After completing a remarkable career at Digital Harbor, track star Alyssa McClure is taking the next step of her track career at the University of Miami.
She is entering her sophomore season at Miami and also wants to make an Olympic run, possessing the talent to be in the mix among the nation’s elite runners. Her track coach at Digital Harbor, Lutalo Bakari, says she is the most high-profile runner to come through the school.
McClure took the time to speak with the Baltimore Guide about her first season at Miami and her Olympic ambitions.
Baltimore Guide: How was your first season at Miami and how different was it for you than training and competing in high school?
Alyssa McClure: I enjoyed it, coming straight from high school. College is a whole different ball game. It’s more difficult than high school but I felt coach Bakari helped me a lot and prepared me a lot for what I was about to step into. I saw the difficulties but my freshman year overall was very good.
BG: What was the biggest change for you in moving from Baltimore to Miami?
AM: The biggest adjustment was juggling track with school and everything else, such as time management.
BG: Have any of the upperclassmen at Miami taken you under their wing to show you the ropes?
AM: There are a lot of females on the team who have taken me under their wing and shown me a lot. Once I came in as a freshman they all made sure we were OK and showed us a lot.
BG: What are the track facilities like at Miami?
AM: Going there the first day I actually liked it a lot. The facilities are really nice. They keep them up. Coming form high school where we didn’t have a track, there’s a lot of stuff we didn’t have. When I went off to college, I was like wow, we have all of this. In high school we made use of what we had. We still made sure we could get done what we needed to get done. When I went off to college and saw the facilities, it’s just a lot easier to get done what we need to get done.
BG: Being that you’re training for to compete in the Olympics, have you decided whether you’ll compete for the 2012 or 2016 trials yet?
AM: Right now, I’m not sure which one. I’m hoping 2012. I’m going to give both of them a shot. I’m going to work hard all day, every day.
BG: Describe the difference in training at the college level, and for something as major as the Olympics?
AM: The training there is very difficult. It’s more intense because it’s a whole different level. The prepare for the level I want to run on is a lot more time consuming. You have to stay focused and stay motivated.
BG: What event are you looking to run if you make the Olympics?
AM: In the Olympics I would love to run the 100-meter dash. I still have a lot of training to do so I can get better, faster, stronger and quicker to reach my goal and get where I want to be.
by Jason Butt