Gamecock Women Win SEC Track Championship|
May 12, 2002
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The South Carolina women won its second SEC Outdoor Track and Field title in four years today with the title coming down to the last event. USC's men were seventh. Junior Antoinette Wilks won the women's MVP title - finishing as the runner-up in the long and triple jumps and third in the heptathlon.
Wilks hadn't scored in the jumps since her freshman year. "If you told me before this meet, I would be the MVP, I would have said no," said Wilks, a native of Palm Beach, FL. "I came into this meet organized and knew where my marks were in the jumps."
"This is a great feeling. It took everything we had to win because the SEC is tough," said USC Head Coach Curtis Frye. "We did it working as a team. The seniors and juniors leadership. They led the freshmen. What a great group of freshmen we have. We will celebrate the next couple of days and then get back to work. We want to be celebrating another title in a couple of weeks at the SEC Championships but it's going to be tough. LSU and UCLA have very very good teams."
The two teams combined to win five SEC titles including both 4x400m relays. USC broke two SEC records today in the final day of the Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Individual titles were won by Otukile Lekote in the 800m (SEC record), Tiffany Ross in the 400m hurdles (SEC record) and Lashinda Demus (400m).
The USC men and women both won the 4x400m relays. The men, paced by James Law, Otukile Lekote, Otis Harris and Jon Fortenberry, won with a time of 3:02.81 - an NCAA automatic time. It is the school's first 4x400m relay.
Wilks was the runner-up in the triple jump with a personal best 42' 1. The mark is an NCAA automatic mark.
Lekote broke the SEC record set by Tony Parrilla in 1991 (1:45.34) to win his fourth straight SEC 800m title. Lekote's time is the NCAA's No. 1 time and an NCAA automatic time.
"My goal today was to get the SEC record. I just missed it last year and today I wanted it," said Lekote, a native of Botswana. "I saw Slvestor's shadow (Tennessee) coming around the turn, I knew he was there but my strategy was to get out quick so they couldn't get me at the finish."
Ross the nation's top time to win the 400m hurdles at 55.75. Ross broke the SEC, stadium and school record. The SEC record was set in 1991 by Tonya Lee of Tennessee. Demus ran a 56.92 to finish second with Tacita Bass, the defending champion, finishing fourth at 57.78 and Shevon Stoddart finishing fifth at 57.93.
"Coach Frye has been working hard with us in the hurdles the past few weeks," said Ross. "We want to win the team title so it was important for us to put it on all on the line."
Demus ran the nation's fastest time at 52.18 to win the 400m. It is USC's eighth straight win in this event. Senior Demetria Washington was second at 51.43 - the country's second-best time. Both were automatic marks.
"I knew it would be between Demetria and I," said Demus.
Freshman Tiffany Ross was the runner-up in the 100m hurdles with a time of 13.47. Ross was fifth at the indoor SEC meet. Another freshman, Shevon Stoddart, was ninth in the race with a time of 14.18. Both were NCAA provisional times.
Junior Corey Taylor was fifth in the men's 110m hurdles after finishing eighth in 2001. Taylor ran a time of 13.80. His season best is 13.74.
Sophomore Otis Harris was fifth in the 400m and freshman Jon Fortenberry was sixth. Harris ran a 45.78 and Fortenberry ran a lifetime best time of 45.86. Both were NCAA provisional times.
The women's 4x100m relay, the 2001 champions, finished second to LSU with a season best and NCAA automatic time of 43.96. The team was made up of Mechelle Lewis, Demetria Washington, Lisa Barber and Aleen Bailey.
On the men's side, USC was third with a team of Duan Burriano, Andre Totton, James Law and Corey Taylor. The men ran a 39.61 - an NCAA provisional time.
Freshman Heather Nisbet notched a point, finishing eighth with the javelin. Nisbet threw a personal best 124' 11. On the men's side, Scott Alsup finished ninth with a personal best 192' 7.
Women's Final Results
Men's Final Results