Saturday, April 19, Hampton University hosted their historic Hampton University Relays with last year’s relay being their first in seven years. The relays called for some of the greatest athletes in high school, college, and the professional level to showcase their talents!
Hampton’s Men’s and Women’s team won a combine total of 9 events at the relays. With the men winning five events, and the women winning four.
Former Hampton Track & Field standout, now current Olympian and World Champion Francena McCorory put on a “sprint showcase” winning the 200m in a stellar time 23.2. She will continue her intense training as she prepares for the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Brazil this summer. She trains at Hampton University alongside the Hampton team with her coach who was also her coach during her tenure at Hampton.
We were able to sit down and talk with Tavyon Burris, one of the team’s new and strong assets to the Men’s Middle Distance Program.
Prior to coming to Hampton, Burris was 5x State Champion hailing from Virginia. He defended his state title his senior year, while also earning a silver medal that same year in the 1,000 meter run, breaking the school record. He was ranked Top 25 in Virginia and was also titled Emerging Elite National Champion in the 800-meter run.
We ask Burris about his personal performance and team performance at the Hampton Relays:
“I’ve been performing pretty fair during the outdoor season. I’m qualified for conference already but I’m holding myself to much higher goals this season. Moving forward from HU relays I’m looking forward to dropping a nice time next week at Morgan State then preparing myself for Penn Relays. As a team, we’ve had some great performances thus far and some are still putting pieces together surely. We just need to stay focused on our goals & remain discipline through the long season.”
We asked him about training along side an Olympian and how it affects his performance at practice, he stated:
“Having Francena at our practice definitely drives a positive, inspirational feeling in the air. Knowing what she’s accomplished here at Hampton and seeing her succeed on the world level definitely gives me some motivation to not settle for less. But to keep striving to be able to do what she’s been able to do. I definitely want to be the best.” Burris said.
In recent years an issue that has arose with college athletes have them not being prepared for the collegiate level so we asked Burris about the transition from high school success to Division 1 Track:
“The transition from high school to D1 Track was without a doubt one of the most difficult transitions I’ve made lol. From morning practice, to time management, to two a days, not to mention the workouts are significantly more difficult. But I’m more than motivated for the challenge, especially when I have such great teammates that push me everyday. When there’s a group of dedicated and talented athletes you can expect the job to get done. ” Burris said.
The conversation ended with speaking on the topic of Coach to Athlete Relationships and the Team’s relationship as a whole, a key asset to the success of the athlete and team:
“I can honestly say that I have coaches that care about me, not just on the track but as a person. We have a staff that has been through what we’re currently going through so they know what it takes. So when my coach see’s something that I need to fix I can trust that he knows what he’s talking about. As a team, I’m always seeing uplift from one another whenever something isn’t going as expected. Or whenever someone needs a little motivation we have leaders that brings the team together and insure that we keep our minds on track. ”
Hampton University has their sights set on a successful season, and the future is definitely bright for Burris. The team is now preparing to compete at fellow HBCU “sibling-school” Morgan State University. To stay updated the progress of the team, direct your attention to the Hampton University Athletics Website.