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Event is golden for USC, Clemson stars

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Jason Richardson won South Carolina’s lone NCAA East Regional track and field title, but the men and women combined to finish runner-up in three individual races and three relays.

They added three bronze medals as well.

South Carolina advanced seven individuals and all four relays to the NCAA championships in Des Moines, Iowa, on June 11-14.

The women finished tied for fourth place with Florida State .

The men finished in fourth place.

Two-time defending national champion Florida State cruised to its fourth consecutive NCAA East Regional title and Virginia Tech nudged Penn State for the women's title.

Virginia Tech finished with 92 points to Penn State's 91. Florida was third with 82. Florida State outdistanced the men's competition with 88.5 points, followed by Florida's 68.

Clemson's Travis Padgett, who has the fastest 100 time in college this year, won the event in 10:09, nipping Florida's Jeremy Hall and Florida State's Walter Dix.

Running the fifth-fastest time in the world this year and breaking the NCAA East Region record, Richardson won the 110-meter hurdles with a personal best of 13.21 — just .02 off the school record set by Terrence Trammell at the 2000 Olympic Trials.

Richardson bested the field by more than .20 seconds.

“It felt so easy. I was straining at SECs to run 13.21,” Richardson said. “I looked back at on old press release and I said I wanted to run 13.2 before NCAAs and it’s good to see one of my goals come to fruition.”

Richardson ran the second leg of the 1600-meter relay runner-ups (3:05.53).

The USC women finished third (3:32.35) and also make the championships.

Brandi Cross ran a personal best of 51.70 to finish as the runner-up in the quarter.

Jussi Heikkila finished at 49.39 to be runner-up in the 400-meter hurdles. He advances to the NCAA championships.

In the 100 meters, freshmen Shayla Mahan won silver (11.47) and Gabby Glenn (11.70) won bronze to qualify for Iowa.

Mahan was the bronze medalist in the 200 meters (23.44).

For Clemson women, sophomore Patricia Mamona earned her second consecutive trip to the NCAA Outdoor Championships by virtue of a fifth-place finish in the triple jump.

The Tigers women scored 7.66 points and finished 25th as a team.

Clemson’s Polly Hardy missed qualifying for her first NCAA national meet by one position. She finished sixth in the final of the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 13.54. She will now await a potential at-large bid.

More than 1,000 athletes from 115 colleges participated in the two-day event.