April 7, 2005
Columbia, S.C. – The nation’s No. 2 ranked South Carolina women’s team and USC’s No. 24 ranked men’s team will join forces with Tennessee men’s and top ranked women’s teams, along with Kentucky, to take on the Big Ten for the 33rd Gatorade Classic, SEC vs. Big Ten, in Knoxville, Tenn. on April 8-9. The men’s and women’s teams from the three SEC schools will compete against the Big Ten’s Minnesota, Penn State and Wisconsin in the two-day competition.
This is the first year the Gatorade Classic has taken on this new format with the three schools from each conference squaring off in a conference-scored competition. There will be no team vs. team scoring, however the men’s and women’s scoring will be separate.
“It should be quite a good meet,” said USC Head Coach Curtis Frye. “We get to run our best runners and field athletes against their best runners and field athletes. Sprints of the SEC verses distance and throws of the Big Ten.”
USC’s assistance coach Jeff McAuley joined the Gamecock staff this year from Penn State, where he was an assistant coach for two years. This will be the first time McAuley will compete against his former athletes during the outdoor season.
“We’ll have some rivalry there because some of their athletes will be Coach Jeff’s recruits,” Coach Frye said. “On the women’s side, Tennessee is the national champion and for the men’s side, Wisconsin finished third. Penn State is a great program from the bottom on up. So the meet has a great flavor.”
The Gamecocks are coming off a strong field performance at the USATF South State Championship on Wednesday in Columbia. The meet was the Gamecocks’ last home competition of the season. Highlighting Wednesday’s events, pole vaulters Trey Bell and Cheryl Terrio vaulted regional qualifying heights of 13’1 _ and 16’7, respectively. The Gamecocks will be looking to add to their NCAA qualifiers this weekend in preparation for the 2005 NCAA East Regional meet in New York, N.Y. scheduled for May 27-28.
Results from the Gatorade Classic, SEC vs. Big Ten, will be available following the meet at www.uscsports.com.