Skip to main content
Partner logo
Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Gamecocks+

April 30, 2005

Philadelphia, Pa. – If there were ever doubts about whether South Carolina track and field would perform at the Penn Relays, they made their presence known by earning four pinwheels and six titles to conclude the third day of the 111th Penn Relays in Philadelphia, Pa. on Saturday.

It was a wet and messy day, but no clouds hung over the Gamecocks as the women’s team lit up the track every time they had the opportunity to do so. After almost not making the trip due to exams, the Gamecocks showed their appreciation by taking advantage of every chance they had to represent the University of South Carolina.

After competing in five relays, the Gamecocks claimed four titles with some of the top times in Penn Relay history. Having already won the 4x100m and the shuttle hurdle relays, the Gamecocks returned on the final day of competition to capture the win in the 4x200m relay and defend their 4x400m relay title. They were successful in both.

With an outstanding performance, maintaining the lead throughout the entire race, the women’s 4x200m relay, consisting of Khalilah Carpenter, Erica Whipple, Stephanie Smith and Shalonda Solomon, won the title with the 10th fastest time in Penn Relay history of 1:31.57. The win was the first Penn Relay title for senior All-American Khalilah Carpenter and the second in this meet alone for Whipple and Solomon.

“This is my first win here at Penn Relays and it felt real good,” said Carpenter about her last opportunity to run with who she described as a great group of athletes.

“It was a great effort by these ladies and enough was said with their actions alone,” said USC Head Coach Curtis Frye. “They are a great group. It’s been a phenomenal weekend, but the day is not over yet.”

Within an hour later, junior All-American Tiffany Ross-Williams finished second in the 100m hurdles championship with a time of 13.07, while sophomore All-American Ronetta Alexander finished sixth with a time of 14.04. Both of the athletes were members of the winning shuttle hurdle relay on Friday and Ross-Williams also won the 400m hurdles on Thursday with the second-fastest time in Penn Relay history. Senior All-American Shevon Stoddart, who finished second in the 400m hurdles on Thursday and also ran on the winning shuttle hurdle relay, finished third in the Olympic Development 100m hurdles with a personal best time of 13.52.

However, the Gamecocks topped off the day by doing what they’re most known for at the Penn Relays-winning the 4x400m. Stoddart, freshman All-American Natasha Hastings, Ross-Williams and Smith ran 3:28, the second-fastest time in Penn Relay history, for the win that was nationally televised on NBC.

“Before we left, Coach Frye made a statement about winning all five relays and I’m just glad that we got four out of five,” said Tiffany Ross-Williams, who was named the 2005 Female College Most Outstanding Athlete of the meet. “I would just like to thank God, our professors for allowing us to reschedule our exams and the faculty and staff for allowing us to come here, compete and represent the University of South Carolina.”

Ross-Williams was named the 2005 Penn Relays Female Most Outstanding College Athlete, after she totaled one individual title, two relay wins and a second place finish over the three days. After sitting out last season, she has returned to lead the Gamecocks in every way possible, as a team captain, academically and athletically.

The men’s team also had a successful day three at the Penn Relays. Freshman All-American Jason Richardson, who finished fourth in the 400m hurdles on Friday, returned to run 13.76 for second place in the 110m hurdles, the fourth-fastest time in school history. Richardson also ran the lead off leg of the 4x200m relay with Leroy Dixon, Adrian Durant, and Rodney Martin for a fourth place finish with a time of 1:23.06.

“I’m so proud of the University of South Carolina and the athletic department who gave these athletes the opportunity to be here. They displayed their talent, handled stress and maintained their academics,” said Coach Frye. “For Tiffany Ross-Williams to sit out a year and come back to have this kind of meet was just outstanding. For our four seniors, Khalilah Carpenter, Alexis Joyce, Shevon Stoddart and Erica Whipple, who had choices to go to all the other great universities, to come to USC and have a chance to say that the University of South Carolina was the most dominating team at the meet is just wonderful. I’m tearful, full and proud. I’m proud of them socially, academically and athletically.”

Former Gamecocks Aleen Bailey (Jamaica), Lashinda Demus (USA), Otis Harris (USA) and Demetria Washington (USA) also competed at the Penn Relays in the USA versus The World events.

“We had so many alumnae who were running. This is just a family thing. Let’s hope its something that we can continue to do,” Frye added. “This is a unique event and I’m thankful that they all got the opportunity to be here.”

Saturday’s attendance at the Penn Relays was 44,612, totaling 108,809 over the three days. Results are available at