Born April 19, 1973 in Cincinnati, Oh 5-4.5/1.64m 120lbs./54kg Mount Healthy HS, Cincinnati, Oh '91 Louisiana State '96 PRs (outdoor): 100 10.92 '96 200 22.49 '96 PRs (indoor): 55 6.69 '96 60 7.21 '96 200 23.24 '96 (23.22-oversized '96) Major Meets: 1989 4h)USA Junior 100 1994 7)NCAA Indoor 55 8)NCAA Indoor 200 3)NCAA 100 3)NCAA 200 7)USA 100 1995 4)NCAA Indoor 55 6)NCAA Indoor 200 1)NCAA 100 6)NCAA 200 4)USA 100 1996 1)NCAA Indoor 55 2)NCAA Indoor 200 1)NCAA 100 2)NCAA 200 3)Olympic Trials 100 6s)Olympic Games 100 Major Relays: 1994 1)NCAA 4 x 100  1995 1)NCAA 4 x 100  1)World Championships 4 x 100 [4-in heats] 1996 1)NCAA 4 x 100 
For D'Andre Hill, 1996 was about arriving. The coming years will be about doing serious damage.
The LSU sprint star won three individual NCAA titles while competing for the Tigers and added three more titles in the relays. No one questioned her dominance collegiately, but curiosity lingered about when and whether she'd be able to translate that potential to success in the big arena.
In 1995, she came close, finishing fourth at nationals, just missing an individual berth for the World Championships, but earning a gold for her work in the relay heats at Gothenburg.
In 1996, she closed out her collegiate career with a stellar NCAA meet, defending her 100 title in a PR 11.03, taking second in the 200 with another PR, 22.49, and joining the winning sprint relay for the third straight year.
Then, at the Olympic Trials, she came ready to play:
*First round: 11.00 PR, third place;
*Second round: 10.99 PR, first place;
*Third round: 10.97 PR, first place;
*Final: 10.92 PR, third place.
"When you're pushed all the time, you run," Hill said the next day. "You have to run. They force your hand. That's what they did here; they forced my hand, and I had to step up and perform."
Her time in the final would have been good enough to win the gold in 13 of the 16 Olympic 100m competitions. "I really didn't think about the PRs because it was going on at the time," she says. "After it was over with, it was great. But during it I just thought, 'You do whatever you have to do to make the next round'. That's how I was looking at it. I knew I would have to PR to make it to the final anyway, but the constant PRs were a surprise."
The Games themselves were a surprise also, but of the wrong kind. It turned out that 1996 was a great year for Hill, but a little too long. She was racing top-flight dashes in January, when the collegiate season started. Consequently, when the Games finally rolled around in July, she found herself past her peak.
"I felt flat," she says of her Olympic experience. "I had no get-up-and-go. I knew my legs were dead. I was just trying to hold on. It had been such a long season. It was a little too much for one collegian to come through a whole collegiate season. I was burned out by the Games. It was sad that it came to that, but I can't be totally disappointed."
Hill raced to a non-qualifying sixth in her Games semi, but showed none of the spark she had at the Trials. Her best Games clocking was 11.11.
"My training schedule is changing drastically," she confirms. "Instead of being ready for the collegiate season, I'm going to prepare for the professional season which really doesn't start until March. So we're indoors, and I'm training through indoors. I'm not going to do anything all-out indoors. That's probably the biggest change."
Coached by LSU assistant Dennis Shaver, Hill is quite content with her training set-up. "We don't want to change what's working. I'll stay with him as long as he'll have me." It helps that they worked out their differences years ago. "He listens to my side, but I don't argue with him. It's wasted energy and I learned that the hard way."
Working out with a speedy group that includes Kim Carson (12.72 PR in hurdles), Sheila Echols (10.83 PR), and Zundra Feagin (11.20 PR), Hill is exposed to world class talent every day. "When you have that intense surrounding with you all the time, you naturally push each other," she says.
For 1997, in addition to a later peak, she's looking at applying her talents as intensely to the 200. "I can probably do as well if I put my mind to it," she says. "That's going to be something we're going to focus on throughout this training season."
One thing she's not going to spend much time worrying about is whether she'll be selected for the World Championship 4 x 100 team. "I know exactly what I have to do to be where I want to be come World Championships," she says. "I want to be in a situation where I can worry about my individual event. I'm willing to run the relay, that's well and good, but I'm not dealing with the politics this year."
The Olympic relay selection process soured Hill, who placed third at the Trials, yet was not chosen for the stick crew in the Games. The decision seemed especially ironic since Hill came from LSU, probably the best relay school in collegiate history.
The official explanation, Hills says, was that she is a straightaway runner, and the straightaways were already claimed by Devers and Torrence. "They felt I wasn't effective enough on the curve to run at the Olympic level," she says. Hill adds, probably correctly, that she ran more relays in the past year than the four choices did combined.
So understandably she says that 1997, "is all about me, D'Andre Hill, doing as well as I can do in the individual events. I can't get wrapped up in all that politics."
Other matters are going on the back burner as well. Because of the way the school schedule clashes with the track schedule, Hill will have to put graduation on hold until the fall, as her degree in kinesiology requires a hospital practicum. "That was a hard decision," she says. "I want to get my degree; I want to graduate. But this is what I do for a living, so I have to worry about my options."
Her future career is very important, she says, no matter how much she loves sprinting. "I don't want to be one of those people doing it because there's nothing else for them to do. I would just like to have another career. I want to go into physical therapy. I want to coach a little bit. I don't see this going on for a lot of years but we'll just have to wait and see."
Hill feels she's on course not just to race the big dogs, but to run them down in the near future. Certainly a case can be made that Hill could be the event's next star. Look at the usual medal winners in the 100 at the big meets: Gail Devers, Merlene Ottey, and Gwen Torrence. Ages 30, 36, and 31. Hill, the next fastest woman in 1996, was 23.
How does she feel about all this?
"Anything is possible."