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Jan. 7, 2011

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By Miquel Jacobs
Media Relations Assistant

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina women’s track and field is ranked No. 20 in the 2011 U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCA) preseason computer ranking, giving the Gamecock women four consecutive Top 20 preseason rankings since the organization began conducting a preseason computer ranking in 2008. The USTFCCCA preseason computer rankings measure only what a team returns from last year’s indoor season and does not take into account incoming classes.

The Gamecock women’s team ranking is one spot below its final placement at the 2010 NCAA Indoor Championships. The team returns a wealth of talent from last year’s squad, including 2009 NCAA Champion and 2010 NCAA bronze medalist Lakya Brookins. Brookins leads a sprinting core that includes All-Americans Gabrielle Glenn, Shayla Mahan, Breehana Jacobs and Nadonnia Rodrigues along with returning sophomore Tatianna Fisher. Also returning for the Gamecocks are Janica Austin in the 60-meter hurdles and Allie Nicosia in the pole vault.

The men’s squad holds a computer ranking of No. 29 after placing eighth at the 2010 NCAA Indoor Championships. The Gamecock squad returns All-Americans Antonio Sales and Michael Zajac but took a dip in the polls after the graduations of multiple All-American honorees Quentin Moore, Elliott Haynie and Obakeng Ngwigwa coupled with the loss of Johnny Dutch who decided to forego his senior season to focus on a professional career.

Oregon is the top-ranked women’s squad followed by No. 2 Texas A&M, No. 3 LSU, No. 4 Tennessee and No. 5 Clemson. Six SEC teams are ranked in the women’s preseason top-25.

Florida tops the men’s preseason rankings and is followed by No. 2 LSU, No. 3 Texas A&M, No. 4 Oregon and No. 5 Virginia Tech. Five SEC teams are ranked in the men’s preseason top-25.

The SEC Indoor Championships will be held Feb. 25-27 in Fayetteville, Ark., and the NCAA Indoor Championships will be held March 11-12, in College Station, Texas. South Carolina will host two indoor meets this season: one on Wednesday, January 26 and the other on Saturday, Feb. 19 at the Indoor Fieldhouse.