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March 27, 2013

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – The University of South Carolina track and field program made several special recognitions at their annual Weems Baskin Invitational over the weekend.

From now on, the 800-meter run at the annual Weems Baskin Invitational will be known as the Charmaine Howell 800-meter run. The two-time All-American competed for South Carolina for two years, was a two-time NCAA runner-up in the 800 meters and holds the school record at 2:02.91. Sophomore Erika Rucker won this season’s Charmaine Howell 800 meters with a time of 2:12.35.

The 1,500-meter race was renamed the Jim Schaper 1,500-meter run. Schaper holds the school record in the race with a time of 3:42.48. He set the record in 1974 and was a part of the school’s 4×800-meter relay NCAA Championship in the same year.

The track program also recognized the winners of the Horse Award as well as the Deronda Powell and James Bauknight Awards.

The Horse Award was created in 2010 and is named for Bob “The Horse” Dempsey. The honor was created by USC track alumni to honor the memory of Mr. Dempsey and is presented annually to deserving seniors who exemplify what Dempsey meant to his team: a competitive spirit, a tremendous work ethic, and a zeal for making his team better. This year’s recipients are seniors Robert Razick and Kierre Beckles.

Razick began his career in the Garnet and Black as a walk-on, but now holds the indoor school records in the mile run and the 3,000-meters. Last year he anchored the Gamecock DMR to a fifth-place finish at the 2012 SEC Indoor Championships with a 4:07. This season, he broke the long-standing records in back-to-back weekends and finished seventh in the mile run at the 2013 SEC Indoor Championships with his 4:06.47 in the mile. Razick has made plans to attend medical school in the fall.

Five-time All-American Beckles began her career for South Carolina in 2011 after a stint at Central Arizona College that featured a National Junior College Championship in the 110-meter hurdles. Beckles, who is also a major contributor to the relays, blazed to a silver medal at 8.11 in the 60-meter hurdles at the 2012 SEC Indoor Championships, to sit atop the Gamecock record book in the event with 2012 Olympic silver medalist Lashinda Demus. She also boasts the top NCAA finish for a Gamecock in the 100-meter hurdles with a sixth-place finish. Beckles holds the national record for her native Barbados in the 100-meter hurdles, the 55-meter hurdles and the 60-meter hurdles.

The Deronda Powell and James Bauknight Awards are named in honor of two long-time employees in the South Carolina athletics department that were known for their dedication and service to the university and the track and field program. Seniors Dorian Johnson and Breanna Radford were recognized for embodying the characteristics for which these two individuals were known for during their time as a Gamecock.

Johnson, a team captain and Student Athletic Advisory Committee representative, worked his way through injuries from walk-on to SEC scorer. Specializing in the horizontal jumps, Johnson scored for the Gamecocks at the 2012 SEC Indoor and Outdoor Championships in the triple jump. He ranks in the South Carolina top 10 in the triple jump on both the indoor and outdoor lists. Johnson plans to attend law school after his time at South Carolina.

Radford, who is also a team captain and Student Athlete Advisory Committee representative, sits in the South Carolina top-10 in every event she has competed in during her time at South Carolina. Her resume includes a win at Penn Relays and two NCAA East Preliminary round appearances while also being a leader on the team in community service. She has also scored three times at SEC Championship events while being a leader in community service on the team. Radford is to attend medical school in the fall.