​SCHSL State interview: Ninety-Six’s Brittany Gilliam

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Brittany Gilliam of Ninety-Six talks about goals for this weekend and future academic goals.

Name: Brittany Gilliam
Personal bests: 100 hurdles 16.12, 400 hurdles 1:11, 4x4 4:17 (split time 1:04)
Academic interest: Biology
Hobbies: Weightlifting, running, going out to eat
Interesting fact: I'm Hispanic and African American. I've lived in Hawaii for four years before I came to South Carolina.

How did you get involved in the sport and why?
I first got involved in track and field in the seventh grade. As a seventh grader, I joined track and field because I got cut from cheerleading tryouts. Once I joined the track team, I knew I would be pretty good at it. All I had to do was run and run and run!

How have you seen it change?
As I got older, my perspective of track and field changed. I started to take my events seriously in 10th grade.

How do you feel you have grown in the sport?
I feel like I have grown so much in track and field since seventh grade. Track and field has became apart of me physically, mentally, and emotionally. Ninety Six's program is in my blood.

What has been your motivation for this season?
My motivation has been to improve my speed in my strongest event, the 100-meter hurdles.

How do you look at the rankings?
Honestly, I don't pay attention to the rankings. There will always be someone better than me, which makes me work harder. One thing I don't let the rankings do is discourage me.

What goes throughout your mind as the gun is getting ready to go as you are waiting in the blocks or starting line?
As I am in blocks, I clear my mind of any negative/irrelevant thoughts. I'm focused mainly on how strong I need to come out my blocks to the first hurdle.

Do you have a pre race tradition? Please explain.
Yes, I have a pre-race tradition. I start by going to check-in for my event. While I'm checking-in, I get myself mentally prepared to run. After checking-in, I find a place to warm-up in the middle of the track. The last part of my pre-race tradition is saying the Lord's Prayer with my head bowed and eyes closed.

How would you rate your season so far?
On a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate my season a 10. This season has been the best and the strongest out of all my previous seasons since seventh grade.

Do you have any family members involved in the sport? Please explain.
No, I don't have any family member involved in the sport.

What challenges have you encountered in the sport?
I have encountered many challenges in track and field. One challenge has been to run a different leg on the 4x400. I'm so use to running second leg, but my coach switches up our legs to see if we can handle the pressure of running a different leg.

Have you ever been injured? Please explain.
No, I've never been severely injured in track and field. I've only had minor injuries like a bruise from jumping over hurdles. Minor injuries don't keep me from running. Strong athletes run through their pains.

What do you hope to achieve in the sport and in life in the future?
I hope to medal in the 100 hurdles and 4x4 at state this year. In life, I hope to achieve a four-year degree and finish medical school as a thoracic surgeon.

Do you have post season track plans?
Yes, my post season track plans are to do AAU track and field over the summer.

What is your favorite workout and why?
My favorite workouts are 200, 250, and 300 repeats. These workouts are my favorite because they are easy to run.

What goals have you set for the rest of the season?
My main goals are to improve my 100 hurdle time by at least two more seconds.

Looking at the 2014 state meet, what do you remember and how did that make you prepare for the 2015 state meet?
From the 2014 state meet, I remember how bad I wanted my 4x4 team to place in the top four. All I thought about was to come back stronger in 2015 at the state meet and place in the top four.

If there is one thing in the world you could do, what it would it be and why?
If there was one thing in the world I could do, I would like to go to the Olympic Games and watch Sanya Richards-Ross run! She is one of my inspirations.

Fun questions
Pre-race pump-up song: Post To Be by Omarion (ft. Chris Brown, Jhene Aiko)
Post-race meal: Ham sandwich, cup of fruit, and water
Go-to karaoke song: Sugar by Maroon 5
Favorite book(s): Divergent Series
Last movie you watched: Unbroken
Favorite race or event to watch: Girls and girls 800
If you could go on a run with any athlete, who would it be?: Sanya Richards-Ross