Hilliard advances to finals, Hastings to semi-finals in day one of NCAA Track Championships
June 6, 2007
Sacramento, Calif. - South Carolina's Natasha Hastings and Thomas Hilliard continued to show the country why they are two of the finest in track and field in competitors in America on the opening day of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. The meet runs through Sat., June 10.
The 2007 indoor NCAA champion, Hastings ran a very easy, smooth prelims race to win her heat of the 400m at 52.19 and she advances to the semi-finals. She has the world's top time at 50.23 run two weeks ago at the NCAA East Region meet.
"She ran a controlled, well-executed race," said USC Head Coach Curtis Frye. "She'll have a tough semi-final race with Cox from Penn State. Her goal is to advance in the top two in the semi-finals to get the preferred lane for the finals."
Hilliard was second in his heat of the first round of the 110m hurdles, running a lifetime best 13.62. Later he clocked his second-straight PR to finish fourth in the semi-finals with a time of 13.61 to advance to Friday's finals.
"Thomas did what it takes to advance now if he finishes the race he is an All-American again. For a guy who came to South Carolina because it was the right school for him academically and then he competed in athletics - what a success story," said Frye. "He is proof if you work hard you will get the benefit of hard work. It's better to be a hard worker than talented, but he is very talented as well. The SEC has four hurdlers in the finals (with 8 total) - the top hurdlers come from the SEC."
The women's 4x100m relay finished second in its heat at 44.77, but did not advance to the finals - finishing ninth overall. It is the first time since 1998 that the women's 4x1 didn't advance to the finals. The women's 4x100m relay was made up of Brandi Cross, Hastings, Faraign Giles and Chiquita Martin.
In other action on the track, Martin ran a 13.39 to finish fifth in her heat of the 100m hurdles and did not advance. She finished 22nd overall. Jamil James ran a 47.44 to finish fifth in his heat of the 400m and did not advance. He finished 22nd overall.
In the field events, Tyler Trout was 22nd in the hammer with a toss of 195' 2. He finishes his career with the eighth-best throw in school history (204' 2) - thrown at regionals two weeks ago. Freshman Eric Heymann threw the javelin 192' 10 to finish 25th.