ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — Sprinter Natasha Hastings isn’t a Texan by birth, but her Olympic dreams were revived in Round Rock. It turns out her time in Texas has been the best athletic years of her life.
“2012 ended up being the worst year for me because that was the year I didn’t make the Olympics,” Hastings said.
It’s been a polar change in emotions for Natasha Hastings from missing out on the Olympics 4 years ago to her current athletic state.
“I’ve never felt as good as I feel know I feel like I’m finally rounding in to my peak and rounding into the best form of my life,” Hastings said.
Hastings is returning to the Olympics. Her first since 2008 when she won gold as part of the USA’s 4 by 400 relay team. The former South Carolina Gamecock has trained in Austin for four years, picking up a new school spirit while here.
“Even though I’m not a Longhorn I do…I don’t know if im supposed to say this or not…he might get upset with me but I do train down at UT in the weightroom with my strength coach, Pat Moorer,” Hastings said.
Yes, that Pat Moorer. The Longhorn coach whose stare could melt ice in Antarctica. Hastings works with that coach and she’s seen that stare.
“He would put us on the stairmaster which if you’re on the stairmaster everyone knew you were in trouble because you’re doing the stairmaster with your hands…I’ve gone through the Coach Moorer getting in trouble, punishment sort of thing, so yeah he’s very intense but he means business,” Hastings said.
The same can be said for Hastings. At the trials, she qualified third in the 400m, earning her first individual spot on the Olympic roster.
“This is it I’ve done everything up to this point that I can possibly do. I just have to trust all that and go out and perform to the best of my abilities,” Hastings said.
Now, a track veteran in the sport, Hastings credits her success to a newfound clarity in her craft. One that she expects to make a difference in this trip to Rio