Disappointment as Motivation
The one regret she has about her track career at
UT helped shape her resolve to face later challenges
in life. As a freshman in 1997, she placed fourth
in the 200 meters at the NCAA Indoor Championships. “I felt so bad because I didn’t think I had
done everything I could. I felt I probably could have
gotten second,” she said.
Nanceen used her disappointment in that race
as motivation in her training over the summer. She
won the national 200-meter title the next year. That
lesson—that giving 100 percent frees you from having regrets about the results—would help her later
in her track career and in life.
She was an All-American at UT, NCAA champion, Olympic medalist, and one-time world record
holder (in the 4x200 relay). UT’s Kearney recounted
the story of the 1998 4x100 relay, where a good
pass from Nanceen to teammate Angie Vaughn
would help the Longhorns win a national title. But
as Vaughn’s hand came back, it was unsteady, a
fact that Nanceen managed to spot sprinting at full
speed. She steadied Vaughn’s hand and safely transferred the baton, all without breaking stride. “That’s
Nanceen,” said Kearney. “You could always count on
100 percent effort, no matter what.”
The Olympic Stage
Nanceen earned a degree in psychology at UT
in 1999 and delayed her plan to become a counselor to train for the US Olympic team, in preparation
for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia.
That marked the most difficult part of her athlet-
“You don't get muscles
ic journey. “In high school and college, it’s a team at-
mosphere, and you don’t want to let the team down,”
Nanceen recalled. “I knew I had to do my part.”
But training for the Olympics wasn’t the same.
She was basically on her own, seldom training with
her relay teammates other than at events. “That was
some scary stuff, to know that you’re in front of so
many people and it all has to go right,” she said. “I
didn’t enjoy it as much. It was lonely and more self-
centered. That was hard for me.”
sitting on the bench.
You have to lift the
Hoskins and her US Olympic relay
teammates won a bronze medal
in the 4x100 relay at the 2000
Olympics in Sydney, Australia.