Shyheim Wright Interview
By: Ryun Anderson
Wednesday, January 27, 2016

This month we're starting another series of interviews with some outstanding track seniors around Montgomery County. Our first subject is one of the best all-around athletes in the county; not only is he Montgomery County's best-ever indoor hurdler, but he has also risen to the top of the county in both the sprints and jumps. He has been a member of a Northwest boys team that is seeking its third straight indoor title this year. Here's Mocorunning with Northwest's own Shyheim Wright.

MoCoRunning: What originally convinced you to join the track team your freshman year?

Wright: Well I started track in the eighth grade because my mom and dad thought it would be a great way to increase my speed for football in high school so, I joined the team to help with football.

MoCoRunning: Did you play any other sports beside track before high school? What is your favorite sport to play (besides track) during your free time?

Wright: My first sport was football. I've played football since I was seven and that sport was and still is my first love and here and there I like to play basketball with my friends in my spare time.

MoCoRunning: Was hurdling something you knew you wanted to do from the beginning? If not, was there a teammate or coach that saw your potential as a hurdler?

Wright: Now I had no idea I was going to be a hurdler. When I first started track, I was pretty ignorant to the sport and I honestly didn't even know that the hurdles was an event until my AAU track coach, coach Sherman saw a gift in me that no one else did and it's for him that I truly can't thank him enough for finding a hidden talent in me.

MoCoRunning: Your team has won two straight indoor state championships. How do you think each of those teams were alike and/or different?

Wright: My experiences with those two championship teams were the same and different in some cases because the team during the first championship run was very young and non experienced so, we really didn't know what it was like to be in the spotlight. We were a sleeper team and just content with being in the state meet as opposed to actually winning it. I think the team last year was more seasoned and more mature. We knew what winning states felt like so we were a hungrier team than the year before. I think what made both teams alike was how coach Youngblood developed a core group of guys to build a team around and how both teams gelled together at the end of the year to make a run at states.

MoCoRunning: Northwest has one of the deepest teams in the state. Describe the attitude around practice - is there a competitive atmosphere?

Wright: Now the practices are fun but very intense at the same time. We all have a sense of urgency at practice, me and my training partners: Andrew Daniels, Bobby Gicheru, and Josh Netterville have healthy competition during practice during workouts and it helps us push each other and have quality in our practices.

MoCoRunning: Did you have a particular role model on the team as an underclassman that you looked up to?

Wright: As an underclassmen I actually had two role models and that was Diego Zarate and Jalen Walker. They're easily the best athletes I've ever seen perform and I always looked up to them being I saw the success that they had through the hard work and maturity they carried theirselves with and I wanted to be like them if not, better.

MoCoRunning: Do you have a favorite track event besides hurdles?

Wright: I would say, even though I don't do the event, I like watching the shot put. I always watch my teammate Caleb Gills launch the shot with ease and I'm always amazed how strong and graceful he does it.

MoCoRunning: If you can remember, what's the most difficult workout you've ever done? What made it so difficult?

Wright: I would have to say the most difficult workout had to be during my freshman year in the cold winter morning. We had to do 15 500's @ 70-80% ( I was hitting them at about 40% as I was happy to be getting them done). I remember that workout like it was yesterday. The thing that made it so difficult was the fact that the upperclassmen made the workout look so easy I was so discouraged. I didn't think I could keep up with them; I was the young guy in the back struggling on every 500 we did.

MoCoRunning: You're already Montgomery County's undisputed best indoor hurdler. Do you have a goal for this upcoming outdoor season in the 110 hurdles or the 300 hurdles?

Wright: My commitment to this team as a captain is to do whatever coach Youngblood tells me and to lead my team and be a role model to the rest of the team like the former captains were to me. My goals for this upcoming season the 110 and 300 hurdles is to win states in both event but to also be nationally ranked in both hurdle events as well. Now in the late spring there are the Penn Relays where it is not the 300 but the 400 hurdles. My plan is to actually win it and not just be in it.

MoCoRunning: You finished seventh last year in the 60 meter hurdles at New Balance Indoor Nationals. Are you planning on going this year as well? And if so, do you have a personal goal (either place or time?)

Wright: I hope to be attending nationals this year and my goal is to not only win the 60 meter hurdles but, to break the national record. I also would like to be running the 4x200 with my team (Andrew Daniels, Josh Netterville, Davino Fraizer and AJ Woods) as coach always has 5 of us ready.

MoCoRunning: Do you spend a majority of your time in practice training over hurdles? Or is there more of a balance between running and hurdling?

Wright: There is a definite balance between running and hurdling. I'm constantly doing workouts to work on my form and my endurance and other times I'll be doing form and block work over a couple hurdles to keep my technique tight. The block work and short sprints has made me faster as I have a strong 55m dash time now.

MoCoRunning: How is the college search coming along? Do you know what you plan to study in college?

Wright: Actually I've committed to run track at the University of Pittsburgh and I'll be studying business management.


Jalen Walker
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
10:03:48 PM
I have trained you well young padawan.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016
10:10:55 PM
Nice work young man

Jalen Parris Walker
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
11:04:42 PM
Whoever impersonated me as Jalen Walker did a good job...totally something I would say haha. But moving past that I'm more than proud to have been a role model to you and now I get to see you grow past what I've done. Hope you see this and I hope you kill it at states and nationals Shy, keep flying.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016
11:28:32 PM
Great job. With God everything is possible, and I know there's much more success to come your way.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016
11:29:22 PM
Great job. With God everything is possible, and I know there's much more success to come your way.

Thursday, January 28, 2016
07:53:48 PM
Yay Shyheim!!!

Angry Whitman mother
Thursday, January 28, 2016
10:01:02 PM
My son Preston Scherr could beat you, by golly he's the best gosh darn runner in these United States of Armenia.

Thursday, January 28, 2016
10:38:54 PM
...Preston who?

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