We’ve talked before in this space (and others) about Erica Bougard, a track and field star who may be Mississippi State’s most successful current student-athlete, with potential to become one of the most successful ever.
I talked to her a bit about that experience, which she said was about as surreal as a trip could get for her.
“These are all Olympians and I was so nervous to meet them and be around them,” Bougard said, “but they told me, ‘It’s OK, Erica. You’re one of us. We’re all doing this together.’ It was crazy to be competing and training with these people I’ve idolized and watched on TV.”
Now, as she’s returned from Worlds, she’s training for the next round of Olympic trials.
And in her spare time, she took an afternoon to embarrass me. Very, very thoroughly embarrass me.
I was given a pair of track uniforms and told, “Try and do the pentathlon against Erica.”
It did not go well.
I should clarify, as a finely-tuned athletic machine, Bougard didn’t go more than 3/4 speed or effort against me, not wanting to take a chance and suffer an injury or muscle strain.
And in my defense, some of my second runs, jumps and throws were better than the first, but shockingly, they didn’t find their way into the video.
The pentathlon, by the way, is hurdles, shot-put, long jump, high jump and sprint. She is good at them all.