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March 7, 2011

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By Miquel Jacobs
Media Relations Assistant

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina senior Lakya Brookins has been named the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Southeast Region Female Track Athlete of the Year, the organization announced Monday. Brookins is the first Gamecock to earn the award since Olympic gold medalist Natasha Hastings earned the honor in 2007.

Brookins has had a remarkably consistent 2011 indoor campaign to solidify herself as one of the top sprinters not only at the collegiate level but in the world. The NCAA leader in the 60 meters with a top time of 7.14 seconds – a mark that ranks fourth in the world this year – she became the first back-to-back SEC champion in the 60 meters after claiming the league title two weeks ago to cap off her regular season.

A measure of consistency, Brookins has hit the NCAA automatic qualifying time in 10 straight races. She finished the regular season undefeated against SEC competition and won five of six meets this season, the lone blemish being a runner-up finish in the second week of the season.

Brookins and her teammates will compete at the NCAA Indoor Championships this weekend, March 11-12, at the Gilliam Indoor Track Center in College Station, Texas. The USTFCCCA will announce official bids tonight (March 7).