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Feb. 23, 2006

The University of South Carolina Gamecocks will travel to Gainesville, Fla. for the 2006 Southeastern Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships, February 24-26. The South Carolina women, ranked third in the nation, are looking for their first ever SEC Indoor track & field title while the men figure to finish in the middle of the pack.

“We’re going to try to win the conference meet,” said USC head coach Curtis Frye of his women’s team. “It would be something special, having never won one. This year we have pretty good balance and we go into the meet as healthy as we have been all season. I think there will be some very good teams here, and we are one of them. If everything goes well, we could be the favorite, but Arkansas, Tennessee and LSU always have very good teams. Alabama is a senior-laden team that you need to keep an eye on as well,” cautioned Frye. “It’s a matter of who can produce this weekend. We just ask our people to perform at their best and let the score take care of itself. We think if we can score somewhere around 95 points, that will get us in the mix,” he added.

“On the men’s side, I think somewhere between six-seven-eight is the goal,” continued Frye. “We had hopes of being in the top five, but right now that not a very realistic goal. I’d rather be sixth than eighth,” added the Gamecocks’ coach. “I think if we can get to around 45 points, we will be about maxed out.”

Last season, the USC women finished fifth at the SEC Indoor Championships before winning the outdoor title. The men were seventh at the conference indoor meet and went on to place ninth at the outdoor championships.

The women are led by short sprinters Amberly Nesbitt and Shalonda Solomon, quartermilers Natasha Hastings and Stephanie Smith, hurdler Ronnetta Alexander, pole vaulter Cheryl Terrio and Chelsea Hammond, who is featured in the pentathlon, high jump and long jump. The USC men are led by hurdler Jason Richardson, Brook Antonio in the weight throw, Greig Cryer in the long and triple jump, Keith Hinnant in the 400 meters and short sprinter Leroy Dixon.