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June 28, 2005

Kingston, Jamaica – South Carolina track and field senior All-Americans Chelsea Hammond and Shevon Stoddart competed in the Supreme Ventures National Senior Athletes Championships at the National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica last week. Both athletes finished in the top three of their events, qualifying for the national team.

Hammond, a significant contributor of the Gamecocks’ SEC and East Regional titles, as well as their second place finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championship, competed in the senior high and long jumps at the Jamaican trials. Finishing third in the high jump with a height of 5’8 _ and fourth in the long jump with a distance of 20’8, Hammond may qualify for the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Championships in Nassau, Bahamas the first week of July.

“I jumped 6.30m (20’8) in the long jump and my best this season was 6.33m (20’9 _), so it wasn’t that bad,” Hammond said. “I still wanted to jump a little better, but considering the circumstances that I got injured indoors, I’m ok with that mark. I wasn’t quite satisfied with the high jump, but I tried my best and that’s all I can ask at this point. I would love to make the team this summer to get another opportunity to improve my marks for the season. If I don’t I’ll just get my body ready and prepare for next year. So what ever happens I’ll be fine with it.”

Stoddart, a member of the 2004 Jamaican Olympic Team and 400m hurdles runner-up at the 2005 NCAA Championship, finished second in the only round of the event Saturday in Kingston. In what she describes as not a difficult competition, Stoddart ran 56.1. Going into the competition with a personal best of 54.47, an A standard time, finishing in the top three qualified Stoddart for the Jamaican National Team that will compete August 6-14 at the World Athletics Championships in Helsinki.

“I wasn’t too happy with my race, but I’m happy because I went there with the plan of making the team and that’s what I did,” Stoddart said. “Now, I’ll get ready for the CAC Championships in Nassau and then the World Championship in Europe.”

USC sophomore All-American Stephanie Smith also earned a trip to the World Championship. Smith finished eighth in the USATF Senior Championship on June 25th in Carson, Calif., qualifying for the 4x400m relay pool to compete in Helsinki.