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April 22, 2005

Columbia, S.C. – South Carolina men’s and women’s track and field teams will be heading to Athens, Ga. for the 28th annual Spec Towns Invitational on Saturday, April 23 hosted by the University of Georgia at the Spec Towns Track.

The Gamecocks will join 15 other collegiate programs, as well as corporate sponsored and unattached athletes, in the one-day meet that will kick-off at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday.

Coming off three record-setting performances at the Sea Ray Relays last weekend in Knoxville, Tenn., the Gamecocks’ No. 2-ranked women’s team is fighting to earn the top spot in the polls. Leading the women’s team is junior captain Tiffany Ross-Williams, who in the last two weeks totaled eight wins, which consisted of two 100m hurdles titles, two 400m hurdles titles and four first place relay performances. At the Sea Ray relays, this 10-time All-American’s 400m hurdles time of 55.93 broke a 12-year old meet record and was the second best time of her career. She also ran a leg of the 4x100m shuttle relay with All-Americans Chiquita Martin, Ronnetta Alexander and Shevon Stoddart that broke a meet record set by the Gamecocks in 2002. Expect to see Ross-Williams make another run for the top spot in both hurdle events, while continuing to contribute on the relays.

Also among the record-breaking performances last week was the Gamecocks’ 4x200m relay team of Stephanie Smith, Erica Whipple, Amberly Nesbitt and Shalonda Solomon who set a new Sea Ray and Tom Black Track record with a time of 1:31.64. Expect to see these All-Americans, as well as senior All-Americans Khalilah Carpenter and Alexis Joyce contend for the 100m, 200m, 400m, dash titles, as well as dominate the hurdles and relays.

The men’s team is also coming off a promising performance at the Sea Ray Relays and looking to earn more regional qualifying times this weekend in Athens. Leading the men’s team is senior captain Rodney Martin, who continues to dominate in the 100m and 200m dashes. Martin won the 100m dash invitational last weekend in Knoxville with the fifth-fastest time in school history of 10.25. The All-American also finished second in the 200m invitational, while following close behind was junior Leroy Dixon. Dixon won the 200m dash, finished third in the 100m dash invitational and fifth in the 200m dash invitational last weekend in Knoxville. Expect to see these two battle it out again on Saturday as they contend for the top spots again in the 100m and 200m dashes.