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April 19, 2006

Tuscaloosa, Ala. – South Carolina sophomore Jaime Cuellar has been named to the 2006 men’s tennis All-SEC second team, the conference office announced on Wednesday. The San Salvador, El Salvador native was voted onto the team by head coaches around the league and becomes the 11th Gamecock player to be named All-SEC since the school joined the conference in 1992, and the first USC sophomore to earn all-conference honors since Vladimir Pavicevic in 1999. In addition, senior Tom Eklund added yet another award to his resume, as he was named to the SEC’s Good Works Team for his efforts in the community during his time in Columbia.

In 2006, Cuellar has built on his outstanding freshman season from a year ago, and with 17 singes wins, is in position to lead the Gamecocks in singles victories for the second straight season. The sophomore has recorded wins over several nationally ranked opponents, including 64th-ranked Andrew Hamar of Wake Forest and newly crowned SEC Freshman of the Year, Bruno Agostinelli of Kentucky.

Both of those wins also played crucial roles in the team’s success, as Cuellar’s win over Agostinelli put Carolina up 3-1 over the No. 21 Wildcats on April 7, while his victory over Hamar clinched USC’s best win of 2006, a 4-3 triumph over then-No. 13 Wake Forest (Feb. 28). Cuellar has compiled 45 singles wins so far in his two years at Carolina, and is off to the best start to a career since Guillaume Legat picked up back-to-back All-SEC honors in 1998-99.

Eklund, a senior from Hollviken, Sweden, has volunteered countless hours in the Columbia community since arriving at USC for the 2002-03 school year. His service has included spending time as a volunteer at the Harvest Hope Food Bank, working at the State Fairgrounds for The Animal Protection League Auction, working at the USTA/ITF Junior Classic and teaching basic tennis skills to students at W.A. Perry Middle School.

On Wednesday, Carolina completed its preparations for a first round encounter with SEC East rival Tennessee in the SEC Tournament on Thursday. The seventh-seeded Gamecocks will take on the No. 10 seed Volunteers in an 10 a.m. (ET) match at the Alabama Tennis Complex in Tuscaloosa. The winner will advance to face second-seeded Florida in Friday’s quarterfinals.