Nov. 9, 2012
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The University of South Carolina track and field program held a full day of events on Fri., Nov. 9, to honor the 10th anniversary of the 2002 Women’s Track and Field NCAA Championship team. The NCAA title was the first in Gamecock history.
After riding in the university’s annual Homecoming Parade, University of South Carolina President Dr. Harris Pastides greeted the former student-athletes at the President’s House on the Horseshoe. The team presented Pastides with a signed poster commemorating their championship season.
A reception at The Dodie capped off the day’s events. Head coach Curtis Frye and Athletics Director Ray Tanner welcomed and addressed the crowd. Councilman Brian DeQuincy Newman presented the team with a key to the city. Those in attendance were also treated to a screening of a highlight video of the NCAA Championship meet. To commemorate the anniversary, the squad members were presented with a medallion. Finally, Frye closed the event by recounting how the pieces of the championship team came together.
“This entire experience has definitely been heartwarming. Having the opportunity to take the chance to look back at all we did 10 years ago and the amount of love and fellowship that we’ve received from not only our former teammates, but also the University of South Carolina, the city of Columbia and the state of South Carolina. It’s just been awesome and beyond any expectation that I had in anticipation of this event, ” said NCAA Champion Tacita Bass-Sumter of the day.
The group includes three two-time Olympians in 2012 Olympic silver medalist Lashinda Demus, 2004 Olympic gold medalist Aleen Bailey and Olympic finalist Shevon Stoddart. As a whole, the 14-member team recorded 128 All-America performances, 27 individual and relay NCAA titles and nine total Olympic appearances.
Members of the 2002 NCAA championship team will sign autographs and meet fans in Gamecock Village before South Carolina’s match up against Arkansas tomorrow and will be recognized at halftime of the football game.