COLUMBIA, S.C. — Long before the Gamecock track and field program elevated its facilities with the Sheila and Morris Cregger Track and the Carolina Indoor Track & Field Complex, there were athletes like Dawn Ellerbe who competed at an elite level without the backdrop of elite facilities.
On Saturday, Ellerbe was at the Cregger Track where she took note of the growth of the facilities for the track and field program.
A four-time NCAA champion and six-time All-American, Ellerbe became the third South Carolina track and field athlete in program history to have their jersey retired.
Ellerbe took her place beside the retired jerseys of Terrence Trammell and Miki Barber.
Ellerbe, who competed at South Carolina from 1992-1997 was a dominant thrower in her final two seasons at Carolina. She swept the indoor weight throw and outdoor hammer throw titles for her four titles in 1996 and 1997. In 1996, Ellerbe won the hammer throw with a collegiate and American record toss of 63.76m/209-1. Ellerbe's performance in 1996 marked the first time a collegian tossed the hammer over 200 feet.
She also won four SEC individual titles as a Gamecock, sweeping the SEC titles in the indoor weight throw in 1996 and 1997. Ellerbe also won the outdoor discus in 1995 and 1996. At the 1996 Outdoor SEC Championships, Ellerbe was named the High Point Scorer for her performance. She was also named the SEC Indoor Track and Field Women's Athlete of the Year.
Ellerbe went on to compete for Team USA at the 2000 Olympic Games. She was a finalist in the hammer throw, finishing seventh overall. Ellerbe also won nine United States championships in her post-collegiate career. Ellerbe also claimed the 1999 Pan American Games hammer throw title.