Texas A&M’s Tabarie Henry Q&A
June 7, 2011 by Jay Hicks
When he started running it never crossed his mind, he would emerge a world class runner. Fast forward to today and Tabarie Henry lead an Aggies mile relay team that is capable of running a sub 3:00 race and will contend for an individual 400 meter NCAA title.
The returning All-American has already has a brilliant career at Texas A&M - leading the Aggies to team an outdoor nation championship.
PreRaceJitters chatted with the 400 meter runner about getting started in the sport and his season plans before leaving for the NCAA Track & Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa.
PreRaceJitters: What was the first race you ever saw in person?
Tabarie: To tell you the truth I didn’t know anything about track till my 11th grade so my first race probably was Justin Gatlin running the 100 meters.
PreRaceJitters: When did you begin competing in track and field, and what was your first event?
Tabarie: I started track my late 10th grade year and I was sorry, I ran the 800m / 400m and my prs was 2:10 and 54sec.
PreRaceJitters: Did you have Olympic aspirations as a child?
Tabarie Henry: No, not at all I wanted to be a model or actor.
PreRaceJitters: Who was your first role model in life?
Tabarie: My high school coach whose name is coach Brown.
PreRaceJitters: Describe the experience of meeting President Barack Obama in the White House last fall?
Tabarie: It was nice under than all the rules and security it was something I’ll never forget, I actually shook his hand that was fun.
PreRaceJitters: You were named Big 12 Outdoor Track and Field Athlete of the Week honors on April 5, 2011 after running your first outdoor 400 meter of the season in a collegiate-leading 44.83, at the time.
Tabarie: Yea, it was a great honor cause last year was a long season and I had a great down fall last year so it was cool to get that award.
PreRaceJitters: With that, last year you talked about making the transition from a speed endurance training program to a more sprint-based philosophy at Texas A&M. How well you adapted and how are you feeling with your race today?
Tabarie: Well last year it was new to me that why I had a hard time running like I use to in JUCO but every day I try my hardest to learn the system and listen to my coaches. And till today I’m still learning.
PreRaceJitters: Having already won two team national titles and 4×400m relay national titles. Do you place a lot of pressure on yourself an individual NCAA Championship?
Tabarie Henry: No, not really can’t put a lot a pressure on yourself cause you wouldn’t run fast, so I just go out there and do the best I can and try to give the most points I can give for my team.
PreRaceJitters: At Texas Relays, you 4×400 meter relay team ran a ridiculously fast 3:00.45, breaking Baylor’s 1985 meet record. In your mind, is this team capable of running under 3:00.00?
Tabarie Henry: Yea we can we just have to be ready at the same time, cause every time we get a chance to run fast one of us is ill or hurting so we all have to be ready at the same time.
PreRaceJitters: How has the progression been over the last year in terms of dealing with going from a strength-based program at Barton Community College to a sprint-based training program at Texas A&M?
Tabarie: It’s still coming along I’m still learning till today so the progression will not stop, but this year me and Coach Henry talk and they adding in some of my old workouts from JUCO so it’s been fun this year.
PreRaceJitters: I read once you said that you were too young in 2008 and didn’t understand running while competing for the U.S. Virgin Islands in the 2008 Beijing Games. What’s your mindset looking forward to the 2011 World Championships and 2012 London Games.
Tabarie: Yea I was like 19 at the time I was just out there in space, but now after 09 World Champs, I have a little more trust in myself as long as I keep making finals I’ll be a happy…
PreRaceJitters: What do you have on tap after the NCAA Outdoor Championships?
Tabarie: Well, I want to try to pick up a deal [shoe contract] and run in Diamond League meets and represent my country to the fullest.
PreRaceJitters: Do you still get prerace jitters?
Tabarie: Yea I just get jitters when the pressure on me or my time, I don’t get jitters on who I compete against just my time.
PreRaceJitters: Thank you so much for your time Tabarie and best wishes on the remainder of season.
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