Earlier this month, St. John’s University track and field achieved its best finish at the Big East Outdoor Track and Field Championships in more than three decades. Among the brightest stars was sprinter Tatyana McKenzie, who reached the podium in three events: the 200-meter dash, 400-meter dash, and 4×400 relay. She was named Big East Women’s Track Most Outstanding Performer and High-Point Performer, equaling the honors she received at the Big East Indoor Championships, which were her goals for the year.

“It was a pretty good season, but a pretty rough season, too, because I got injured two weeks before the conference championships,” said McKenzie. A pulled right hamstring curtailed her practice time and kept her from being at peak form at the Big East Championships.

“[Highlights this season included] being consistent with everything that’s been going on,” said McKenzie. “When I got hurt, I was a little frustrated with the injury…that happened two weeks before the championship. I’m not really satisfied because what I wanted to accomplish, I didn’t get to accomplish. I played the races smart, so I couldn’t go to the full extent that I know I could have. But I’m grateful that I get to finish the season healthy.”

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For her accomplishments, McKenzie was also named to the All-Big East Outdoor Track and Field Team. Unfortunately, she did not qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Championships Preliminary Round, which kicked off yesterday in Jacksonville, Florida. She planned to travel to the Championships to support teammate Jamora Alves, a thrower, who will try to qualify for the NCAA Championships next month in Texas.

McKenzie attended St. John’s graduation last Sunday, receiving her degree in liberal studies with a minor in entrepreneurship. She is training in anticipation of returning home to Jamaica, West Indies, next month to run in the trials to pick the team for the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, in August. After that, she hopes to find a track club where she can train and launch a professional track career. 

“I want to be the athlete that I can be,” said McKenzie, who also hopes to open a hair salon one day. “I’m excited to receive my degree. It took patience and really hard work. You come out of your comfort zone and do things you never thought you could have done.”

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