On Oct. 11, 1985, Tim Harris entered this world with athletic blood running through his veins. Fast-forward 19 years later and a 5’9”, 160-pound Harris is receiving the Nike Athlete of the Year Award for his stellar performance on the track and field team.
Harris decided to come to the University of Miami because he wanted his parents and younger brother to get a chance to watch him run in college. He grew up in Overtown, which is just north of Downtown Miami. Even through Harris lives on campus, he is not far from home.
Recently on the track Harris has consistently outrun his competition. On Feb. 19 he received All-ACC Honors in the 800-meters with a second place finish at the Indoor Track and Field Championships in Chapel Hill, N.C. Prior to that, Harris set the record in the Florida High School State Final in 2004 by running the 800 meters in 1:49:75.
As a youth, Harris participated in a variety of sports, and at age 11 he began to run track. He stuck with track and made the team at Booker T. Washington High School in Miami. Harris’ work ethic stems from his desire to exceed expectations. Critics who doubted his ability only motivated the young man to work harder.
“I work hard but I always feel there is room for improvement,” Harris said.
Harris said he juggles dual responsibilities.
“It’s a struggle everyday to run track and be a full time student,” he said.
According to Harris, UM athletes do not get special privileges or breaks from teachers. His schedule is very tight with morning and afternoon workouts. Harris recalled high school being much easier but looks forward daily to handling his responsibilities.
Harris is adjusting quite well to being a freshman at the University of Miami. He offered this advice to senior high school runners who will venture onto college campuses this fall.
“Don’t let anyone stop you from reaching your goal and don’t be realistic but work hard,” Harris said.
Even with these accomplishments, Harris expects improvement. He wants bring at least two NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field Championships to University of Miami in his next four years here. With a major in Sports Administration, after college Harris plans to stay on “track.”
“I want to be a professional athlete…and right now I am working hard to be in the 2008 [Summer] Olympics.”
Paul Campbell can be contacted at email@example.com.