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Feb. 29, 2008

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Championship Central

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina track programs travel to Fayetteville, Ark., to compete in the 2008 SEC Championships, marking the second time this season they will compete at the Randall Tyson Track. A total of 25 student-athletes from the men’s program is set to compete while the women’s team will bring 27 to the event.

Carolina’s women have placed in the top five at the SEC championships for 12 consecutive years, taking fifth place last season. The men’s team placed 10th in 2007. Using the SEC’s current performance list as a basis to score this weekend’s indoor championships, the Gamecock men would finish ninth while the 25th-ranked women would be projected to place seventh.

The men’s team currently has nine provisional times posted this season, led by six in the 60-meter hurdles. Jason Richardson has posted five provisional times in the event with a season best of 7.71 set at the Tom Jones Memorial Classic in Gainesville. Johnny Dutch also hit a provisional mark at 7.91 in Gainesville. Derek Pressley is the other individual to hit a provisional mark after jumping 51-2.75 in the triple jump at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational. The final two provisional times were set by the 4x400m relay team that has a season best of 2:09.98 set at the Tom Jones Memorial Classic.

The women’s team has posted 19 provisional times this season, highlighted by 11 times set in the 60-meter dash. Freshmen Lakya Brookins, Shayla Mahan and Gabrielle Glenn have all combined in the short sprint to post the times, led by Brookins’s 7.35 at the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville. Shayla Mahan has a season best of 7.40 (New Balance Invitational) and Glenn recorded her first provisional time last weekend at the Gamecock Invitational, winning the preliminary round at 7.43. Returning All-American Brandi Cross has the nation’s third-fastest time in the 400-meter dash at 52.83 and she has also competed in the 4x400m relay that has posted three provisional times. The relay team of Cross, Krystal Cantey, Faraign Giles and Porche Byrd has the nation’s fourth-fastest time in the event at 3:35.52. Brittney James rounds out the provisional marks with two in the long jump. Her longest distance this season has been 20-5 set at the Tom Jones Memorial Classic.

Live scoring can be found at Friday’s events will begin at 3 p.m. with the men’s heptathlon and the women’s pentathlon.