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July 5, 2008

EUGENE, Ore. – Former South Carolina standout Shalonda Solomon won another round of the women’s 200-meter dash to lead three Gamecocks that advanced to compete again tonight at the U.S. Olympic Trials at Hayward Field. Solomon ran a 22.68 in the quarterfinal round to post the fastest time in the event for the second consecutive day.

Solomon, who ran a 22.51 last night in the qualifying round for the win, will join former Gamecock Miki Barber in the semifinal round beginning at 5:05 p.m. (EST) later today. Barber placed 12th overall at 23.33. Former Gamecocks Mechelle Lewis (23.55) and Natasha Hastings (23.55) finished 19th and 20th, respectively, and did not advance to Saturday’s semifinal round.

Rodney Martin enjoyed the biggest jump of all the men in the 200-meter dash quarterfinals as he also advances to Saturday night’s semifinal round. After placing 15th in the qualifying round yesterday at 21.00, Martin ran a 20.52 to place second overall in the quarterfinal round. Already a pool candidate for the 4×100 relay team at Beijing, Martin will run again tonight at 5:29 p.m. (EST).

In his quest for a third Olympic berth and his first gold medals at the Olympic Games, former Gamecock Terrence Trammell ran a 13.50 to place second in his heat and seventh overall. However, bad fortune befell fellow Gamecock and current South Carolina athlete Jason Richardson who ran right beside Trammell in lane four. Richardson’s quest for his first Olympic berth ends after he was not able to finish the race. (More details to come later!)

Trammell will race in the quarterfinal round at 4:45 p.m. (EST) today in hopes of advancing to tomorrow’s final two rounds. The top 16 hurdlers in today’s quarterfinal will advance to compete tomorrow.

Tonight’s television coverage at the Olympic Trials will run from 5-7 p.m. (EST) on NBC.