Special to the AmNews

Tatyana McKenzie’s collegiate career has taken her on a journey: St. John’s University is the third school the sprinter from Kingston, Jamaica, has attended. Her final indoor season wrapped last weekend with the ECAC Championships in Boston. The week before, McKenzie was named Most Outstanding Performer (MOP) at the Big East Indoor Championships and also honored on the All-Big East Indoor Track and Field Team.

“I put in the work during the fall, so I would say [a good indoor season] was expected, but I have more to give,” said McKenzie, who is in her second year at St. John’s. “Coming in, I had a lot to accomplish, and I think that’s what really drives me.”

McKenzie does all the sprints, but considers the 200 and the 400 her best events. The MOP honor at the Big East Championships meant a lot. “That was my goal from last year,” she said. “I’ve been through a lot. I’ve been injured a couple of times, but I kept the faith throughout the whole season.”

Following graduation, McKenzie plans to try professional track. For now, her focus is on the outdoor season, which begins with a meet this weekend in Florida. “I’m really looking for some great times,” she said. “I put in the work, so I’m going to enjoy the moment. Let’s just see what’s going to happen.”

Junior sprinter Brooklyn Chestnut also received All-Big East honors. She took a leap of faith in attending St. John’s because she was unable to make a campus visit due to the pandemic. Now approaching her third outdoor season, she’s happy with her choice and working for new personal bests this spring.

“The progression has been really nice,” said Chestnut, a biology major who hopes to go into animal research or marine biology. “For the fitness journey, it’s been a long time coming…The pandemic cut my senior season of high school. Coming in and running [slow times] was really frustrating. Distancing ourselves in workouts, we were not able to work out as well as we wanted. We wore masks when we ran. It was all a challenge. To finally be able to get out of that, I feel we’re now back on track.”

The next two weekends, St. John’s competes at meets in Florida. On April 1, they have the Big Hurt, a home meet in Queens.

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1 Comment

  1. Great job on providing such detailed and insightful coverage of the indoor track season and St. John’s transition to outdoor track and field! Your efforts are truly appreciated and it’s clear that you have a deep passion for sports journalism and a keen eye for the nuances of the sport. Your coverage is not only informative but also engaging, making it a pleasure to read and follow along with the team’s progress. Your dedication to your craft is truly admirable and I have no doubt that your work is inspiring athletes and fans alike. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and expertise with us – you are making a positive impact in the world of sports journalism!

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