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April 2, 2010

GAINESVILLE, Fla.Brandi Cross and Johnny Dutch ran to nation-leading times in their events Friday to lead South Carolina in the first day of competition at the Pepsi Florida Relays at Percy Beard Track in Gainesville, Fla.

Cross, already the national leader in the 400-meter dash heading into the weekend, ran 52.54 Friday to place first among collegians. The time is also fourth best in the world this year. Teammate Nadonnia Rodrigues placed second at 52.72, a mark that puts her No. 2 in the NCAA this year, giving South Carolina the top two quarter-milers in the nation so far this outdoor season.

“It is great,” South Carolina head coach Curtis Frye said. “They’re being consistent and coming off indoors to get set for a good outdoors. They ran well here. They’re two of the top collegians here and they executed. I can’t say much more about that. I’m really happy that they’re putting things together and helping us put the team together.”

Dutch ran 49.52 to win the 400-meter hurdles and move up two spots to No. 1 in the NCAA. Dutch, who went undefeated in the event until the national championships last year, is now ranked No. 1 nationally in the 400-meter hurdles and No. 2 nationally in the 110-meter hurdles.

Ahead of Dutch in the 110-meter hurdles nationally is teammate Booker Nunley. The sophomore All-American didn’t improve his nation-leading time Friday, but he was the top collegiate finisher at 13.74, with Dutch coming in second at 13.80.

“Johnny had a workout Wednesday where he went and ran 53.5, 54.6 and 56 seconds with 10 minutes in between,” Frye said. “That’s a monster workout. Those are the workouts last year at this time he couldn’t do (at that level). To come out with that workout, ride the bus for six hours and run 49.5 gives us a lot of hope he’ll have an extraordinary year. The same thing goes for Booker in the 110-meter hurdles. This is the third time this season that both guys ran under 14 seconds. They look quite great.”

In the women’s 100-meter dash, Gabrielle Glenn placed sixth at 11.46, and Lakya Brookins took eighth at 11.48 to lead South Carolina to top 10 finishes. Freshman Tatianna Fisher placed 24th at 11.78. In the 200-meter dash, Kelsey McCorkle ran a personal best 23.77, and Glenn ran 23.69 to lead the Gamecocks. In addition, Shayla Mahan ran 24.40 while still recovering from an injury. In Carolina’s other running event of the day on the women’s side, freshman Sierra Henderson placed ninth at 2:12.20.

The women’s hurdles also competed well with Janica Austin running a personal best 13.46 in the 100-meter hurdles to place 10th. Kettiany Clarke followed at 13.70 for 13th. In the 400-meter hurdles, Austin ran 1:00.52 and Clarke ran 1:01.58. Radiance Basden ran 1:02.38.

“It would be remiss for me not to mention our 200-meter and 100-meter people,” Frye said. “We had a good day today. (Gabby and Kya) had good early season times for the workload they’re putting in. We had a freshman run 11.73. She had a great breakthrough at home last weekend. She’s here in front of family and didn’t have the big race, but she stayed solid. In the 200-meter, McCorkle had a personal best today. Gabby came back and had a good run too. To have those two girls come through, along with Shayla, Porche and Janica’s runs, those were good efforts for all those ladies and I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s relays.”

Antonio Sales ran the nation’s fourth-fastest time in the 200-meter at a personal best 20.60. He placed third overall and second among collegians with the run. Obakeng Ngwigwa took seventh at 20.77, also a top 10 time in the nation this year. Quentin Moore led the Gamecock men in the 400-meter dash at 47.58 to place 17th.

“The big thing about the girls and guys, we had a Monday and Tuesday practice that was very tough. We knew coming in it was a big meet, but we didn’t back off training. To get the performances we got today tells us we’re going to do a lot better (later in the year). If we can run as well as we ran today (we’ll do good).”

Field events are still being completed. South Carolina returns to action this Saturday beginning with the men’s pole vault at 1 p.m.

44. Chris Maxwell 10.97 (1.9)
3. Antonio Sales 20.60
7. Obakeng Ngwigwa 20.77
17. Quentin Moore 47.58
34. Aaron Anderson 48.71
38. Andre Carter 49.27
M-110m Hurdles
4. (#1 Coll.) Booker Nunley 13.74 (-0.5)
5. (#2 Coll.) Johnny Dutch 13.80 (-0.5)
45. Scott Pierce 16.15 (1.3)
M-400m Hurdles
1. Johnny Dutch 49.52
M-Long Jump
Lincoln Carr
Scott Pierce
M-Hammer Throw
Michael Zajac
M-Discus Throw
Michael Zajac
Jeff Merkt
6. Gabrielle Glenn 11.46 (3.1)
8. Lakya Brookins 11.48 (3.1)
24. Tatianna Fisher 11.78 (2.5)
32. Shayla Mahan 11.93 (-0.3)
10. Gabrielle Glenn 23.69
11. Kelsey McCorkle 23.77
20. Shayla Mahan 24.40
2. (#1 Coll.) Brandi Cross 52.54
3. (#2 Coll.) Nadonnia Rodrigues 52.72
27. Porche Byrd 55.60
9. Sierra Henderson 2:12.20
29. Erin Fedewa 2:21.09
W-100m Hurdles
10. Janica Austin 13.46 (0.5)
13. Kettiany Clarke 13.70 (-1.1)
W-400m Hurdles
17. Janica Austin 1:00.52
24. Kettiany Clarke 1:01.58
26. Radiance Basden 1:02.38
W-Pole Vault
Sallie Gurganus
Vica Shobe
Allie Nicosia
W-Discus Throw
Aimee Kodat