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July 9, 2004

The US Olympic Track Team Trials begin tomorrow, Friday, July 9 and run through Sunday, July 18. USC sat down with former two-time SEC champion and seven-time All-American Tacita Bass as she prepares to compete in the heptathlon, which begins today. Bass is from Mobile, Alabama.

USC: When did you graduate from USC and what was your degree in?

Bass: I graduated with a degree in Biology in May of 2003.

USC: What are your future plans?

Bass: I am not too sure but I am thinking of going back to grad school to work on a master’s in teaching. But right now I am just concentrating on track and field.

USC: What have you been up the last year?

Bass: I have been working in the Department of Juvenile Justice and working on training. Training had been inconsistent in the fall but it has picked up this spring. I think I am going to be OK.

USC: Are these your first Olympic trials?

Bass: In 2000 I did not make it to the Olympic trials. It was a little disappointing but it gave me something to shoot for in 2004. For these trials, I would like to make the team – that would be the best thing. Otherwise I just need to put myself in the mix as a contender in the hep the next four years.

USC: What is your PR in the hep?

Bass: 5,742 – I just hit that this year. Before that it was 5631 points.

USC: How many SEC titles did you win at USC? NCAA titles?

Bass: I won one hep title and one 400m hurdles while I was at USC. But I won also won two SEC titles as part of the 4x400m relay and two NCAA titles also as member of the 4x400m relay.

USC: What will your experience at NCAA meets help you?

Bass: The pressure I felt competing at NCAA Championships will help. I will also see so many of the same people.

USC: Who is the favorite?

Bass: Shelia Burrell – she has won it number of times.

USC: Who could surprise people?

Bass: Virginia (GiGi) Miller (former hep at Arkansas). She has worked really hard the past couple years and I hope it works out for her.

USC: Is there a particular event you are excited about?

Bass: The 200m, the long jump, the shot put – the 800m is just the 800m. I am little nervous about the shot put because it’s been inconsistent. The hurdles always can be nerve-wracking cause it’s the first event and you want to do well.

Thank you Gamecock fans – Keep your fingers crossed for me!