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Hurdlers carry USC at SEC meet

AUBURN, Ala. — South Carolina hurdler Jason Richardson won the SEC title in the 110-meter hurdles and Johnny Dutch set a school record with a runner-up finish in the 400 hurdles Sunday, the final day of the SEC Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

The USC men won four medals and the women claimed three as the Gamecocks finished seventh and eighth respectively in the standings. LSU won the SEC women’s title while Arkansas claimed the men’s title.

“We had an incredible day,” USC coach Curtis Frye said. “I think everyone can see South Carolina is young and will be a force to be reckoned with in the future.”

Richardson’s time of 13.21 bettered former USC hurdler Terrence Trammell’s 1999 SEC record (13.29), but Richardson ran with a high wind aid so it will not count as an SEC record. But the win does improve his NCAA qualifying time, already No. 1 in the country.

“It was God’s plan. It wasn’t a perfect race, but I saw (Auburn’s) Ty Atkins (runner-up) start to buckle at lane seven and so I stayed focused and ran to victory,” Richardson said.

Richardson’s time is the second-best in school history to Trammell, who went on to win two Olympic silver medals.

Dutch crossed the line with a career best 48.68 — the fourth-best time in the world, breaking the school record set by Kenneth Ferguson in 2003 (48.79). Justin Gaymon of Georgia edged Dutch for the win with a 48.53.

“I had no idea I had run that time,” Dutch said. “I had no idea everyone would finish that fast. ... I feel honored to have the school record — South Carolina has had so many greats run the hurdles.”

USC’s Jussi Heikkila finished fourth in the 110 hurdles at 49.52 and just missed the cutoff for the Olympic B Standard (49.50).

Brandi Cross was the runner-up in the 400 with a personal best of 52.31. Cross’ time is the eighth best in school history and betters her own NCAA regional time.

“There’s always room for improvement, but I am satisfied. I ran for points and I am just looking to every other 400 race I have coming up. My times have been dropping so that is good and I am excited,” Cross said.

Jason Cook finished third in the shot put with a personal best 60-feet, 4 inches, missing the runner-up spot by three centimeters. Cook’s throw is sixth best in school history and betters his regional mark.

Derek Pressley, who graduated last week, had a season-best 51-feet, 1½ inches to win the bronze in the triple jump. He improved his NCAA regional mark on his last jump of the day.

The women’s 400-relay team (Kia Brookins, Shayla Mahan, Faragin Giles, Gabby Glenn) was third at 44.34.

The men’s 400 relay team (Johnathan Hancock, Antonio Sales, Quentin Moore and Lamar Markett) finished fourth with a season best 39.66.

Brittney James won the bronze medal in the long jump Saturday, hitting the pits at 20 feet 9¼ inches, a personal best.

Stuczynski breaks American pole vault record.

SEC TRACK AND FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS

MEN’S FINAL STANDINGS

Arkansas 131.50 LSU 122 Tennessee 97.50 Florida 80 Auburn 78.20 Kentucky 72 South Carolina 57 Mississippi St. 56.20 Alabama 46.20 Georgia 43.40 Mississippi 35 WOMEN’S FINAL STANDINGS

LSU 157.50 Florida 129 Arkansas 88.50 Tennessee 85 Kentucky 84.50 Mississippi 73 Auburn 66 South Carolina 34.50 Alabama 34 Georgia 32 Mississippi St. 28 Vanderbilt 7

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