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May 18, 2008

Recap | Complete Results

Auburn, Ala. – South Carolina’s women and men were seventh and the women were eighth at the SEC Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Coach Curtis Frye, in his 12th year, was proud of his very young squad that won nine medals. Coach Frye and his thoughts:

Brandi Cross had a great meet and scored for the first time in the SEC Outdoor Championships. It was a lot of stress and she was a great leader in getting these girls fired up. We have a young group of kids and they fought their hearts out.

“Our next thing is to get to the regional meet healthy. Everyone can see Carolina is going to be a force in the future with this young group. I can’t say enough about Johnny Dutch being fourth (110m hurdles) and runner-up (400m hurdles). Johnny Dutch got injured earlier in the year, but is a focused athlete that trains, takes care of his body, studies in the classroom – he is a total package. He got frustrated when he got injured and that set him back indoors. He is very coachable and he is going to be a lot of fun the next four years.

Jussi Heikkila ran 49.52 and needed a 49.50 for an Olympic qualifier. He is going to have two regional races and three NCAA Championship races so he has five races to do it. His confidence should be pretty high after this race today.”

“We have Jason Cook in the shot put who has PR’ed, too. I feel really good about the direction our men are headed. We weren’t expecting Jason to finish third – we were hoping for sixth place. That’s huge.

“When we get the kind of facilities that others have, I really like the way our program is going and we will build it. The administration is trying to find a way to get back in the hunt on the women’s side – we lost 60 points for those that are not here (went pro, injured). I feel very proud of our young ladies.

Quentin Moore is on the verge of getting where he needs to be. He is going to get it done. He had almost a second PR and that is great for a young man to run at that level.

“The 39.66 for the 4x100m relay is No. 4 in the region and in the country we are maybe top 10 or close.

“Our triple jumper Derek Pressley also scored in third place. He was sixth in the round and jumped to third place in the last jump. Amiee Kodat was seventh in the discus, qualifying for the regional. It was really good.

Three men’s 400m hurdlers ran 50.38 or better at this meet, including two who ran under 50 point in the finals (Heikkila and Dutch).
“I don’t know if it’s ever been done. That a school has had that many guys run that fast – three guys. It’s a milestone for me. I have never had one run 48 and another 49 and the other 50 point. They are very talented and Jussi is so motivated. He came here with the goals of being able to run in the Olympic Games. I am just glad we can assist someone in getting close to his or her dreams. Jason has made two great sacrifices to help the team. We have a shot at doing something that is unique and special.

How do you feel after this meet headed to regionals?
“Our goal is to be in the top five in the region and we have a chance of doing that on the men’s side. It will be a difficult task to finish in the top five for the women. Our goal is to qualify as many people as possible for the NCAA Championships.