April 16, 2005
Knoxville, Tenn. – USC track and field had another remarkable performance on day two of the Sea Ray Relay in Knoxville, Tenn. The Gamecocks, who totaled two broken records and several regional qualifying times on Friday, added another meet record, five titles and more than 10 qualifying times to conclude the meet on Saturday.
Leading the women’s team on Saturday winning the 200m dash invitational was Freshman All-American Shalonda Solomon. Solomon ran a regional qualifying time of 22.99 for first place, while senior All-American Erica Whipple finished in seventh place with a regional qualifying time of 23.45. Solomon also finished second in the 100m dash invitational with a time of 11.42, another regional qualifying time.
South Carolina relays had another day of impressive performances, including two titles and the second record-breaking performance in two days. The 4x100m relay, with Tiffany Ross-Williams, Whipple, Alexis Joyce and Shalonda Solomon, finished first in the event with a regional qualifying time of 43.82, the second fastest Gamecock time this season. The 4x400m relay finished second with Shevon Stoddart, Ross-Williams, Tawana Watkins and Stephanie Smith with a regional qualifying time of 3:30.99, the fastest time so far this season. USC also ran a second and third 4x400m relay team that finished sixth and seventh with a regional qualifying time of 3:37.99 and a time of 3:52.11, respectively.
However, the highlight of the relays for the day was the 4x100m shuttle that broke the previous meet and Tom Black track record with a time of 54.00, ran by All-Americans Chiquita Martin, Ronnetta Alexander, Stoddart and Ross-Williams. The foursome’s combined efforts shattered the previous record of 54.28 also set by the Gamecocks on April 13, 2002.
In other events, senior Jenny Lake finished 11th in the 5000m run with a time of 11.42, while Rebecca Chain finished 15th with a time of 18:09.76. In the field, Precious Akins threw a distance of 46’6 in the shot put for a seventh place finish and All-American Kemesha Whitmire finished 19th in the long jump with a leap of 18’2 Â¼.
For the men’s team, Rodney Martin added another win on Saturday with a first place finish in the 100m invitational, running a regional qualifying time and fifth-fastest time in school history of 10.25. Leroy Dixon followed Martin with a third place and regional qualifying finish of 10.30. Martin and Dixon also finished in second and fifth places in the 200m invitational with regional qualifying times of 20.72 and 21.02, respectively. Distance runner Steve Mance had a good run in the 5,000m invitational, finishing sixth with a time of 14:51.30.
The men’s 4x100m relay also had an outstanding performance on Saturday with a third place finish and regional qualifying time of 39.92, while the 4x400m relay finished 14th with a time of 3:16.89.
Highlighting the men’s field events for the Gamecocks was redshirt-freshman Joseph Schroeder, who won the javelin with a personal best distance of 198’1, while junior jumper Greig Cryer finished third in the long jump with a leap of 24’9, a regional qualifying mark. Sophomore Jake Minskey finished 18th in the hammer with a distance of 160’1.
“We had a great weekend. All of our athletes did well,” said USC Head Coach Curtis Frye. “Tiffany Ross had the greatest meet she has had in Tennessee with two wins in the hurdles and two in the relays. It was a great meet for her and we’re excited about that. Also with great performances were Shalonda Solomon, Stephanie Smith and Erica Whipple, who is back and making significant contributions, as well as Precious Akins. On the men’s side, Rodney Martin had a great meet, as well as Leroy Dixon and Joseph Schroeder with a win in the javelin. We’re also very proud of Thomas Hilliard who almost had a regional qualifying time in the 400m hurdles.”
The Gamecocks will be traveling to Athens, Ga. for the Georgia Invitational next weekend, the last competition before heading to Philadelphia for the Penn Relays on April 28-30. Results will be available following the meet at www.uscsports.com.