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March 7, 2008

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina will send select members of the men’s and women’s track teams to the NCAA Last Chance Meets at Iowa State and Virginia Tech Saturday for the final opportunity to qualify athletes for the NCAA Indoor Championships that take place March 14-15 in Fayetteville, Ark.

Twenty-six athletes will travel to the Rector Field House in Blacksburg, Va., while 10 athletes will travel to the Lied Recreational Center in Ames, Iowa. The Gamecock men’s team jumped 23 spots in this week’s USTFCCCA rankings to No. 26 after placing seventh at the SEC Indoor Championships last weekend. The women’s team also jumped in the rankings, making a return to the top 20 with a six spot improvement to No. 19.

At Iowa State, Michael Zajac will look to improve his team-best 62-7 ¾ in the weight throw while Jason Cook’s mark of 58-0 ½ is just three inches short of a qualifying mark. Lamar Markett will run the 60m dash in addition to the 200m where he is less than half a second away from a qualifying mark in both events. Six Gamecock men will compete in the 400m dash: Quentin Moore, Jussi Heikkila, Keith Hinnant, Aaron Anderson, Jamil James and Ray Miley. Heikkila holds the lone qualifying mark in the event but all of the Gamecocks are within striking range as their times have improved throughout the season. Derron Flood rounds out the competitors where he will attempt to better his 21.35 in the 200m dash.

The men and women will be represented at Virginia Tech. Antonio Sales will run in the 60m dash after earning an automatic qualifying time in the 200m last weekend at the SEC Indoor Championships.

Scott Pierce and Johnny Dutch will both try new events Saturday. Pierce will run the 200m while Dutch, a provisional qualifier in the hurdles, will compete in the 400m dash. Dutch will also attempt to reach an automatic qualifying time in the 60m hurdles along with Jason Richardson, who holds the fifth fastest time in the nation in the event.

Derek Pressley holds a provisional time of 51-2 ¾ in the triple jump and has a shot at cracking an automatic time of 52-10.

On the women’s side, Carolina’s trio of freshman qualifiers will compete in the 60m dash. Lakya Brookins, Shayla Mahan and Gabrielle Glenn will all compete in the event as well as in the 200m dash where Sade St. Louis, Brandi Cross and Faraign Giles will attempt to best their times.

Cross ran the nation’s second-fastest time this year in the 400m last weekend to post an automatic time of 52.12, but she will attempt to better her score along with Krystal Cantey, Giles, St. Louis, Porche Byrd, Trier Young and Bianca Blair. Young will also compete in the 60m hurdles, an event that she is one-tenth of a second from posting a provisional time.

Brittney James holds qualifying marks in the long jump and 60m hurdles but will compete in the long jump Saturday. Her mark of 20-5 set at the Tom Jones Memorial puts her five inches from an automatic time. Carolina will also travel its trio of pole vaulters in Sallie Gurganus, Vica Shobe and Liza Todd. Shobe placed ninth at the SEC Championships with a clearance of 12-6 ¼ to lead the Gamecocks this year. Gurganus has a season-best of 12-5 ½ but holds a personal best of 12-8 ¼. Todd, a team captain, holds firm at 12-1 ½, set at the Rod McCravy Memorial.

Men’s Weight Throw (11:50 a.m.) – Michael Zajac
Men’s Shot Put (3 p.m.) – Jason Cook
Men’s 60m Dash (11:55 a.m.) – Lamar Markett
Men’s 400m Dash (12:45 p.m.) – Quentin Moore, Jussi Heikkila, Keith Hinnant, Aaron Anderson, Jamil James, Ray Miley
Men’s 200m Dash (2:05 p.m.) – Derron Flood, Lamar Market
Men’s 4x400m Relay (3:55 p.m.) – Anderson, Flood, Heikkila, Hinnant, James, Markett, Miley, Moore

Women’s 60m Dash (1:05 p.m.) – Lakya Brookins, Shayla Mahan, Gabrielle Glenn
Women’s 200m Dash (3:30 p.m.) – Shayla Mahan, Sade St. Louis, Gabrielle Glenn, Brandi Cross, Faraign Giles, Lakya Brookins
Women’s 400m Dash (2:30 p.m.) – Brandi Cross, Faraign Giles, Krystal Cantey, Porche Byrd, Sade St. Louis, Trier Young, Bianca Blair
Women’s 60m Hurdles (12:45 p.m.) – Trier Young
Women’s 4x400m Relay (5:20 p.m.) – Blair, Byrd, Cantey, Giles, Glenn, St. Louis, Young
Women’s High Jump (3:15) – Staley Foster, Kayla Blake
Women’s Pole Vault (12 noon) – Sallie Gurganus, Vica Shobe, Liza Todd
Women’s Long Jump (12 noon) – Brittney James
Men’s 60m Dash (1:15 p.m.) – Antonio Sales, Johnathan Hancock
Men’s 200m Dash (3:50 p.m.) – Scott Pierce
Men’s 400m Dash (2:45 p.m.) – Johnny Dutch
Men’s 60m Hurdles (12:55 p.m.) – Jason Richardson, Johnny Dutch, Curt McGill, Scott Pierce
Men’s 4x400m Relay (5:30 p.m.) – South Carolina “B”
Men’s High Jump (10:30 a.m.) – Curt McGill
Men’s Pole Vault (Follows Women) – Matt Shuler, Kevin Brinkley
Men’s Long Jump (12 noon) – Scott Pierce
Men’s Triple Jump (Follows LJ) – Derek Pressley
Men’s Shot Put (12 noon) – David Zaycek
Men’s Weight Throw (Follows SP) – David Zaycek