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May 27, 2005

New York, N.Y. – South Carolina men’s and women’s track and field started the East Regional Competition in championship spirit, totaling three top-three finishes in field events on Friday in New York.

With the highest finish of the day, junior Greig Cryer showed the east region what he was capable of in the long jump. After battling with a hamstring injury all season, Cryer jumped 25’1 ¼ for a season best and the east regional championship title.

“Greig has been up and down throughout the outdoor season with a lingering hamstring injury, but in spite of that he was still able to pull of a win,” said Assistant Head Coach Delethea Quarles. “To get a win in the regional meet is an outstanding accomplishment and from here we’re definitely looking forward to the national championship.”

Senior All-American Chelsea Hammond also experienced success in the long jump on Friday. Hammond finished second in the event with a leap of 20’7, earning eight points for the women’s team. However, junior Cheryl Terrio earned the first points of the day. Terrio vaulted a personal best of 13’3 ¾ for an impressive third place finish in the pole vault, earning six points for the Gamecocks and her first NCAA Championship appearance.

In running events for the men’s team, freshman All-American Jason Richardson ran 13.73, a season best and the third fastest time of the day, in the 110m hurdles to advance to Saturday’s final. Also advancing for the men’s team are juniors Leroy Dixon and Adrian Durant, and senior All-American Rodney Martin. Dixon ran 10.19 in the 100m dash preliminaries to finish second in his heat with the second fastest time of the day. Dixon’s time was under the meet record that was broken in the same heat by Walter Dix, of Florida State, with a time of 10.06. Martin ran 10.26 for the third fastest time of the day in the 100m and returned to run 20.64 for the second fastest time of the day in the 200m dash, qualifying for the finals in both events. Dixon advanced in the 200m with a time of 20.58, while Durant ran 20.98, also advancing.

Junior distance runner William Emase had another impressive performance in the 800m preliminaries, earning advancement to Saturday’s final by winning his heat with a time of 1:49.90.

Freshmen Keith Hinnant and Jamil James had solid performances in the 400m dash preliminaries but did not advance to the finals. Hinnant, who ran 47.02, just missed advancing with a ninth place finish. Richardson, who qualified earlier in the 110m hurdles, also finished in ninth place in the 400m hurdles and did not advance in the event.

Starting off the day in the women’s running events was South Carolina’s No. 1 ranked 4x100m relay. Led by senior All-Americans Alexis Joyce and Erica Whipple, with freshmen All-Americans Amberly Nesbitt on the lead off and Shalonda Solomon anchoring, the Gamecocks finished with the fastest time of the day (43.89) to advance to Saturday’s final.

However, this was only the beginning for these four athletes, as each of them advanced later in the 100m and 200m dashes. Whipple stepped it up a notch this weekend, running the second fastest time of the day and a season best of 11.38 in the 100m dash. Nesbitt followed, winning her heat with the third fastest time of 11.43. Solomon ran 11.49, while Joyce ran 11.60, also advancing to Saturday’s final. In the 200m dash, Solomon again was at the top of the list with the top time of 22.99. Whipple, in the same heat as Solomon, finished with second fastest time of the day of 23.13, advancing to the final.

Sophomore All-American Stephanie Smith had an impressive performance in the 400m dash preliminaries to advance to the final with a time of 52.20, while freshman All-American Natasha Hastings advanced with a time of 52.33.

In hurdle action, junior All-American Tiffany Ross-Williams advanced in both the 100m and 400m hurdles with times of 13.48 and 56.74, respectively. Sophomore All-American Ronnetta Alexander also advanced in the 100m hurdles with a time of 13.42, while senior All-American Shevon Stoddart advanced in the 400m hurdles with a time of 58.76.

The men’s team finished the first day of competition with 10 points and tied for fifth place, while the women totaled 14 points to tie for third. Gamecocks will kick-off competition in the field on Saturday at 12 p.m. with the women’s discus trial and final, followed by the women’s 4x100m relay final as the first running event at 3:30 p.m. The meet will conclude with the women’s 4x400m relay at 7:30 p.m. Results will be available following the meet at