NCAA Champion LaKya Brookins; NCAA Bronze Medalist Johnny Dutch; Head Coach Curtis Frye
March 14, 2009
Complete Results |
Sophomore Sprinter Lakya Brookins
I was nervous. Every bone in my body was shaking. I tried to talk to myself and stay calm. I tried as hard as I could not to move before the gun went off. I just did what my teammates and coaches told me to do which is to run my race. Not worry about anyone else but just concentrate on my lane and only my lane.
My heart jumped! All I remember is the finish line. I don’t remember anything in the middle. I only remember the beginning and the end. It still hasn’t hit me yet!
I’m waiting to talk to all of them. I’m really good friends with all of them – Shalonda, Amberly, the Barber twins and a lot of girls that were here I look up to. I try to do the best I can. I’m hoping I made them proud today.
Sophomore Hurdler Johnny Dutch
I feel blessed. God gave me this opportunity. This time last year I was watching it on TV with my teammates, so just to be here is crazy. I just wanted to make it to the finals and I did. Whichever place I came in I would just give it 110 percent. All I can do is be satisfied right now.
It means a lot to me because I’ve been doing hurdles for a long, long time. To make it this far has been a great achievement for myself. To be able to represent South Carolina with the greats that have run and with Jason not here, I had to represent. This race is dedicated to God, my mom and the tradition and legacy that we have at South Carolina.
Head Coach Curtis Frye
On Lakya Brookins winning the 60m dash
She’s the first female 60m champion I’ve ever coached. We’ve had a lot of great ones - Aleen Bailey and Amberly Nesbitt in the 100m. (LaKya) was out there in lane eight just like Nesbitt was. She could have been anywhere on the track and nobody in the world would have caught her at 7.13. It’s just a matter of believing in herself. Her mother and grandmother came out here and supported her, so it was excellent.
Her dad at Clemson gave a call to support her. I told her to call him and tell him we’d beat Clemson. At that point they had more points than us, so I told her to make sure they didn’t beat us so she could call him. She scored 10 points to beat the three they had then so we had a little fun with him. She has great support from her family. She’s put things together this year. She does great academically. Everything is falling in line. She never misses a practice and makes no excuses. She’s an example of following the system. We’ve been really young without leadership. We need leadership and winning with people who follow the plan helps you teach other people. Her and Johnny Dutch are following the plan.
On bouncing back from Friday
Our kids, we talked about having faith and confidence. When things are going bad it’s hard to lose your confidence. We had a talk last night and asked one or two kids to have confidence. Yesterday was a disaster for us and we really had difficulties. I thought we left (everything) at the SEC meet because we had such great performances there and at the last chance meets. It seemed like we were a little flat yesterday. The good thing is you get a second day if you can make the finals. Kya made the finals, and I told her that the same kids in that final were the same kids in the Junior Olympic final (when she was younger). I told her they aren’t anyone but the people you beat as a little girl. Just do what you do. I know you’re the best athlete here.
Johnny Dutch is the same message. You know you’re the best hurdler to come out of high school since Jason Richardson, so let’s go ahead and do what you do and you’ll be satisfied. He actually had it won all the way to the fourth hurdle and he backed off a little bit.
On the mile relay
The mile relay they both ran hard. Losing Nadonnia Rodrigues took a little confidence away from us. When she went down yesterday it was like taking air out of the sails. It took them a while to recover from that.
On Michael Zajac
I think we had a great performance from Michael Zajac. He made finals and was ninth in the NCAA. Today was a great Gamecock day. It gives us great hope to see if we can go outside and get in the top 10 for both programs.
On outdoor season
(Today) gives us hope to see if we can go outside and get in the top 10 for both programs. We’re close to that point right now. With Jason Richardson here, we’re a top 10 men’s team. If Rodrigues didn’t go down yesterday, we’d be a top 10 women’s team. I’m excited about the chance to bring Carolina back to the top 10.