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April 22, 2008

South Carolina hurdler Jason Richardson has been named the Southeastern Conference Runner of the Week after running the NCAA’s top time this season in the 110m hurdles last weekend at North Carolina A&T. South Carolina travels to Penn Relays this weekend (Wed., April 23 – Sat., April 26). A number of the relay finals, including USA vs. the World, will be broadcast live on national television on ESPN2 at 2 pm on Sat., April 26.

Richardson’s 13.31 in the hurdles last weekend was No. 2 all-time in USC school history and the best time run over the high hurdles since former Gamecock Terrence Trammell ran a 13.19 at the 2000 USA Olympic Trials when he made the Olympic team, winning his first of two silver medals in Sydney.

Richardson, a native of Cedar Hill, Texas, was the NCAA runner-up in the 60m hurdles in March. His time of 50.65 in the 400m hurdles is No. 3 in the SEC and No. 7 in the NCAA this week.

“It’s still relatively early so that was a good, strong time for a collegiate, but there is still a lot of room for improvement if I want to compare myself to other professional athletes,” said Richardson. “As a collegiate, the time is a strong mark – historically 13.3 and 13.4 is what it takes to win the NCAA title so I am ahead of schedule as far as running the time it takes to win the title. But, I still have the ambition to run a 13.2 before nationals.”

(running the 400m hurdles) “I have to try and remain focused on the 400m hurdles,” said Richardson. “It’s still my goal to win that race this weekend and run a sub-50 time in the 400m hurdles at Penn Relays. The stadium atmosphere lends itself to running good times and Penn Relays is a carnival so I intend to run fast and get clowning.

“My teammate and training partner, Jussi Heikkila, is coming off another great race at A&T last weekend. I am sure will running hard to defend his title and keep the championship home at Carolina (Heikkila won the 400m hurdles last year at Penn Relays).”