Hailing from Brooklyn, NY, Natasha Hastings is on the fast track, literally to becoming an Olympic Champion for the USA Team. Natasha is just 25 years old but has already accomplished so much in her track and field career.
Starting out at 9 years old, she was exposed to track and field when her mother took her to the Colgate Women’s Game in Brooklyn to spend the day together. This outing would turn out to be monumental in her career as the coach of the team Sean London noticed the soon to be stellar athlete and asked if he could train her. Coach London worked intensely with Natasha for about 4 weeks and entered her in the MAC Championships at the Armory in New York City where she won the 60m and 200m.
Her outdoor season continued with multiple wins and Coach London decided she should try a longer distance, the 400m. Her first meet was not successful but something clicked and Natasha knew the 400m was her calling. Training and hard work would result in a wins at the USATF Junior Olympics and a fifth place finish in the 200m at the High School National Scholastics, Natasha was a mere eighth grader at the time.
Her success continued in high school while attending A. Phillip Randolph Campus High School in New York City where she set the Freshman National Record in the 200m, which was held by well-known athlete Marion Jones. Natasha would also set the National Record in the 300m with a time of 37.77. Injuries would plague the rising star but she was able to overcome them and place third in the 2003 USA Junior Championships and was also selected to the USA World Youth Team. She competed for the US in Sherbrooke, Canada and won the 400m and was the anchor leg on the winning USA Sprint Medley Relay Team.
The following year Natasha secured the runner up spot in the USA Junior Championships with a time of 52.92. Heading to Grosseto, Italy she was once again was triumphant becoming the World Junior Champion with a time of 52.04 and anchored the 4x400m setting a World Junior Record of 3:27.60.
With high school over she now attended the University of South Carolina and was challenged with maintaining her academia as well as track. Natasha and the ‘Gamecock Divas’ as she named her teammates would see more success. Natasha set personal bests in the indoor 200m and 400m and placed runner up in the Indoor SEC Championships in the 400m. Things seemed extremely bright for the rising star but a tore quad muscle at the Indoor NCAAs would sideline her for a few weeks. Determined to make her mark in the NCAA she return to the track for the outdoor season and competed winning the Outdoor SEC title as well as placing sixth in the 400m and running the anchor for the runner up 4x400mm team at the Outdoor NCAA Championships.
Natasha would be challenged with a slew of injuries in 2006 but she was able to pull through and competed in the Outdoor SECs and placed second with a time of 52.00 and sixth at the NCAA Championships. The following year would bring more success when Natasha competed in the New Balance Collegiate Invitational winning the 400m in 51.70 and once again anchoring the 4x400m to win with the fastest collegiate indoor time that year. Then winning the 400m title at the SEC Championships set her up for the NCAAs. The culmination of the training, hard work and discipline would result in the spectacular win and setting a new National Record at 50.80 and triumph in the South Carolina 4×400 with a victory and a 50.67 split. Natasha went on to become the Outdoor NCAA champion in the 400m with a time of 50.15 and ran the anchor leg on the runner up South Carolina team in the 4x400m.
Competing at the USA Outdoor Championships, Natasha placed second with a collegiate record time of 49.84. This earned her a place on the World Championship team to Osaka, Japan and she came home with a gold medal as part of the 4x400m relay team. Natasha turned professional at the end of her Junior year and has since gone on to earn international gold medals as part of the USA 4x400m relay team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, 2009 and 2010 Indoor World Championships where the team set an American record and 2011 World Championships.