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March 2, 2008

Complete Results

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The South Carolina men’s mile relay won the SEC Championship as the men’s track and field team placed seventh with 42 points at the SEC Championships held at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, Ark. The women’s team placed ninth with 20.50 points, ending a streak of 14 consecutive top five finishes.

“It was a great weekend,” South Carolina head coach Curtis Frye said. “It doesn’t look like it because of our scores, but the SEC is the best league in the country as everybody knows. There are a lot of teams here that are going to be in the top 20 nationally, and this gives us a shot to be in the top 20 for the men. On the women’s side, we’re going to fight our hearts out and see if we can get in the top 25.”

The men’s 4x400m relay team won the SEC Championship with the nation’s third-fastest time of the year at 3:07.19, becoming USC’s first indoor conference champion on the men’s side since the mile relay also won the SEC title in 2003. Keith Hinnant led off the Gamecocks and pulled in front with a 46.5 split. Aaron Anderson increased the lead to 15 meters in the second leg, giving the handoff to Jussi Heikkila for the third leg. Quentin Moore kept the pace as the anchor for the second-consecutive year.

“Our mile relay on the men’s side did well,” Frye said. “Antonio Sales, a freshman, did a great job in the 200 meters. Kayla Blake in the high jump scored as well. It was a great job by our freshmen. We have a very good freshman group. Aaron Anderson made the finals in the men’s quarter-mile and Johnny Dutch scored for us as well.”

Brandi Cross posted her first NCAA automatic qualifying time this season, running a 52.12 time in the 400-meter dash to take second. Cross, who set a new PR with the time, now holds the nation’s second-fastest time in the event after Alabama’s Trish Bartholomew took first Sunday at 52.10. The placement moves Cross up to fifth in the South Carolina record books in the event after reaching seventh all-time in yesterday’s preliminary round when she ran a 52.53.

Cross also ran the third leg in the women’s 4x400m relay that also took second at 3:33.34. The time is a season best and is the second-fastest time in the nation this year behind LSU, which took the gold Sunday at 3:31.89. Krystal Cantey led off for the Gamecocks with a 54.1 split, followed by Faraign Giles and Cross. Porche Byrd ran anchor for the Gamecocks as they finished with a provisional time.

Jason Richardson, who holds the nation’s fourth-fastest time in the 60-meter hurdles this year, took second in Sunday’s final at 7.74. Freshman Johnny Dutch also scored points with a seventh place showing at 7.87. Both times were provisional runs for the Gamecocks as they accumulated 10 points in the event. Ty Akins of Auburn took the gold at 7.72.

Jason Richardson is back,” Frye said. “He had a great time that is one of the top three times in the country. He has a chance to come back here (to Fayetteville) in the national championship meet.”

Freshman Antonio Sales gave the Carolina men’s team its first NCAA automatic qualifying time of the season after placing third in the 200-meter dash at 20.83. Sales, whose time in the 200m has decreased with every run this season, moves to second on the all-time South Carolina indoor list behind former Gamecock Rodney Martin, who holds the record at 20.38.

Jussi Heikkila, who set a Finland national record Saturday in the men’s 400-meter dash at 47.27, responded in Sunday’s final by lowering his time again, recording his first provisional time of the year. Heikkila placed sixth at 47.09 to score for the Gamecocks, and Quentin Moore also put points on the board in eighth place at 47.37, a season-high. Aaron Anderson came in at ninth at 47.38, a new PR for the freshman.

Jason Cook became the second men’s thrower this weekend to score for Carolina, taking seventh in the shot put at 56-9 ¼. Cook became the first Gamecock to place at the SEC Indoor Championships in the shot put since former Gamecock Adam Bishop took eighth in 2001.

“We had a lot of great things happen,” Frye said. “Our throwers stepped up and got things done. We were pleased with them and they are all returning for outdoors. We’re looking for a great outdoor season.”

Freshman Kayla Blake scored after tying for seventh in the women’s high jump. Blake cleared 5-5 ¾ to tie Georgia’s Shaquita Young.

Brittney James put points on the board for the Gamecock women in the first event of the day, finishing eighth in the 60-meter hurdles at 8.52. James also scored Saturday when she took eighth in the long jump at 19-10 ¼. She has posted provisional marks in both events this season.

Kelsey Bristol, Gabrielle Glenn, Ashley Evens and Rebecca Chain earned points as the women’s distance medley relay team after placing eighth at 12:18.82. Using the combination for the first time this season, the time for the group was the fastest for the Gamecocks this season. Bristol ran the first leg, followed by Glenn in the 400m, Evens in the 800m and Chain anchoring in the mile.

Freshman Matt Shuler, a White Knoll graduate, tied for ninth in the men’s pole vault with a clearance of 15-11, falling just a quarter-inch short of his personal-best mark.

“I’m not as down going out of this meet as I was going in because I know how tough this conference is,” Frye said. “There’s a lot of hope for the Gamecock track program and it’s not going to take as long as I thought to build the team back up after the losses of Natasha Hastings, Shalonda Solomon and Amberly Nesbitt.”

The Gamecocks will now prepare for the NCAA Last Chance Meets that will be held in various locations this weekend.

1. Arkansas 124, 2. LSU 108, 3. Tennessee 99.50, 4. Florida 79.50, 5. Georgia 72, 6. Kentucky 48, 7. South Carolina 42, 8. Auburn 37, 9. Alabama 30, 10. Ole Miss 21

1. LSU 133, 2. Tennessee 116, 3. Arkansas 93, 4. Florida 90, 5. Kentucky 57, 6. Ole Miss 49, 7. Alabama 43, 8. Auburn 27, 9. South Carolina 20.50, 10. Georgia 14.50, 11. Mississippi State 12, 12. Vanderbilt 8

Men’s 4x400m Relay (Finals)
1. Hinnant, Anderson, Heikkila, Moore 3:07.19

Women’s 4x400m Relay (Finals)
2. Cantey, Giles, Cross, Byrd 3:33.34

Women’s 60m Hurdles (Finals)
8. Brittney James 8.52

Men’s 60m Hurdles (Finals)
2. Jason Richardson 7.74P, 7. Johnny Dutch 7.87P

Women’s 400m Dash (Finals)
2. Brandi Cross 52.12A

Men’s 400m Dash (Finals)
6. Jussi Heikkila 47.09P, 8. Quentin Moore 47.27, 9. Aaron Anderson 47.38

Men’s 200m Dash (Finals)
3. Antonio Sales 20.83A

Women’s Weight Throw (Finals)
19. Aimee Kodat 42-0

Men’s Pole Vault (Finals)
T9. Matt Shuler 15-11

Men’s Shot Put (Finals)
7. Jason Cook 56-9 ¼, 16. David Zaycek 52-6 ½

Women’s High Jump (Finals)
T7. Kayla Blake 5-5 ¾, 12. Staley Foster 5-1 ¾

Women’s 5000m (Finals)
26. Callie Rabun 18:16.33

Men’s Triple Jump (Finals)
11. Derek Pressley 46-0, 12. Scott Pierce 45-7 ¼

Women’s Distance Medley Relay (Finals)
8. Bristol, Glenn, Evens, Chain 12:18.82