Sprinter Shavonne Husbands may only be a freshman, but she has already made an impression on her teammates.
Ever since her first event at the ASU Kickoff Classic in Jonesboro, Arkansas, Husbands has been leaving her mark on Missouri State, as well as the Missouri Valley Conference.
“She’s determined, and I like that about her,” junior sprinter Pernell Joseph said. “For coming here as a freshman and running so well, she’s going to be a really good athlete, and I’m proud of her.”
Joseph and the rest of the team have good reason to be proud of Husbands. Not only has she started winning events right away, she has also tied a school record. At the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Husbands tied a Missouri State record in the 200-meter dash (23.97) set by Camille Clark in 2000.
“I was quite shocked,” Husbands said. “It was the first time I broke the 24-second barrier. I was really excited.”
Husbands’ main reason for coming to Missouri State was head track and field coach Ronald Boyce, who is also from Barbados, as well as sophomore Althia Maximilien.
“I have a fellow countryman here,” Husbands said. “(Maximilien) is improving and has changed her times. I thought (Boyce) could do the same for me, and I know he will.”
Boyce has known Husbands since she was 11 years old. Along with watching her grow up, he has been able to watch her display her talent in competitive track.
“I had absolutely no doubt that she could compete at this level,” Boyce said. “This is one that we had been waiting on for a long time.”
Husbands’ r√sum√ extends as far back as 2006, when she competed at the Caribbean Union of Teachers Championships in Vieux-Fort, St. Lucia. She won bronze medals in the 100-metre dash and the 200-metre dash.
In 2008, Husbands returned to the CUT Championships in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. This time, Husbands took gold in the 200-metre dash along with a bronze medal in the 100-metre dash.
Husbands also competed in the Barbados Secondary Schools Athletics Championships in 2008, where she won gold medals in the 100-meter dash and the 200-metre dash.
Hubands’ efforts led to an invite to the 2010 CARIFTA Games in the Cayman Islands. At the games Husbands won a silver medal in the 100-metre dash. She also won a bronze medal in the 200-metre dash.
On top of making an impression with her athletic ability, Husbands is also excelling in academics. She already has made the 2012-2013 Athletics Director’s Honour Roll. She is interested in architecture, and she has chosen construction management as her major.
“I originally wanted to do architecture, but there is not an architecture programme here,” she said. “That was the closest thing to architecture here.”
The athletic performance displayed by Husbands this season has placed her at the top of her class in the Missouri Valley Conference. Boyce said that Husbands has what it takes to go well beyond the NCAA level.
“The young lady has potential, and she has done a terrific job,” Boyce said. “As long as she stays healthy, she will reign supreme at this level.”
Husbands recently competed at the Arkansas Final Qualifier on March 1, in Fayetteville, Arkansas. She ran the 200-metre dash (24.15) and placed fifth. She, along with the rest of the track and field team, will travel to Tulsa, Oklahoma for the Tulsa Relays on March 15 and 16. (Adapted from The Standard)