Former Eagle has worked hard in quest for Track National Championship
Gulf Shores, AL — Four years ago, Josh Parson signed track scholarship offer with TWC and made a short journey from Rhea County High School to Tennessee Wesleyan in Athens, Tennessee. That journey though short in distance has been incredible in its twist and turns and now is on the eve of becoming a storybook ending. In short, Josh had a slow start in the classroom and on the field at TWC, but over the last three years, he has renewed his faith, passion and discipline to transform not only into a tremendous track star, but a better person and student.
In 2018, Josh has continued to excel with accolades and accomplishments. Josh was the fastest of a 17-man field in the 100 m Dash, finishing in a school record and NAIA A Standard time of 10.34 seconds. He was also a member of the 4 X 1 Relay team that broke school record. A school record time of 40.16 seconds gave the 4 x 100m Relay team of Benton, Harris, Parson and Fletcher the win in the event. The time made the team the second best 4 x 100 m Relay team in the NAIA.
Today, May 25th, he was a member of that same 4 x 100 meter relay team that qualified for the National Finals and Josh also advanced in the 200 finals in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
At Josh’s signing in 2014, RCHS Track Coach Steffan Holder says, “Josh has really worked hard. Josh came to us with some potential a couple of years ago and asked me what would it take. I told him the same thing I tell every other kid — it’s hard work. You’ve got the talent, now you’ve got to put the work in.”
I had an opportunity earlier this month to talk with Josh and ask some question about his past and future. Josh was gracious enough to answer some questions.
What are some of the highlights of your four years at Tennessee Wesleyan?
I have way to many highlights, but my favorite highlight since being here would be what everyone else doesn’t see. The three-a-day workouts. The extra practices when coach isn’t there. I enjoyed the process of getting to where I am to make highlights more than actually preforming them.
If you had to give the statement today? What are you most proud of of the things you have done at Tennessee Wesleyan?
I most proud about the people who have contacted me and told me I have inspired them and that they look up to me. I decided I wasn’t into this for the awards but to impact as many people as possible. I came from nothing. I was a nobody and to hear from these young athletes has changed me. Just to show how much it effects me, I was in the middle of a workout, dripping sweat and on my hands and knees and I didn’t know if I was going to be able to finish it. Something told me to look at my phone and I got a message from a young athlete telling me that if it wasn’t for me he would have given up. At that point a fire sparked and I knew that I wasn’t doing this just for me anymore but for everyone that looks up to me
How is your physical and emotional condition going into nationals this year.
I feel great physically. I’ve prepped my body all season for this moment and I will continue until my first race on May 24th. Mentally, I’m focused. I’ve continued to keep my faith and mediate on it at night. Some days you feel the pressure, but I always remember with God in my corner nothing can stop me.
What are your plans after College?
After college I will still be competing. I’ll be competing at the Olympic division at most meets. I don’t see why I should stop at college when I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface of what I’m capable of. I believe in me and that’s all that matters. I’ll continue down this path for as long as God intends for it.
Give some advice to high school students coming to college that will help them transition into college athletics and academics?
Stay focused on why your here. Have fun, enjoy it while it last, but remember why you are there. Track has paid for my education and I almost messed it up and lost everything.
You’re gonna mess up. You’re gonna have those days you feel like you can’t do it anymore.
On those days I live by three things. Keep my faith, I talk to God. I stay focused, I take a minute to reevaluate everything. I remind myself how far I’ve came and that if you do what is hard your life will be easy. The last thing is Finish. I finish everything. I finish that last rep on the track, the weight room, and the classroom. The three Fs Faith Focus Finish.
So Josh will be in starting blocks on Saturday looking to complete the four year journey from Rhea County Track Athlete to National Champion. Josh’s parents and friends will be watching intently on Saturday for the end of the journey.
For streaming of the Finals check out this link. Stretch Internet, the NAIA’s official video-streaming company of NAIA national championship events, will be broadcasting the events on www.NAIANetwork.com. A subscription package to view the entire three-day event is $19.95. For more information, including how to register and sign-up for an account, CLICK HERE