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April 29, 2005

Philadelphia, Pa. – One could not ask for a better performance from USC track and field on day one of the Penn Relays. The women’s team kicked-off the first day of action in Philadelphia on Thursday with two wins and two relays advancing to the finals.

The first running event of the meet belonged to the Gamecocks as All-American Tiffany Ross-Williams, who has been on fire during the outdoor season, claimed the first title of the day. Ross won the 400m hurdles championship with a time of 55.70, the second fastest time in Penn Relays history and the fourth fastest time in school history. Finishing second with a time of 57.82 was teammate All-American Shevon Stoddart who finished runner-up last year. Sophomore All-American Chiquita Martin finished sixth with a time of 59.17.

“The weather started everything in a positive way. I felt good,” said Ross-Williams, who finished third and second in previous years. “I missed last year for a red-shirt and my freshman and sophomore year the weather was terrible, but today was perfect.”

The Gamecocks captured another big win in the women’s long jump championship by senior All-American Chelsea Hammond. Coming off an indoor season injury, Hammond captured her fourth Penn Relays long jump title with a leap of 20’9 1/4. The mark is a season best and ties for the third best mark in school history. Junior All-American jumper Kemesha Whitmire finished third in the long jump with her best mark of the season of 20’7.

“I was very pleased, because I’m coming off an injury. But this is the fourth time I’ve won this event at the Penn Relays, so the fourth time is a charm,” Hammond said. “I’m happy. Now I am just going to get ready for Nationals.”

In other action, the women’s 4x100m relay ran a time of 44.57 to advance to the finals, while the 4x400m relay won their heat with a time of 3:36.43, also advancing.

USC men’s action will kick-off early Friday morning with freshman All-American Jason Richardson competing in the 400m hurdles at 9:00 a.m., followed by the women’s 4x100m finals, 4x200m heats and the shuttle hurdle championship in the afternoon.

Results will be available following the meet at or