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May 13, 2010


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – South Carolina senior Kettiany Clarke broke a seven-year old Tom Black Track record in the 100-meter hurdles to lead the Gamecocks after the first day of competition at the SEC Outdoor Championships held at LaPorte Stadium on the campus of the University of Tennessee.

Clarke ran a personal best 13.33 in the 100-meter hurdles to break the record held by a pair of former Olympians in Tiffany Lott (BYU) and Hyleas Fountain (Georgia). Lott, a two-time NCAA champion, set the previous Tom Black Track record of 13.46 at the NCAA Championships in 1995 before Fountain, a 2008 Olympic silver medalist, also ran that time at the 2003 SEC Championships on May 15, 2003.

“That was a big deal,” Clarke said of her time. “I just listened to my coach and he said get out of the blocks. He called it `shuffling over the hurdles, shuffling over the hurdles,’ and that’s what I did. I’m really happy with that time.”

Clarke sits third after four events in the women’s heptathlon with 3,399 points after taking first in two events, fifth in one and eighth in one. Freshman Ceci Kryst is 14th with 2,435 points after the first day of competition. In the men’s decathlon, Scott Pierce is fifth after five events with 3,815 points, and Eddie Stoudemire is right behind in sixth place with 3,793 points.

“They had a very good first day,” South Carolina assistant head coach Delethea Quarles said. “We always try to set the right tone for the team when the heptathlon and decathlon are the first to go. We always try to start it right so the momentum is high and good, and KeKe did that. She had three PR’s in the hurdles, 200 and shot put. This is the meet you want to PR. It’s good to be in the company of all this great competition and to be your best. We’re happy about the start so far. Day one was a good day.”

Clarke finished over two-tenths of a second faster than the second place finisher in the 100-meter hurdles and moved to No. 7 on the South Carolina all-time list in the event while also positioning herself to compete well at the NCAA Preliminary Round in two weeks as a hurdler. Kryst took 13th in the first event of the day with a time of 14.93, giving the freshman 851 points after one event.

Clarke’s second victory on the day came in the shot put where she once again hit a personal best by throwing it 40’0 (12.19m) to earn 674 points. Kryst claimed 15th in the event at 27’8 (8.43m). The duo then competed in the high jump with Clarke taking eighth (5’4 ¼) and Kryst taking 15th (4’4 ¼). They concluded the day with the 200-meter dash as Clarke ran 25.09 to take fifth and Kryst ran 26.92 to take 15th.

In the men’s decathlon, Stoudemire and Pierce remained consistent throughout the day in their first SEC Outdoor Championship decathlon appearances in two years. In the 100-meter dash to open the meet, Stoudemire took fourth at 10.88 and Pierce claimed eighth at 11.21. The men then moved to the long jump with Pierce taking fifth at 22’10 ½ (6.97m) and Stoudemire claiming eighth at 22’4 ½ (6.82m).

The duo then moved to the shot put where Stoudemire placed fourth with a throw of 40’11 ½ (12.48m) while Pierce placed sixth with a throw of 39’8 ¾ (12.11m). In the penultimate event of the day, Pierce tied for sixth in the high jump at 6’3 ¼ (1.91m) with Stoudemire placing 10th with a clearance of 6’0 ¾ (1.85m).

In the final event of the day, both runners won their heats of the 400-meter dash as Pierce edged the competition 20 meters before the finish line with a personal best 49.06. Stoudemire won his heat and finished fourth overall at 49.71.

“They have good momentum going for this first day. Overall it was a very good first day. We’re hoping to come out tomorrow with an even higher energy and set the tone for the day. It was a very good first day for both Scott and Eddie. Eddie has been overcoming things, so it’s good to see his day.”

Competition resumes Friday with the conclusion of the decathlon and heptathlon beginning at 4 p.m. Field events for the rest of the team will begin with Michael Zajac in the men’s hammer throw at 1 p.m. while running events will start with the women’s 800m prelims at 7 p.m.

5. Kettiany Clarke 25.09 (879 pts)
15. Ceci Kryst 26.92 (718 pts)
W-100m Hurdles HEPTATHLON
1. Kettiany Clarke 13.33 (1075 pts)
13. Ceci Kryst 14.93 (851 pts)
8. Kettiany Clarke 5-04.25 // 1.63m (771 pts)
15. Ceci Kryst 4-04.25 // 1.33m (439 pts)
1. Kettiany Clarke 40-00.00 // 12.19m (674 pts)
15. Ceci Kryst 27-08.00 / 8.43m (427 pts)
3. Kettiany Clarke 3,399 pts
14. Ceci Kryst 2,435 pts
4. Eddie Stoudemire 10.88 (888 pts)
8. Scott Pierce 11.21 (814 pts)
1. Scott Pierce 49.06 (858 pts)
4. Eddie Stoudemire 49.71 (828 pts)
5. Scott Pierce 22-10.50 // 6.97m (807 pts)
8. Eddie Stoudemire 22-04.50 // 6.82m (771 pts)
T6. Scott Pierce 6-03.25 // 1.91m (723 pts)
10. Eddie Stoudemire 6-00.75 // 1.85m (670 pts)
4. Eddie Stoudemire 40-11.50 // 12.48m (636 pts)
6. Scott Pierce 39-08.75 // 12.11m (613 pts)
5. Scott Pierce 3,815 pts
6. Eddie Stoudemire 3,793 pts