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Aug. 29, 2007

It looks to be a BIG THURSDAY for Gamecock track and field! While rising senior Natasha Hastings, who signed a professional contract this summer, failed to make the finals of the 400m earlier this week, three other former Gamecock All-Americans advanced to the next round – with Rodney Martin and Tiffany Williams making the finals set for Thursday. The meet can be seen all week long on the Versus channel and on NBC this weekend. Check your local listings.

Showing the strength of the former five Gamecocks competing at the World Championships individually, all five advanced out of the first round of competition with four already making the semi-finals – Trammell is only in the second round of the hurdles. Hastings and Williams join Leroy Dixon, Miki Barber and Lisa Barber in the USA relay pools for the 4x100m and 4x400m relays to be run later this week.

Two-time Olympic silver medalist Terrence Trammell won his heat of the first round of the 110m hurdles at 13.40 and advances to Thursday’s second round. Trammell won five NCAA titles at USC and is already a member of the South Carolina Hall of Fame (2005).

“I’ve been in Japan for two weeks and a half, so I spent time watching the others and getting nervous,” said Trammell, who won his first USA 110m hurdles title in June. “I was aware that some of the guys in my heat would try to have a shot at their lifetime best. But for me the most important was to get the feeling of competition and get through it.”

Williams ran a 54.15 to qualify for Thursday’s 400m hurdle finals. Williams won the USA title in June in the same event.

“Definitely, I’m glad I made it to the finals,” said Williams. “The race didn’t go like I wanted it to. My first 200 was way too slow. Coming home, I just had nothing left. I just have to rest up and get ready for Thursday. I have a lot of confidence in myself. I know what I am capable of doing. My goal is to win the gold medal. Definitely I was aware of my surroundings. I made it to the finals. I just have to regroup and get ready for the finals.”

Martin was third in his semi-final heat of the 200m at 20.18 to advance to Thursday’s final. It is a season best for Martin who finished third at the USA Championships. Martin is also a member of the USA’s 4x100m relay pool.

Hastings finished seventh in her heat at 51.45 and did not advance to the finals. It’s been a long season for the 11-time All-American who captured three NCAA titles this year and broke the indoor and outdoor collegiate record in the 400m.