No turning back: Bromell’s olympic journey starts at Baylor

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION Photo credit: Charlene Lee, Sarah Pyo & Skye Duncan

By Brauna Marks Lariat Reporter

During his two-year collegiate career at Baylor, Trayvon Bromell built himself a future that only seems to beam brighter as his career goes on.

In late October last year, the 20-year-old Bromell from St. Petersburg, Fla., a junior in college, became a professional sprinter and signed a sponsorship deal with New Balance.

This year, the ultimate goal is the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, this summer.

In 2014, Bromell highlighted the beginning of his collegiate career at Texas Relays, where he ran 10.01 seconds in the 100-meter race to tie the world junior record.

Later that year, he claimed the NCAA Outdoor Championship and the USA Junior Championship titles in the same event.

He also holds the school record for the indoor 60-meter and 200-meter and the overall record for the 100-meter.

Bromell is now a professional athlete, but he continues to walk campus as a full-time Baylor student.

Taking classes during the day and training in the afternoons at the Clyde Hart Track and Field Stadium with Baylor’s assistant track coach Michael Ford, Bromell balamces the life of a Baylor student and an aspiring Olympian.

It seems like nothing has changed, but in the spotlight, almost everything has.

A few weeks ago in Lexington, Ky., Bromell claimed the fastest time in the world in the 60-meter race with a time of 6.55 seconds and then improved in finals with 6.54 seconds.

According to Bromell, even those times have room for improvement.

“It felt great. It wasn’t my best race and I feel like it could have been better,” Bromell said. “But it was a good feel and it was a good reach this early in the season for my second race. I feel like the season’s going to be great.”

Last season, Bromell won bronze at the IAAF World Championships in the 100-meter race, coming in behind Olympians Usain Bolt and Justin Gatlin with a time of 9.92 seconds. Bromell is the youngest U.S. athlete to ever medal in this event. Ford said this achievement was a big step for Bromell.

“Winning USA Championships this year is my personal goal for him,” Ford said. “I’ve seen the #Rio2016, but for me it’s #USATrials2016 because without placing in the top three, there is no Rio.”

Bromell explained that his goal for 2016 is simply to be better than he was in 2015 by staying healthy, getting stronger and becoming faster.

These goals seem almost effortless for his talent and speed.

However, Ford said Bromell knows how to work hard and persevere.

Bromell managed to recover from breaking both his legs and hip in high school and came back after three years to cut his times nearly in half.

“He’s always wanting to get better, and that’s rare for a 20-year-old,” Ford said. “He’s doing things most athletes at his age wouldn’t be doing.”

Bromell’s season will continue in preparation for the U.S. Olympic Team trials for track and field, dated for early July, and the 2016 Olympic Games that occur throughout August.

The motivation and drive that this young athlete has is just another reason to fling our green and gold afar.

“I run because it’s a way to get closer to God,” Bromell said. “When I’m on the track for those nine seconds, I feel like everything is free.

“Every day I have to go out there and do what I have to do. When I step on the track I have to give 110 percent and never give up.”

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