Aug. 12, 2016
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Four members of the South Carolina track and field program will begin their hunt for Olympic glory this week, as the summer games in Rio de Janeiro kick off events at the Olympic Stadium Friday. Of the four women, representing four different nations, three are making their first appearance at the Olympics.
The Gamecocks will first be in action on Saturday, Aug. 13, with the preliminary rounds of the 400m dash. Rising sophomore Aliyah Abrams and former student-athlete Natasha Hastings will both run, with the event scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. ET. Three semifinal heats will run Aug. 14 starting at 7:35 p.m. and the final will be on NBC at 9:45 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 15. The two are also part of the relay pool for the 4x400m relay, which begins with prelims on Aug. 19 before the final on Aug. 20.
Then on Tuesday, Kierre Beckles will begin her competition in the 100m hurdles. Beckles is a 2013 graduate who is representing Barbados for the first time after barely missing the qualifying time for the 2012 games in London. Beckles runs her preliminary race on Aug. 16 at 10 a.m., then the semifinal (7:45 p.m.) and final (9:55 p.m.) on Aug. 17.
Wrapping up the program’s representatives at the games will be Jeannelle Scheper. The 2015 graduate is competing in the high jump for her home country of Saint Lucia, and comes in motivated after placing seventh at the World Championships last summer. She will compete in the qualifiers on Aug. 18 at 9 a.m., and hopes to move on to the final which will be Aug. 20 at 7:30 p.m.
SOUTH CAROLINA OLYMPIANS
Aliyah Abrams | 400m | Grayson, Ga.
- Her first Olympic appearance; will represent her parent’s home country of Guyana in the 400m dash.
- Ranks ninth in school history for the outdoor 400m (52.04 seconds).
- Earned All-American honors in the 400m and as part of the 4x400m relay team at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in June.
- SEC All-Freshman honoree, and earned USTFCCCA All-Academic status for her work in the classroom.
- Read Aliyah’s Story
Natasha Hastings | 400m | Rosedale, N.Y.
- Her third Olympics representing Team USA.
- Won gold at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing with the 4×400 relay.
- School record holder in the indoor 400 (50.80) and outdoor 400 (49.84).
- Three-time national champion, earning 10 All-American certificates at South Carolina.
- Read Natasha’s Story
Kierre Beckles | 100m Hurdles | Pinelands, Barbados
- Making her first Olympics, representing her home country of Barbados. She holds the country’s national record in the event, 12.88, set last summer at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing.
- School record holder in the 60m hurdles (8.11); ranks fifth in the 100m hurdles (13.01).
- Six-time All-American at South Carolina.
- Read Kierre’s Story
Jeannelle Scheper | High Jump | Gros-Islet, Saint Lucia
- Making her first Olympics for her home country of Saint Lucia.
- 2015 national champion in the outdoor high jump; holds the school record for the indoor and outdoor high jump. Her record mark of 1.96 meters ranks sixth in collegiate history.
- Finished seventh at the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing.
- Read Jeannelle’s Story
For up-to-the-minute information through all the action from the four Gamecocks, follow @GamecockTrack on Twitter.