Track success runs in family for record-setter

Mar 27, 2018

PANTHER 2018 spring Youshi Kirkland action

Youshi Kirkland

Breaking two school records in one track meet was very surprising for a Claflin University senior track star.

At the HBCU Classic Indoor Track meet in New York in January, Youshi Kirkland broke two school records. His marks came in the 500m and 800m races, with times of 1.04 and 1.56 minutes.

Kirkland said he didn’t know that he broke a record. His coach came up to him after he was done and gave him the news.

"All I remember thinking was ‘wow, that’s crazy.’ I didn’t expect to break two school records in one track meet." Kirkland said. "That was surprising and exciting at the same time."

Kirkland said he was congratulated by his track teammates and fellow Claflin athletes.

Kirkland said he has been around the sport of track mostly his whole life, and that he first started running track when he was in the seventh grade.

"Track is like a family sport," Kirkland said. "My brothers, my mom, everyone in my family ran track."

"I didn’t want to be the one to break the family chain."

Kirkland ran against high-schoolers when he was just in the seventh and eighth grades.

He also talked about how the transition from high school track to college track was a different experience for him.

"High school was more slow and mellow and easier." Kirkland said, "It wasn’t about hard work in high school. I was just running off of talent basically."

Every track meet is like the state track meet in college. Every practice is like a track meet, Kirkland said.


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