The Daily Gamecock

Former Gamecocks win 2 national titles

Hastings wins first championship, Beckles sets meet record

A busy week for former and current South Carolina track athletes ended with two ex-Gamecocks capturing national titles.

Natasha Hastings, who competed for the Gamecocks from 2005 to 2008, won the 400-meter dash at the USATF Senior Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa to claim her first USA Outdoor Championship. The win was also her first national title. Hastings finished the race in 49.94 seconds, just .10 seconds off of her best time. The win earned Hastings a place in the IAAF World Outdoor Championships from Aug. 10 to Aug. 18 in Moscow.

After the race, Hastings talked about the preparation that went into the event.

“I couldn’t focus on anything else,” Hastings said. “I had to focus on myself, on my race plan.”

Hastings will not be the only Gamecock making the trek to Moscow in August. USC’s head track and field coach Curtis Frye and assistant head coach Delethea Quarles will both be making the journey as assistant coaches for Team USA, along with former USC athlete Jason Richardson. Frye and Quarles were also in Des Moines to oversee the Gamecocks competing in the Junior Championships. Richardson, a former Gamecock and 2012 Olympic silver medalist, finished fourth in the 110-meter hurdles, but his victory at the event in 2011 earned him an automatic berth to compete in Moscow. Former USC sprinter Shalonda Solomon came in second in the 200-meter dash, while Johnny Dutch, a Gamecock hurdler from 2008 to 2011, finished fourth in the 400-meter hurdles.

At the Barbados Track and Field National Championships, Kierre Beckles, a Gamecock hurdler from 2011 to 2013, won the 100-meter hurdle national championship. Beckles posted a time of 13.32 seconds in the preliminaries to set a meet record and won the championship after finishing the race in 13.34 seconds. Beckles, who hails from Pinelands, Barbados, holds the national record with a 13.01 time in the 100-meter hurdles, which she recorded at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in 2011. The win in Barbados capped off an impressive month for Beckles, who finished 12th at the NCAA Outdoor Championship at the University of Oregon from June 5th-8th. Beckles also won a silver medal at the SEC Outdoor Championships in May, the second of her career.


Trending Now

Send a Tip Get Our Email Editions