Brenda Faluade is already making her mark in women’s track and field in just her second year at Miami. Our Chris Hamilton sat down with the All-American jumper.
The Hurricane: What is your favorite event?
Brenda Faluade: Either the long jump or triple jump. Depending on the day either could be my favorite.
TH: Why should people pay attention to women’s track and field?
BF: Honestly, I don’t think we get enough respect. After indoor nationals, which we won, I think we get more, but on campus I don’t think we get enough.
TH: What is one race that you would pay to see?
BF: I would pay to see Flo-Jo [Florence Griffith-Joyner] run the 100-meter and 200-meter against today’s top athletes.
TH: Would she win?
BF: Oh, most definitely.
TH: Is there any rivalry between the track team and the field team?
BF: There is a little joke. The track people think because they run more, that they are in greater shape than us.
TH: Which is more important: setting a personal record or seeing your team finish first in the meet?
BF: Is this a trick question? [laughs] I feel like if I set a personal record and everyone else does what they are supposed to do, then it’s a win-win situation
TH: What is the hardest aspect of running track?
BF: Training. Jumping is so stressful and your body and joints. A lot of us have knee and ankle problems. During practice it hard for us to work beyond the pain sometimes, but we push each other through it.
TH: We’ve seen the commercial played during the NCAA season that says, “Most of us will go professional in something other than sports.” What is your “something other?”
BF: I would like to be a dentist or open up my own exercise clinic.
TH: Some of the best athletes at this school are females: Tina Miller with golf, Megan Bradley in tennis and Tamara James in basketball. Who, if anyone, from track and field could you put in the same category?
BF: I would have to say Kim Barrett. She does the discus, weight throw and shot put. She is in a class of her own.
TH: Joey Gathright, an outfielder for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays baseball team, says he jumps over cars for fun. Is there anything you like to jump for fun?
BF: I jumped fences in the past, not like running away from the cops or anything though. [laughs] Sometimes, I’ll jump up and grab the basketball rim for fun.
TH: Is track just something that you’ve always been good at or did you really have to work at it?
BF: It’s something I’ve always been good at. I used to run every event back in junior high. I guess I was blessed to have the natural talent.
TH: If you could ask any one person any one question, what would it be?
BF: I would ask Jackie Joyner-Kersee, who holds the world record in long jump, what I could do to achieve the same outcomes.
Chris Hamilton can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.