Local college athlete of the week


Modesto JC track and field

Blair surprised Division I competition at the USC Trojan Invitational in Los Angeles on Saturday, winning the 400 meters in 47.62 seconds and helping the 4x400 relay team finish third (3:15.09). Three days later Blair was more excited about teammate Terrance Green finishing third overall in the 400, winning his heat in 48.31.PARENTS: Celina and Vincent Blair

HOMETOWN/HIGH SCHOOL: Reedley/Reedley High

ON THE DAY: "It was exciting because we knew we were going to get a chance to be seen at USC. It means a lot more coming at USC. You have the big names there and the fastest times. It was really hot. I'm glad that I won (the 400), but I didn't hit my PR. I've never been too big on winning. My mind-set is getting a good time. If I had a personal record and didn't come in first I still would have been happy. The 4x400 race was good. We ran a PR. It feels a lot better when you win as a team."

ON GREEN'S DAY: "When Terrance was running the 400, that was crazy. He came around the corner so hard. We're from the same area. We would always race against each other. He was always my competition. He's still my competition in practice."

GOALS: My goal is to break this school's 400 record this season. It's a 46.8 and I'm at 47.6. I need to drop a second. It's possible. Running in the Olympics is the ultimate goal."

WHY TRACK? "I started when I was a freshman in high school. My brother was running and I thought I'd run. I played basketball and football, but I started getting into track more. It gets into you. It got into me. I started getting better and better. It makes you want to get better."

PRE-RACE ROUTINE: "I pace. I go into a trance. I walk the race in my head, visualize getting out fast, using my arms. You always have to see yourself losing and catching up at the end. You can't think you're going to win all the time because it doesn't always turn out like that and you don't want to be surprised."

WHY MJC? "Coach (Demitrius Snaer) talked to me a couple times. I liked that he had competitive practices. Terrence had already decided to come here. Modesto is kind of like Fresno. When I came here I felt like I knew the people already."

MAJOR: "Right now it's physical education. When I transfer to a four-year school I want to go into nursing or pharmaceuticals. I'd like to work in an operating room or somewhere on the hospital floor."

FAVORITE FOOD: "Out here it's Charley's Grilled Subs at the mall. I like the steak Italiano sandwich."