Q&A with Tigers athlete and Arizona State commit Sterling Winston

Courtesy of Jim McCarron Sun devil: Riverside City College athlete Sterling Winston commits to Arizona State University.

Courtesy of Jim McCarron
Sun devil: Riverside City College athlete Sterling Winston commits to Arizona State University.

 

Q: What made you choose ASU? Did you have any other offers?

A: I chose arizona State University because it has been a school I wanted to go to since I was in eighth grade. Before I even went to riverside City College, RCC Coach (Jim) McCarron said that he would get me a scholarship there, and he made it happen. I had visited Baylor prior to signing to ASU, but they told me that they need to be sure that I would run at least 46 seconds in the open before they made their offer, which would have been a full ride. I was going to wait and take more visits later in the season, but I did not want to risk losing a scholarship offer by waiting and possibly getting injured during the course of the season. So I made my decision for ASU.

Q: What events are you planning to run at ASU?

A: the events that they were really interested in having me run was the 400, 200 and the 4×400 meter relay. I am hoping to make the 4×100 relay team as well like I am at RCC.

Q: If you had to pick your favorite event that you feel you are at your best what would it be? And why?

A: the 400-meters would have to be my best event. I never would have thought I would say that back when I first ran track, but it’s the event where I compete the best in. I am still learning how to run it correctly because there is a technique to running it. So I would have to say with where I am now and with my progress while still learning the mechanics of the race, I would have to consider that my best event.

Q: What is your personal best in the 400 and when was it?

A: My fastest time in the 400-meter was at last year’s Southern California finals at antelope Valley College. I ran 47.3 there. that same day, I ran my best split time in the 4×400 as an anchor with a time of 46.0.

Q:You recently competed against some Division I competition on the track? What was that experience like?

A: It was a great experience. I ran against a guy that usually goes 46.3 in the 400. he beat me by 0.01 seconds, but it was great to have that type of competition and really be able to give somebody as fast as he is that type of race. especially for my first 400 of the season. It really served as a confidence builder for my future.

Q:What are your goals for the remainder of the RCC season?

A: My goal this year is to run at least a 45.9 in the 400-meter dash. I have been set back with a minor hamstring injury, but I still plan on accomplishing that. I also plan on our 4×400 and 4×100 relay teams to break the school records and win state. We plan on getting at least a time of 3 minutes and four seconds in the 4×400, (the current record is 3:08.2).

another goal I have is to run at least a 20.6 in the 200. again, I have been set back by my injury, but I believe it’s still possible. as an overall program, I have hope that we can win the state title again this year for the third consecutive time.

Q: During your time at RCC, what has Coach McCarron

and his coaching staff done to help you and your teammates compete at a high level on the track and in the field?

A: Coach McCarron has done a great job in staying on the team academically and making sure we keep our grades up to par.

My sprint coach, Coach (Damien) Smith, is honestly in my opinion the best sprint coach at the California Community College level. he knows what he’s doing, and he’s capable of taking somebody that is an average sprinter in high school and making them into an elite Division I capable athlete.

Coach Abdul Morceli is also a great coach that has also coached an olympian and a former RCC athlete who placed third in the USA Nationals last year. he has intense training that builds toughness and makes athletes strong.

he really cares about his runners and can take anybody with great talent a long way. the training staff has also played a huge role as well.

they do everything they can to ensure the athletes stay healthy and ready to run. So really, everybody on the staff has played a huge role in not only me, but other runners as well. We have a great coaching and training staff at RCC I couldn’t ask for anything better.

Q: Any pre-race or post-race rituals?

A: this might be found funny. But even ask my team, every track meet, before my first race, I always have to release my bowels. the 4×100 is the first event of the meet and I always have to drop one before that, every meet. I don’t know what it is. even if I don’t eat, I just always have to and of course, warming up is something I

always do before I run. Stretching, getting stretched by a trainer and again after a race.

I like to relax and stay out of the sun if it’s a warmer day. Something I do, when I’m about to get in my blocks to run every time though is jump pretty high into the air and stretch my right leg out behind the block then place it on the block. then I do the same with my left.

after that I come up from the down position that I am, still in my blocks kneeling and take a deep breath. then I get back down in my marked position and wait for the official to say, “set” and sound off the gun.

Q: During your track career who have been your biggest supporters?

A: My biggest supporters have been my mother and father. they do a lot for me and go to every meet that they can attend. My auntie Tony and uncle Oliver have been to a lot of meets as well to support me.

Q: Who have been some of your role models or favorite athletes?

A: I actually really look up to Coach Smith. he’s been teaching me a lot lately and doing everything to ensure that I have a great career I also look up to my dad. he’s a hard worker. he does a lot for my family and really taught me a lot about life and being dedicated to whatever it was I chose to do in life.

Interview by James H. Williams