Adrian Durant finished fourth in the 200m with a time of 21.27, while freshman Jamil James ran 21.59 for a ninth place finish in the event.

Claiming the first win of the day for the men’s team was USC freshman Keith Hinnant. The 2004 high school All-American made his mark on the track claiming the 400m title with a time of 46.60 for his first win and NCAA qualifying time of the season.

USC distance runners also had successful finishes on Saturday, including two top three finishes. For the women, senior Jenny Lake led the Gamecocks with a third place finish in the 1500 with a time of 4:36.79, while freshman Rebecca Chain finished seventh with a time of 4:45.67. For the men, junior William Emase also had an impressive run in the 1500m, finishing second with a time of 3:54.92.

USC women’s team dominated the hurdles with four top five finishes in the 100m and 400m hurdles. Sophomore All-American Ronnetta Alexander, who just returned off an injury that kept her out for the entire indoor season, ran 13.39, an NCAA qualifying time, in the 100m hurdles for a third place finish. Sophomore All-American Chiquita Martin followed in sixth place with a time of 13.99. For the men’s 110m hurdles, USC freshman All-American Jason Richardson suffered a hamstring injury and did not finish the event.

In the 400m hurdles, Gamecocks finished in second, third and fourth places, behind former Gamecock and USC record-holder Lashinda Demus who won the event with a time of 56.53. Leading the Gamecocks, senior All-American Shevon Stoddart, who ran the event in the 2004 Olympic Games, finished second with a time of 59.63. Junior All-American Tawana Watkins ran 1:00.08 for third place, while Martin finished fourth with a time of 1:00.98.

The Gamecocks will be back action next weekend at the Tennessee Quad Meet in Knoxville, Tenn. Results will be available following the meet at