Fresh off NCAA-record relay performance, Charokee Young now hunts Olympic berth

By June 18, 2021

Texas A&M’s Charokee Young plans to arrive at Jamaica’s national championships next week refreshed and ready to secure a spot on Jamaica’s team to the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

Young, an 800m runner turned quarter-miler, ran 51.13 for fifth place in the 400m last week Saturday and then split 49.75 on the second leg as Texas A&M shattered the four-year-old collegiate record that was held by Oregon.

It put a cap on a successful season for Young, who was also a member of the team that ran a collegiate indoor record in March. She doesn’t believe the exertions of last weekend will have an impact on her come next week.

“I most definitely think I can come into trials refreshed after a heavy workload during the championships,” she said.

“It’s just like another track meet and I don’t think it’s right to mentally tell yourself that you’re drained from another championship because stuff like that can affect your performance when you’re competing, it all starts with your mental aspects, so if you have any doubt, that can definitely mess with your performance so I definitely feel I can come into trials refreshed.”

Without saying as much, Young was not satisfied with her performance in the finals of 400m where she didn’t at least match her season-best 50.85 set the week before in the qualifiers and which would have been good enough for third place in the finals.

She did, acknowledge, however, that inexperience played its part.

“I didn’t think I had the best execution in the open 400. I think that over time you perfect your execution and I don’t think I am 100 percent there where I am perfect with my execution but I am working on it with each race. I am trying to make adjustments and try and get it right and I think I am heading in the right direction with that,” she said.

She takes satisfaction from the fact that her sub-50-second split in the relay helped her team to victory in 3:22.34 that broke the championship, meet and facility record of 3:23.13 set by Oregon in June 2017. Young’s 49.75 was only bettered Athing Mu, the 400m champion, who split 48.85 on the anchor leg.

“It definitely did make up for not being in the top three (of the 400m) because I got a very outstanding split and performed well in the 4x400, running faster than I ran in the open 400m,” she said, explaining that while running the second leg, all she was thinking about was putting her team in a position to win.

“I just wanted to give my team everything I got because I knew that all the other girls on the team were going to give it everything they got so I wanted to go out there and give my very best,” she said.

“After I handed off the stick in first position I heard my split time and I was like ‘wow, that’s crazy’, and it made me very happy and that’s something I’ve never done so I knew doing that would put us on track the break the record.”

Texas A&M now holds both indoor and outdoor records for the 4x400m relay, which has cemented Young in the annals of her school’s and NCAA history.

“Indoors, it was pretty exciting to break the collegiate record but we knew that the (outdoor) collegiate record was pretty hard, it was a pretty tough target but I knew if we all did our best it was very possible to break and when we got the record we were really excited and happy because it was a really special performance.”

 

 

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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