Sitting in class next to Trinity Wilson, many of her classmates know her as the school’s best hurdler. While it is a fair statement, that is as misleading as calling Allyson Felix “a good sprinter.”
For a 16-year-old girl from Oakland, Calif., Wilson has already accomplished more than many athletes ever will in a lifetime. Wilson has not only excelled at her local and state level, but also national and internationally. Wilson recently returned from the IAAF World Youth Championships with the gold medal around her neck.
“My schoolmates know I’m fast, but I don’t think they understand the extent of what I do,” Wilson said. “They know I’m good, but they don’t get the concept of having to be the best in the world.”
At the youth championships in Lille, France, Wilson advanced through three rounds of the 100m hurdles to win in 13.11. Her time was not only the fastest in the world this year, but also earned her a spot in the record books as the second-fastest youth time in history.
Wilson’s trip to France earned her another stamp in already well-worn passport. The World Youth Championships were the third international competition for Wilson to represent the United States. Previously she competed at the Youth Olympics in Singapore in August of last year and a trilateral indoor meet in Japan in February. As if one international competition a summer was not enough, Wilson also qualified for the Junior Pan American Championships that are being hosted in Miramar, Florida today through Sunday.
“I wouldn’t be able to go to all of the places I’ve been if it weren’t for track,” Wilson said. “People normally plan their vacations at least a year out. No normal person says, ‘I’m going out of the country every six months”
Wilson seems to thrive competing against the best in the world. While she will admit that she may not enjoy the long plane trips or some of the food options at international meets, she doesn’t see herself stopping anytime soon.
When asked if she wants to continue to run an an elite international level in the coming years, Wilson responded, “Of course I want to keep pursuing track after high school and college, because I love it so much. I love going out of the country and I love competing too much to let it go. When you’re done, there is nothing else like it.”
While Wilson will not get to leave the states for this year’s Junior Pan-Am Championships, she is excited about the thought of her growing cheering section. In addition to her mom, who has traveled to every international meet, her dad and brother will also make the trip from California to watch Wilson run. Wilson is also counting on her World Youth teammates and Florida residents Arman Hall and Robin Reynolds to be there to cheer her on as well.
“I think it is an advantage to have the meet in the U.S. because my family can watch me,” Wilson said. “And to know that people are there supporting the USA in the USA is exciting. I can say ‘I’m on the home team and these people are cheering for me,’ and that will be pretty cool.”
As a young accomplished athlete with big goals ahead of her, Wilson has already started to consider her reputation as an athlete.
“I think people see me at track meets and think that I look mean, upset or serious, but that is just business time,” Wilson said. “After that it is time for fun and games.”
When Wilson is off the track, it is clear that she loves what she does and enjoys every minute of traveling on an international team. If you need convincing, just watch Wilson's video interviews with her teammates from the World Youth Championships.