COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Track team had two athletes win national titles in Austin, Texas over the weekend.
Wadeline Jonathas and Quincy Hall accomplished the highest honor in their first year's at Carolina after transferring.
Jonathas won the 400 meter national title with a time of 50.60 seconds.
This title is a culmination of interesting journey for Wadeline. The junior transferred in from UMass-Boston, a Division III program, where she won 9 individual titles. Safe to say she made the transition to the Division I ranks.
This championship has a special place in Wadeline's hear. Not just for becoming the first 400 meter champion since Natasha Hastings in 2007 at USC but because she has hopes to be an inspiration and a catalyst for the growth of track and field in her native country of Haiti.
"I feel like people don't really acknowledge track and field as a sport in the Haitian community. I just hope to open some of their eyes and show that is a sports and we work just as hard as the other sports."
Wadeline added,"It means a lot. I feel like I'm being a part of something much bigger than me and my family. I feel like I'm representing a whole nation and that feels pretty good."
For Quincy Hall, the 400 meter hurdle national champion, his winning time of 48.89 seconds, was the best in college this year. But what's crazy is that he knows he can ran an even better race.
"That's the scary part about it. I know if I get my best race down I can be one of the world's best."
Quincy has had this hunger for more improvement ever since transferring from the College of the Sequoias in California. He didn't have the grades coming out of high school and had to work twice as hard at the juco level to get to where is now-a national champion. He appreciates his road to being on top.
"When you're in JUCO you have a lot more responsibilites. You don't have tutors, you don't have the academic center, you don't have all the other stuff that this school provides for you. So it help me become more independent," Quincy said.
Credit head coach Curtis Frye and his staff for recruiting with getting these two transfers who were diamonds in the rough. But Coach Frye puts the credit where credit is due-athletics director Ray Tanner.
"Facilities, facilities, facilities," Coach Frye said. "We couldn't have gotten this started without the commitment from the institution. We spent four years practicing on a high school track. Ray (Tanner) has done a fantastic job getting programs the facilities necessary and them giving them time and patience."