Golden South Moment #6: Smith Vs. Cox 400m Showdown

(Stephanie Smith would go on to compete for the University of South Carolina. She is pictured above to the far left.)

As MileSplit counts down to the Flo Golden South Classic on May 19, we're looking back at some of the best years in meet history. Check back every Wednesday for a new moment and register to make your mark on history here!

Moment No. 5: Stephanie Smith vs. Shana Cox 400m Showdown

Two senior superstars from opposite ends of the country at the top of the national 400m rankings met in a quarter-mile showdown at the 2003 Golden South Invitational: Stephanie Smith of Northeast Macon Magnet School in Georgia and Shana Cox of Holy Trinity in New York.

Georgia state champion Smith clocked the fastest time in prelims, 55.27, to Cox's 55.96, as Lauren Austin of Oviedo High also ran under 56 seconds and three more competitors broke 57 seconds.

But the finals were a different story as Smith and Cox blasted by the rest of the field to set nation-leading marks of 52.14 and 52.43. Smith's winning time still stands as the Golden South meet record.

Women 400 Meter Dash
       World:   47.60  10/6/1985   Marita Koch, East Germany                   
    American:   48.83  8/6/1984    Valerie Brisco, WCAC                        
 National HS:   50.69  6/22/2002   Sanya Richards, Ft. Lauderdale, FL          
       Track: # 52.14  5/31/2003   Stephanie Smith, NE Magnet HS               
        Meet: * 52.14  5/31/2003   Stephanie Smith, NE Magnet HS               
    Name                    Year School                  Finals 
  1 Stephanie Smith           12 NE Magnet HS             52.14* 
  2 Shana Cox                 12 Unattached               52.43  
  3 Lauren Austin             11 Oviedo HS                55.23  
  4 Cynetheia Rooks           12 Northampton              55.36  
  5 Sade Nero                 11 Northwestern             56.15  
  6 Paige Farrell             11 Springdale HS            56.24  
 -- Briene Simmons            12 Unattached                  FS  

Both closed the year with top accolades: Smith, the USATF Junior Outdoor National champion with a U.S. No. 1 time of 52.04, and Cox, the adidas Outdoor National champion with the U.S. No. 4-ranked time of 52.94.

Smith became a star at South Carolina and picked up eight All-American honors for the Gamecocks, including a gold medal in the 4x400m relay.

Cox, whose parents are of British descent, earned 11 All-American honors for Penn State, including the 2008 NCAA titles in the 400m and 4x400m relay. She ran a leg on the gold medal-winning 4x400m relay for Great Britain at the 2012 IAAF World Indoor Championships.

Click here to register for Flo Golden South, to be held on 5/19/2018.