Full Name: Dominique Nicole Ward|
Academic Interest: Physical Therapy
School and Mascot: Battery Creek High School
Event Pr's: 200m- 25.05, 400m-55.77
Hobbies: reading and writing poetry
Brothers/Sisters: Brother: Wesley Ward III
Date of Birth: June 25, 1986
ward: I have always desired to attend a school in the state of Tennessee. I know for a fact that the coach at TSU is very well-educated in the sport of track & field because she is an Olympic Gold Medalist in the events that I run. I thank God, and I am very honored to have the opportunity to compete and be a part of her team.
scrunners: How many visits to the university did you take?
ward: It only took one visit to convince me that TSU is where I want to be.
scrunners: Who did you talk to at the school before committing? What kind of influence did these university personnel have on your experience?
ward: While on my visit, I spent some personal time with the team, getting to know them and asking them questions about the campus and college life as well. Overall, they were very honest with me and I felt very comfortable there.
scrunners: How was your family influence beneficial in helping you choose a college?
ward: My family didn't want to pressure me and therefore left the decisions of choosing a college up to me. They informed me that they would always be there for me no matter where I decide to go.
scrunners: What other colleges did you look into before committing?
ward: Well, I visited University of South Carolina, and Georgia Southern University. I thought about Coastal Carolina University and the University of Tennessee.
scrunners: Besides running in college, what else are you looking to achieve during this time?
ward: One of the great aspects of TSU is that they have a good Master's Program in Physical Therapy, which is a field that I have always wanted to go into. Instead of transferring to another college, I can stay there and get my master's in Physical Therapy.
scrunners: In the Beaufort Gazette article on your signing the topic of being brought up in Tennessee, how much influence did that have on your decision?
ward: It had a big influence on my decision. The weather up there is wonderful and I am right in the middle of where my extended family is. I did not want to go to a school in the south, and I did not want to go to a school in the north so Tennessee is the perfect area for where I want to be.
scrunners: At the 2003 Track and Field State Championships you captured the 400-meter title in the 4A classification. How did you prepare for this meet?
ward: First of all, I prayed that God would allow me to run a good time and not be injured (or anything). I did a lot of sprints and endurance work that would enable me to finish the race strong. I also worked a lot with the blocks and just focused on coming out strong.
scrunners: What were you feeling as you were escorted to the starting line, crossed the finish line, and when up on the awards stand when they announced your name over the public announcing system?
ward: I was very excited that all of my hardwork, focus and never giving up, paid off. I was very happy with the time but I knew that there were other things that I could have done and worked on to improve that time. I thank God for allowing me to finish the race and the track season strong. I can never forget where my help comes from. I also thank my coaches for their patience and knowledge of the sport.
scrunners: Were you having any expectations going into the meet?
ward: Yes, I was very confident that I would win the 400m and medal in the 200m. After the 400m I was very tired and therefore did not do as well in the 200m as I thought I would. This year is a new year and a new season and anything can happen and long as I stay focused and continue to work hard.
scrunners: How did the 400 race unfold?
ward: Well, as the gun went off, I was to a pretty good start. I was in the fourth lane. The girl in lane three was tied with me all the way until we got to the middle of the second curve. She was pulling away from me and I could not let that happen. All I could think about was not letting her beat me and how much work I put into this season and this race. About 25m in to the 100m I came back and was closing in on her. About 75m in to the 100m I passed her, to cross the finish line victoriously.
scrunners: What kind of goals did you set for your junior track and field season?
ward: My ultimate goal for my junior track and field season was to become the 400m state champion. Also, to run a low 25 second in the 200m. All praises to God for letting me meet my goals.
scrunners: Did you consider yourself the favorite to win?
ward: I believe that every athlete must believe in himself/herself, and that he/she will win. If not, what's the point. It would just be a waste of time and effort if one doesn't think that he/she will win.
scrunners: Do you have a specific pre race tradition that you have done since your started competing in track and field? How early does this tradition start and how did you obtain this tradition all the way through your cool down?
ward: While stretching, just before getting into the blocks, and cooling down I pray and ask and thank God for keeping me safe and uninjured. Praying allows me to humble myself and not get cocky about my talent and to acknowledge where my help and strength comes from. I know it's not just me. I give all glory and honor to God.
scrunners: Does Beaufort have a team tradition at meets?
ward: Yes we do. Normally we say our team chant after we stretch and do drills; then we pray.
scrunners: Throughout the fall and spring months what kind of training did you do?
ward: Throughout the fall I did a lot of the workouts that I would normally do if I were running with my summer coach, Coach Wilson. In his workouts, I did a lot of sprint work, endurance training, and block work.
scrunners: When did you start to compete in track and field?
ward: I have been competing since I was seven. I ran for USA Track & Field.
scrunners: What gave you the idea to start to compete in track and field?
ward: To be honest, I do not know. Running is just something that has always been in me and playing sports in general has always been in my family.
scrunners: What kind of trainers/spikes do you wear in track?
ward: I wear sprinter spikes range from 100m-400m.
scrunners: Have you been injured? How did you stay motivated during this time?
ward: Thanks to God, I have not been seriously injured to where I couldn't run.
|"Knowing that this is what I want to do and it's what I love keep me going out day after day, rain or shine."--Dominique Ward|
ward: Wanting to better myself keeps me motivated. Knowing that this is what I want to do and it's what I love keep me going out day after day, rain or shine. My team looks up to me and I must not let them down. Along with motivating myself I have to motivate them too. It's not all about me, it's about the team.
scrunners: What would you say is the most prestigious meet you competed in? What year did you compete in this meet? What events did you run in and how did you fare?
ward: The most prestigious meet was Taco Bell. When I saw all of those teams from different states, north and south, I was a little discouraged. I felt as though I hadn't trained hard enough. The year before last, I placed first in the 400m at Taco Bell. Last year I placed third in the 400m; I was very happy because I was competing with girls who were nationally and highly ranked in the 400m. To know that I could compete with them delighted me and made me feel as though I had worked hard just like they do. It also made me realize that no matter how well I'm doing in the state of South Carolina, there's always someone out there who is bigger and better than me, but I still must go out there and run with the confidence that I will be victorious.
scrunners: Have you ever met any professional runners? If so, what did you talk or ask them about and how did they respond?
ward: I met and took a picture with Jearl Miles Clarke. I was too afraid and tongue twisted to talk but my summer track coach, Coach Wilson, did all the talking for me.
scrunners: The 2004 track and field season was not too far away. What kind of training have you done this year compared to last year?
ward: This year, I am very thankful that I have Coach Mitchell to tell me and explain to me what I need to do and how I need to do it. She always is there for me no matter what I am truly thankful. This season, we've been doing some sprint workouts and also some endurance training. I work with the blocks everyday for both the 200m and the 400m.
scrunners: What event(s) will you be focusing on this upcoming season and why?
ward: This season I will be focusing mainly on the 400m and the 200m. I am very pleased with my times so far this year. I have already met my goals in both of my events. All I can do now is set more goals in order to better myself even more.
scrunners: How are you setting your goals for this season?
ward: This season I planned to run in the 54-55 second range and I've already run a 55.77. In the 200m I planned to run a 24-low 25 range and I've already run a 25.05. I am ahead of my personal schedule, which is always good.
scrunners: With the weather at the 2003 State Meet in Columbia at Spring Valley causing exhaustion for several athletes how are you preparing for this challenge?
ward: Just like any other meet, I must drink a lot of fluids and eat a lot of fruits so that the heat doesn't get to me.