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Nov. 13, 2003

Now in his eighth year as head cross-country and track and field coach at South Carolina, Curtis Frye has established a program that is widely regarded as one of the nation’s elite. In 2003, he guided his women’s team to its eighth consecutive top-10 outdoor finish, a claim that can only be made by two other schools, while his men’s team finished in the top-10 outdoors for the second straight year.

During the 2003 indoor season, the Carolina women placed second at the NCAA Championships, finished in the top-five for the fourth consecutive season. The Gamecock men’s team finished fifth, their highest indoor finish since fourth-place in 1999. Additionally, Frye’s women’s team finished atop the United States Track Coaches Association’s “Team Power Rankings” for the indoor season, the first “poll title” for USC.

Frye guided his 2002 women’s quad to the NCAA Outdoor Championship, becoming the first sport at South Carolina to win an NCAA title. He will serve as a women’s assistant track and field coach for Team USA, coaching sprints and hurdles, at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. Frye has coached over 50 NCAA Champions and over 300 All-Americans during his career.

On Wednesday, Frye signed four highly acclaimed athletes to his program during the first day of the NCAA’s early signing period as nationally and internationally acclaimed track stars Jason Richardson, LeRoy Dixon, Shalonda Solomon and Natasha Hastings signed with the Gamecocks.

frye_chat_headshot_50x66.jpg spacer.gif Coach Frye: This is Coach Frye and I am ready to answer your questions. Thank you for joining us for today’s chat.
frye_chat_headshot_50x66.jpg spacer.gif Coach Frye: LeRoy in our opinion was the best junior college sprinter returning. We needed an immediate impact athlete. We knew LeRoy out of high school and he was one of America’s best high school sprinters. We think he will surprise a lot of people this year.
Kenny Freeman Jr. (South Bend): What kind of Roles do you expect your new members to play on your team.
frye_chat_headshot_50x66.jpg spacer.gif Coach Frye: I think all of the athletes which we have signed will make a big impact on our program.
Anthony (Daytona Beach): I am track & field athlete and I was just wondering what does a typical day of sprinting practice consist of.
frye_chat_headshot_50x66.jpg spacer.gif Coach Frye: There is an hour and fifteen minutes of different types of workouts for different times of the year. We do a general fitness part of the year that includes speed, strength and conditioning. Then there is the season which includes speed, rest and strength. Then there is championship season which includes speed, rest and more power workouts.
Jack/Columbia: I am a big fan of the team. I was wondering what happened with the whole Lashinda Demus situation and is she going to compete in the spring? I just want to add that I think you’ve developed quite a powerhouse and you’ve made us all proud!
frye_chat_headshot_50x66.jpg spacer.gif Coach Frye: We are very pleased to see Lashinda making every effort to return to school this spring. She should be fully eligible to compete and should do well. Thank you for supporting us!
Keith (daytona): I know you don’t want to tell your training secrets, but what do you do to make your athletes peak just at the right time?
frye_chat_headshot_50x66.jpg spacer.gif Coach Frye: Rest is the most important ingredient to successful peak performance.
Leon (Ohio): Are there any particular track sessions you like to do in the fall for you quarter milers?
frye_chat_headshot_50x66.jpg spacer.gif Coach Frye: Yes. Our favorite 400m workout is 250m, two minute rest, 250m and two minute rest for five.
North Charleston: Coach Frye,when does the indoor season begin?
frye_chat_headshot_50x66.jpg spacer.gif Coach Frye: Our season starts the first week after we return from winter break with the first meet being on Jan. 10.
shawn , ruston: Now that the ncaa has gone to regionals does that change the way you recruit.
frye_chat_headshot_50x66.jpg spacer.gif Coach Frye: No. We try to get the best athletes in the country, no matter regional or otherwise. I do care for the regional concept.
frye_chat_headshot_50x66.jpg spacer.gif Coach Frye: Work hard in the classroom and on the track. We give every athlete a chance to run at South Carolina if they are good students.
Alvin Tondereau, Centreville, Virginia: What times do i need to run to be recruited to this track team? I am at a 14.00 in the 110 highs and a 37.45 in the 300 hurdles. I also run a 52.7 in the 400 hurldes. I am extremely interested in running for your team and coming in contact with you.
frye_chat_headshot_50x66.jpg spacer.gif Coach Frye: Please contact our track office for more information.
Brooklyn, N.Y.: The NY/NJ community, have noticed and appreciated what you’ve done with our local talent. Now with new freshmen Ronneta Alexanderia, and next year’s addition of Natasha Hastings, what do expect from these two athletes in their up coming year?
frye_chat_headshot_50x66.jpg spacer.gif Coach Frye: Both are outstanding young women with incredible potential. We hope to help them fulfill their dreams.
J.J. Wilson, Austin, TX: What kind of workouts do you give your quarter milers during this time of year and is speed really a big focus.
frye_chat_headshot_50x66.jpg spacer.gif Coach Frye: We use 150’s with an in-and-out speed workout once a week all year long. Speed is very important.
Charles Beans (Atlanta): About how many more athletes do you plan to sign in the Spring?
frye_chat_headshot_50x66.jpg spacer.gif Coach Frye: We hope to add as many athletes that would wish to be a part of our program.
New Jersey: How’s preseason training coming along with both teams?
frye_chat_headshot_50x66.jpg spacer.gif Coach Frye: Our men’s program is ahead of our women at this time. We have had an outstanding fall. Next week, we plan an intrasquad team track meet. I expect great performances from a number of them. Please follow us on our website.
Indy Sharita Dixon(Leroys sister): What kind of opportunites does your track and field program have to offer Leroy Jr. How will he benefit from them
frye_chat_headshot_50x66.jpg spacer.gif Coach Frye: Hi Sharita! We plan to take Leroy around the world to meet all the challenges that track and field has to offer, including the Olympics, World Championships and NCAA Championships. Our goals are to help Leroy gain a degree and make all of the teams and become a professional athlete.
Michael (Washington, DC): Coach Frye, what would you characterize as the one thing that attracts quality athletes to your men’s and women’s programs?
frye_chat_headshot_50x66.jpg spacer.gif Coach Frye: I think track athletes look for a wholesome, warm family atmosphere with good academics, outstanding competition, proven records and other athletes training to meet the same goals that they aspire to obtain. Without a doubt, we feel that we have the best environment for aspiring elite athletes.
Ant (stone mtn): Out of all the runners that you have coached who do you think came in from high school and excelled the most under your coach and how do you think Stephanie Smith will do this year
frye_chat_headshot_50x66.jpg spacer.gif Coach Frye: Stephanie is having an outstanding fall. We think she will have an outstanding year. I think Tiffany Ross has made the greatest improvement of all the athletes of the last few years, but 75 percent of our athletes make big improvements early in their college career at South Carolina.
indy (leroys sister): I have one request . .Please take good care of my brother and work him hard. Coach Frye u will not be sorry! Thanks
frye_chat_headshot_50x66.jpg spacer.gif Coach Frye: Please support him as I know you will and we look forward to seeing you at some of our meets. We will take him and work him really, really hard.
ronnie (austin tx: will south caroline come too the texas relays, if not why
frye_chat_headshot_50x66.jpg spacer.gif Coach Frye: No, it would conflict with our class schedule. There are too many days out of class with the Penn Relays and other meets. I think the Texas Relays are one of the greatest experiences for a college athlete. Unforunately, we cannot come this year.
Alvin Tondereau, Centreville, Va: How is Derron Flood doing at south carolina, i have competed against him before
frye_chat_headshot_50x66.jpg spacer.gif Coach Frye: He is having a great fall. Derron has to stay healthy to make the impact that he wishes to make. He has the talent to be one of South Carolina’s greats.
Duaine (Palmdale, CA): Are there any plans to bring the team to the west coast?
frye_chat_headshot_50x66.jpg spacer.gif Coach Frye: The 2005 Mount Sac Relays are in our plans. We would like to come this year, but there is a conflict.
Shannon (Phoenix): I have followed your program for many years and especially enjoyed the increased coverage and added features on the website last year. How many of your athletes do you think have a chance for the 2004 Olympics?
frye_chat_headshot_50x66.jpg spacer.gif Coach Frye: I think we have six or seven collegiate athletes that should have a strong chance at being a finalist at the Olympic Trials. For non-collegiate athletes we have a strong possibility of six or seven others.
Freehawk (Atlanta): Also, will Otekule Lekote have a big season this fall and spring? He once seemed unbeatable, but had a slump. Thanks
frye_chat_headshot_50x66.jpg spacer.gif Coach Frye: Otukile is an open athlete who trains with us now. He is looking very sharp in practice and we expect him to have an outstanding year as an open athlete.
Freehawk (Atlanta): Coach: Congratulations on all your program is doing. In order to complement your sprinters, does USC also need to bolster its long distance events in order to stay at the top of the SEC and to get more national championships?
frye_chat_headshot_50x66.jpg spacer.gif Coach Frye: We would love to add on some outstanding distance runners. It would make our team different. I love diversity and giving opportunities to quality student-athletes. South Carolina is an outstanding university and Columbia is a great place for a student to get an education. We ask and recruit all events equally. Our standards are for scholarships that a student-athlete be one of the top in their event in the country.
frye_chat_headshot_50x66.jpg spacer.gif Coach Frye: Leroy is very talented. We do not want to put pressure on him. If he trains hard and stays healthy he should have a great chance at making the Olympic Trials. From there, anything is possible.
Alvin Tondereau (Virginia): Are you considering any other hurdle athletes during the late signing period?
frye_chat_headshot_50x66.jpg spacer.gif Coach Frye: Yes, we would like to have two or three more hurdlers.
Calvin,: What do you look for in an Athlete besides athletic ability?
frye_chat_headshot_50x66.jpg spacer.gif Coach Frye: We look for students with great attitudes, desire and the will to win.
Columbia: How is your freshman class this year looking?
frye_chat_headshot_50x66.jpg spacer.gif Coach Frye: Very good. They are practicing hard, studying hard and staying out of trouble.
USCTrackFan1: Your website coverage last year was the best yet, especially during the outdoor season. Who is in charge of that and will that same level of excellence continue?
frye_chat_headshot_50x66.jpg spacer.gif Coach Frye: Our sports information department is one of the best in the country. Kerry Tharp is Associate Athletic Director in charge of media. David Brauer is the Track and Field SID and Mike McGee is the Athletic Director. These are the important people that make track and field important at Carolina. That is why you see the great coverage of our program. Last year, we were on television 18 times and were included in 11 magazines and many other times we were covered by newspapers around the country. We look forward to the same attention this year and hopefully we will give you a great team to watch.
frye_chat_headshot_50x66.jpg spacer.gif Coach Frye: Thank you to everyone involved in today’s chat and for your continued support of track and field and our program. Please support this great sport at this time. Track needs you locally as well as nationally. Thank you again, Coach Curtis Frye. GO GAMECOCKS!!!