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Aug. 27, 2004


At least one Gamecock-affiliated track and field athlete participated in every single session of the Athens Olympic Games. If you wanted to make sure you didn’t miss a Gamecock face, you had to be there for every session in track and field.

Furthermore, the Gamecocks have placed eight in the finals with three winning medals and three left to be determined Friday and Saturday nights. The three competing on Friday and Saturday night include Aleen Bailey (JAM) in the final of the 4x100m relay, Terrence Trammell (USA) in the finals of the 110m hurdles and Otis Harris (USA) in the finals of the 4x400m relay (the USA must first qualify tonight). In addition, but not included in the number above, USC Head Coach Curtis Frye will coach the USA women’s 4x100m relay tonight in the Olympic finals.

“The Gamecock goal coming here was to make the finals and realistically come away with four medals for USC and hopefully a gold medal. We already have that with Tonique. I honestly didn’t realize we had someone involved in every session here at the Olympics – that’s something,” said USC Head Coach Curtis Frye – a USA women’s assistant coach. “Anything above that is a plus. A lot of people have been representing their families, the university and their countries well and fulfilling their dreams.

“It shows the possibilities for the state of South Carolina are limitless if it believes, provides the right support system and invest in the right quality of person. Our investment is paying off in Athens and I expect this to carry over into Beijing 2008, not just in track and field but in many other sports as well,” said Frye. “This state has so much to be proud of – including South Carolina natives Monqiue Hennagan (of Columbia, fourth in the 400m and expected to help USA defend gold medal from 2000 in 4x400m relay) and Shawn Crawford (fourth in 100m, won 200m and will run leg of USA’s 4x100m relay). They are South Carolina’s own.

“We are so glad that the university and the state are committed to our efforts here,” said Frye. “We are only as good as the young people we are reaching out to. We need to do a better job of reaching out to the young people in rural areas. While many of our athletes didn’t come from the state of South Carolina, that’s where they chose to live, to call home. We are so proud of everyone we have had compete here whether they made the finals are not – they are our own champions.”

Gamecock-affiliated athletes have made the finals of the following events:

Women’s 100m – Aleen Bailey – finished fifth
Women’s 200m – Aleen Bailey – finished fourth
Women’s 400 – Tonqiue Williams-Darling – gold medal
Women’s 100m hurdles – volunteer coach Melissa Morrison – bronze medal
Women’s 4x100m relay – Aleen Bailey – competes Friday night

Mens’ 400m – Otis Harris – silver medal
Men’s 110m hurdles – Terrence Trammell – competes Friday
Men’s 4x400m relay – Otis Harris – must qualify Friday for finals on Saturday