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Aug. 15, 2016

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – South Carolina track and field head coach Curtis Frye is down at the summer Olympics in Rio as an assistant with Team USA. He shared his thoughts after a season-best performance for South Carolina alum Natasha Hastings.

Previewing Natasha Hastings’ 400m Final Monday Night
“Tasha is in good position, she’s in lane six so she’ll be the leader of the pack. The big thing for her is to have good race management, but she’s a smart girl so she’ll run a similar race to what she did Sunday but maybe kick a little later. She’s got a good mind-set, she’s well-trained, and she’s so happy to be in the final for Team USA.

“When she came out of college, she had a choice to run for a lot of different countries – she could have run for Jamaica, Great Britain, or Trinidad and made a lot of money doing that – but she wanted to race for Team USA. Making this final is special for her and her whole family. They’re all here (in Rio) to cheer her on tonight, and Gamecock nation has been so supportive. She’s full from all the love, but not overwhelmed.”

Breaking down her semifinal performance (a season-best time)
“Tasha never over-ran the race, normally she goes from the blocks to 300 meters and then just hangs because she’s set herself up way out front. In the race Sunday, she ran a 150 (meters) and tried to control herself and not sprint all out for the next 100 meters before starting her kick down the stretch. By recovering in the midst of the run, she was able to finish strong. She’s going to have to run a personal best to get a medal, but she showed Sunday that she can.”

On his feelings as a college coach watching a former student-athlete on the biggest stage
“I’m excited. Tasha told me she knew she was coming to South Carolina as a high school sophomore. I started recruiting her after her junior year, and I’m still really close with her family. This has been an adventure, there have been a lot of hearts watching her career unfold. She has a lot of medals, but an Olympic medal for anyone is a memory for life. In our program’s stack of 13 medals, this one would be number 14 and would be so special for my household, the Gamecock nation and for our country.”