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Feb. 27, 2011

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By Miquel Jacobs
Media Relations Assistant

SEC Indoor Championships | Friday – Sunday
Live Results | Live Blog | Live Video video-icon-blue.gif | SC Notes icon-acrosmall.gif
General Information | SEC Indoor Championships at Fayetteville, Ark.
Championship Central | Women’s Heat Sheets icon-acrosmall.gif | Men’s Heat Sheets icon-acrosmall.gif

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – We have reached the final day of competition at the SEC Indoor Championships and the Gamecocks have a chance at making more than a few instances of history here at the Randal Tyson Track Center.

We’ll start off in the 60-meter dash where the Gamecocks earned three finalists against all odds seeing as how all four Gamecock entries were seeded into the same heat. Leading the charge is NCAA leader Lakya Brookins who is looking to become the first woman to EVER successfully defend her SEC 60-meter dash title. In the 10 years that the league has awarded an SEC Champion in the women’s 60-meter dash, not once has a runner earned the title in back-to-back years. This is starting given the fact that of the 10 titles awarded, only three schools have won the event: LSU, Auburn and South Carolina. Yet Lakya Brookins has the task of being the first to win back-to-back.

There have been some close calls. LSU’s Muna Lee has won the title twice, but her victories were separated by a buffer year of 2003 (Elva Goulbourne). The only other woman to win a short sprint title in successive years was Auburn’s Kerron Stewart – but the rub is that Stewart’s 2006 title was in the 55-meter dash and her 2007 title was in the 60-meter dash. Fast forward to 2010, the year Brookins won the first title in Gamecock history at 7.18 (which happens to be the same time she ran in the prelims yesterday), and the stage is set for 2:05 p.m. ET.

The women’s sprinters also achieved another rare feat with seniors Gabrielle Glenn and Shayla Mahan both qualifying for the 60-meter and 200-meter finals. The last Gamecock to qualify for two finals – let alone both sprint finals – was Shalonda Solomon who made the 60- and 200-meter finals in 2007, placing fourth and second, respectively. The last time two Gamecocks qualified for both sprint finals was the year prior, 2006, when Amberly Nesbitt and Shalonda Solomon both made the 55- and 200-meter finals. That year, Nesbitt earned the short silver medal and Solomon won the 200 silver medal. Can Glenn and Mahan give Carolina a medal in each event? Gamecock fans will see with the 200 final coming at 3:45 p.m. ET.

Coach Frye’s hurdlers have taken bronze each of the past two seasons in the women’s 60-meter hurdles. Ronnetta Alexander took the honor in 2009 and Janica Austin took it last season. This year, Austin and newcomer Kierre Beckles have both qualified and give the Gamecocks a legitimate shot at two medalists, a feat so tough that it would be the first time in school history if it happens. Beckles won the preliminary round at a personal best 8.21, and Austin tied for fourth at 8.31. That final will be decided at 1:45 p.m. ET.

On the men’s side, Antonio Sales earned the final qualifying spot in the 200-meter final and looks to score for the third time in four seasons. The senior claimed bronze as a freshman in 2008 and placed fifth last season. Michael Zajac competes this morning in the weight throw final after taking silver each of the past two seasons to LSU’s Walter Henning. The competition is even tougher this season for the redshirt senior over at Walker Pavilion at 11 a.m. ET.

In addition to the other field event finals, two freshmen are ranked fourth in the women’s pole vault and, along with junior Allie Nicosia, have the chance to score for the Gamecocks at the indoor championships for the first time since Cheryl Terrio took bronze in 2004. Those freshmen are Angie Rummans and Petra Olsen, and the trio hit the field at 1:30 p.m. ET.

We will check back after the meet, hopefully with some history to share. In the meantime, check out Day 2 Highlights, courtesy of coach Lawrence Johnson, in the video below.