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June 9, 2005

Sacramento, Calif. – The South Carolina women’s track and field team is in Sacramento, Calif. competing at the NCAA Outdoor Championship held at Alex G. Spanos Sports Complex June 8-11. All-American senior Khalilah Carpenter talks about the first day of competition and what to expect from the Gamecocks throughout the rest of the championship.

Q: How do you feel about the Gamecocks’ performance on the first day of competition?

A: Of course things didn’t go as well as we would have liked yesterday. The rain didn’t help, but I’m sure everyone competed to the best of their ability. Some of the people who did not qualify yesterday will have another opportunity to compete and hopefully they will use yesterday’s experience to motivate them in today’s events.

Q: What is the goal for the women’s team here in Sacramento?

A: First we want everyone to get through healthy and being that this is the seniors’ last meet we want to go out how we came in, winning the SEC and NCAA Championships.

Q: Are the Gamecocks still in the race for the national title?

A: Yes, definitely. Even though we had some disappointments yesterday, we still have a lot of events to compete in with several athletes in those events who we expect will step up and make significant contributions for the team.

Q: What is it that keeps the athletes motivated?

A: We have a great group of seniors, including Tiffany, who keep us together as a team and offer great words of inspiration. We have an awesome group of parents who have been there for every meet. We have a dedicated fan from Charleston, S.C. who supports us at every competition, from New York to Sacramento. She even keeps up with the success of former Gamecocks, like Lashinda Demus. And last but not least, we have an experienced coaching staff that encourages us to get out there and do our best at every competition.

Q: What should we expect to see from the Gamecocks on day two of the championship?

A: We should expect to see everyone advance to the finals, including three men and two women in the 200m dash, as well as two women in the 400m hurdles and the women’s 4x400m relay. Chelsea Hammond competes in the qualifying round of the high jump and the final of the long jump and we expect her to put the first points on the board for the Gamecocks. Also competing in the field today is Cheryl Terrio. This is her first national championship, so we expect that it will be a good experience for her and she will give it her all to join the others in Saturday’s finals.