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June 25, 2010

DES MOINES, Iowa – Five women with South Carolina ties advanced to the semifinal of the women’s 100-meter dash to open competition Thursday at the 2010 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Drake Stadium.

Shalonda Solomon, Lisa Barber, Miki Barber, Lakya Brookins and Shayla Mahan each advanced to compete Friday. Solomon placed fourth at 11.31, followed by Lisa Barber in sixth at 11.41 to round out the automatic qualifiers. Miki Barber, Brookins and Mahan each advanced on time with Miki finishing 12th at 11.50, Brookins finishing 13th at 11.53 and Mahan earning the final qualifying spot at 11.63.

In the men’s 100-meter dash, Leroy Dixon and Rodney Martin both advanced to Friday’s semifinals. Dixon took third at 10.27 and Martin took 16th at 10.56.

Junior Johnny Dutch took third in the intermediate hurdle preliminary round with a time of 49.64. The 2009 USA silver medalist and 2010 NCAA Champion returns to the track Friday at 7:45 p.m. for the semifinal.

Natasha Hastings and Brandi Cross both advanced in the women’s 400-meter dash. Hastings, a 2008 Olympic gold medalist, took second in the prelims at 51.91. Cross, who just completed a great career at South Carolina, took 11th to advance with a time of 52.90.

Three current Gamecocks competed at the USA Junior Championships Thursday as well. In the men’s high jump competition, freshman David Wilkins placed eighth overall at 6’9 (2.06m). Freshman Tatianna Fisher placed ninth in the 100-meter dash at 11.75, missing out on a bid to the finals by a tiebreaker as both she and the eighth-place finisher ran the same time. Freshman Sierra Henderson, a Ridge View High School graduate, competed in the 800-meter run where she also placed ninth at 2:10.70.

The Gamecocks will continue competition tomorrow when Andre Carter and Fisher hit the track in the afternoon. The USA Outdoor Championships will be televised live from 8-10 p.m. on ESPN.