Hanahan High School product Quincy Mitchell has earned the right to don the Red, White and Blue next month in the Pan American U20 Championships in San Jose, Costa Rica.
Mitchell, who just completed his freshman year as a sprinter at the University of Cincinnati, is part of the USA Track and Field squad representing the country July 19-21 in the 20th edition of the biennial event. He is a member of Team USA’s relay pool and eligible to line up in the 4x100 and 4x400 relays.
Thirty-one nations are set to compete in 44 events. Mitchell is proud to be part of the crowd.
“It’s a great feeling knowing I will be representing my country,” he said.
It seems Mitchell got healthy and found his top gear at just the right time. The journey as a college freshman wasn’t easy. There were speed bumps.
Indoor and outdoor track and field had Mitchell competing many weekends from late November to May.
Nagging injuries never seemed to go away and there is a mental grind to contend with, especially for freshmen.
“I’ve been through a long journey this season, battling hamstring injuries from senior year of high school and just being patient with myself,” he said.
After his college sanctioned events were over, though, Mitchell had room to breathe to recover from smaller aches and more opportunity to work on the smaller tricks of the trade that make a huge difference in sprint races.
In his case, he was able to shave off over three-tenths of a second from his previous best.
On June 23, Mitchell posted a third-place finish in the 200-meter dash at the USA Track and Field U20 Championships in Miramar, Fla., the selection meet for the Pan American U20 Championships.
Mitchell’s mark of 20.84 was a personal best. His previous top 200 time was 21.18 in the NCAA Div. I East Region Preliminary Round in May.
Out of high school, Mitchell chose the Bearcats over Virginia Tech and South Carolina and headed to Ohio as one of the best sprinters from the Palmetto State.
He captured five golds and four silvers at state in high school, capping it all with a 100-meter title as a senior.
He helped power the Hawks to two state championships as a team.
Mitchell had to kick it up a notch in college to compete at the NCAA Division I level.
“It takes a lot of commitment but it’s most definitely doable if you’re committed and dedicated,” he said. “Everything will come together and things don’t seem as hard as time goes.”