April 29, 2005
Philadelphia, Pa. – South Carolina track and field wrapped up day two of the Penn Relays with two pinwheels and several advancements to Saturday’s finals in Philadelphia, Pa.
Despite the cool weather, the Gamecock women lit up the track in Friday’s events with unforgettable performances in the relays. In the Championship of America 4x100m relay, the foursome consisting of freshman All-American Amberly Nesbitt, senior All-American Erica Whipple, senior All-America Alexis Joyce and freshman All-American Shalonda Solomon ran the fourth fastest time in Penn Relays history to claim the title with a time of 43.40 in lane nine. These Gamecocks earned the first South Carolina pinwheel of the meet, defeating LSU who holds the record in the event and was the titleholder for the last years.
“It was a very good performance and running in lane nine makes it even more incredible,” said USC head coach Curtis Frye. “Our girls did a great job. Amberly Nesbitt had a great lead off leg. The two seniors in the middle gave us good security and Shalonda Solomon did a great job bringing it in. I’m real happy with them.”
The season best 4x100m relay performance was also the fourth-fastest time in school history and was the first win in the event for the Gamecocks since they have been competing in the Penn Relays.
The second South Carolina win of the day came in the women’s shuttle hurdle relay, which consisted of All-Americans Chiquita Martin, Ronnetta Alexander, Shevon Stoddart and Tiffany Ross-Williams. The Gamecocks, who were in third place early in the relay, came from behind, running 53.19, to capture the win and the second pinwheel of the day for the Gamecocks.
“Our goal before we got here was to win all of the relays we entered and so far, we’re two-for-two,” said Ross-Williams, who also won the 400m hurdles on Thursday with the second fastest time in Penn Relay history. “We just want to keep our focus and keep putting up fast times.”
In earlier action, leading the Gamecock men in the first event of the day was freshman All-American Jason Richardson. With the Gamecocks’ first top-five finish, Richardson ran 51.57, the sixth-fastest time in school history, for fourth place in the 400m hurdles championship. Richardson returned later in the afternoon to run the preliminaries in the 110m hurdles, finishing first in his heat with a time of 13.85 and advancing to Saturday’s final.
In other preliminary events, South Carolina men’s and women’s 4x200m relays will be advancing to Saturday’s finals. USC men’s team ran 1:24.30, while the women’s team ran 1:34.27. Ross-Williams finished the 100m hurdles preliminaries with the second fastest time of the day of 13.13, also advancing to Saturday’s final.
In the field for the women’s team, junior All-American jumper Kemesha Whitmire, who finished second in the long jump on Thursday, earned a sixth place finish in Friday’s triple jump with a leap of 41’1. Senior All-American Chelsea Hammond, who won the long jump championship on Thursday, finished tied for sixth in the women’s high jump championship with a height of 5’8 ¾.
The Gamecocks will be back in action on Saturday starting with the women’s 4x200m Championship of American at 2:40 p.m., followed by the men’s at 2:50 p.m. The men’s and women’s 4x400m relays, along with USA versus The World events, will be shown on national television from 4-6 p.m. on NBC.
Results will be available following the meet at www.uscsports.com or live at www.pennathletics.com.