Skip to main content
Partner logo
Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Gamecocks+

May 12, 2008

The South Carolina track and field teams will travel to the SEC Championships this weekend in Auburn, Ala. The meet will run Thurs., May 15 – Sun., May 18. Coach Frye talked about the SEC meet on Monday.

After your weekend in Chapel Hill – are you more or less optimistic heading to the SEC Championships?

Frye: I am a realist. The things that happened in Chapel Hill this past weekend were good, but they were expected. We didn’t have any major disappointments. Our kids had a good semester and we are excited about them having a chance to have the SEC experience. I just wish every student at South Carolina could have an SEC Championship experience. It’s the best athletes in the country in the best conference – you really learn how to be a team player. It’s an experience that will last a lifetime. The good and the bad.

Where should your men finish? Your women?

Frye: It’s going to be a struggle, but No. 8 would be a high finish for us this year. It’s going to be tough. Our women could finish as high as No. 6, but we could be anywhere from No. 6 to No. 10 on either side.

You’ve said you are a better NCAA East Region team on both sides than an SEC Championship team. Why?

Frye: The East Region is tough, but not as tough as the SEC. Eight of the top 20 teams are in the SEC. The East Region you probably have 4-5 of the top 20 teams.

The SEC has been so strong for so long. How have they been able to maintain that strength year in and year out in track and field?

Frye: The SEC is strong because of the great coaches and the tradition they have built. They come to the SEC because of the facilities. Auburn just built a $9 million facility. When you have those kind of facilities and a league with that reputation, they have great experiences when they go to college and they want to keep coming.

Is there a better track meet in the world than the SEC Championships based on performance?

Frye: Not a better collegiate meet. There are all kinds of track meets. This being an Olympic year any place you go professionally, you will see great performances. But as a collegiate meet, this is the best one.

Johnny Dutch ran 49.78 this weekend in the 400m hurdles. Are you surprised, or better yet, was Johnny surprised?

Frye: I don’t know if Johnny is surprised. Johnny is capable. That wasn’t a surprising time, it was surprising he ran it at this time of the year. He has put in the kind of work that indicates that wasn’t a fluke. He has had some great workouts. He started running more morning runs to get this fitness level up. He wasn’t blaming anyone, he just felt he wasn’t fit enough. He got injured in January and it was hard for him to overcome it. He has taken personal responsibility to be fit, he has been dedicated and also is willing to be coached.

Who do expect to excel this weekend on the women’s side?

Frye: I think Brandi Cross will do a good job and have a great job. I think both of our relays will do a good job. Brittney James in the long jump should come through well. Our pole vaulters have been doing a good job. Shayla Mahan and Porche Bryd have a chance to do well.

Who do expect to excel this weekend on the men’s side?

Frye: Jason Richardson of course should do well. Ray Miley will run a good quarter. Jason Cook should do well and he is mature. Our 4x400m relay should do well. I expect something out of Derek Pressley. Seniors that have been to the meet before. It’s very hard to count on freshmen, but I think Johnny Dutch will do well. Johnathan Hancock at his second outdoor SEC meet should do well as should Jussi Heikkila.

Any final thoughts?

Frye: This really is a tough meet. Our women are going through a rebuilding year. We are going to have some high points and I expect some great things. I look for Jason Richardson to do really well. It’s tough getting through the years. You have to go through some growing times. I look forward to the SEC meet because it’s a great meet and being able to be involved is also wonderful. Some of the young freshman may step up and do something extraordinary. Someone I am not counting on will step up and come through – I can’t wait to see it!