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May 24, 2002

Columbia, SC – South Carolina head track coach Curtis Frye and sophomore Otukile Lekote were named Southeast Regional Outdoor Women’s and Athlete of the Year, respectively. Both will receive the honor at next Monday night’s banquet on the eve of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Baton Rouge, LA. Both are now eligible for National Athlete and Coach of the Year, respectively.

Lekote won the 800m at the SEC Championships with an SEC record time of 1:44.24. Letkote’s time broke an 11-year old SEC record. He also ran the second leg of USC’s 4x400m relay that won the SEC title. Prior to SEC’s, Lekote ran the anchor leg of USC’s spring medley relay that won the Penn Relays title.

In addition to Lekote’s achievements on the track, he received a 4.0 in the Spring 2002 semester, making the President’s List. Lekote last won Region Athlete of the Year Indoors, 2001.

“The coaches voted on this award so it’s an honor they recognize my performance and are impressed,” said Lekote, a native of Ramotswa, Botswana. “This award reflects the hard work we put in as student-athletes. It will be an honor to share it with my teammates.”

Frye receives the Southeast Region Coach of the Year for the third time in four years. This year’s women’s team is ranked No. 2 nationally and won its second SEC title in four years. The women’s team was fourth at the NCAA Championships indoors. The USC men’s team is currently ranked No. 9.

“This is a team award,” said Frye. “It is in honor of the achievements our young ladies made. It’s also a tribute to the coaching staff and administration at USC.”