Tyrell Atkins

On The Clock With Tyrell Atkins

Feb. 16, 2010

Junior sprinter Tyrell Atkins has been a consistent force on the track for the Irish since his arrival on campus. The Omaha, Neb., native competes in a number of sprints for Notre Dame, including the 60-meter dash, 200-meter dash and 4×100-meter relay. Atkins sat down with UND.com to tell us a little more about himself.

1. Do you prefer indoor or outdoor track? Why?
I prefer outdoor track. There’s nothing like fresh air.

2. Who has been your inspiration?
Definitely my mom and my family. They keep me going.

3. Do you model your running style after any sprinters in particular? If so, who?
Not so much anymore, but I used to try to imitate Tyson Gay’s style of running.

4. If you could meet and run a race against anyone, who would it be? Why?
Definitely Usain Bolt. You always want to race the fastest man out there.

5. Do you have a favorite pair of running shoes? What are they?
I have a pair of orange and black adistar adidas spikes that I like a lot.

6. Who is the most accomplished person that you have competed against?
Probably Miklos Szebeny. He’s my teammate and the Hungarian national champion in the 100-meter dash.

7. What is the toughest thing about running for Notre Dame? The worst?
We practice six days a week. It’s very time consuming, and it’s tough to balance with demanding classes.

8. If you couldn’t run track, which sport would you most like to pursue? Why?
Definitely basketball, my first love. I got recruited a little, but decided to come here and get a degree from ND.

9. What is your favorite pre-meet meal? What is the best recovery food after a race?
Before a meet, I like to eat shrimp pastas. After, anything at the nearest restaurant.

10. You have established yourself as an elite sprinter in the 60 meters, is this your favorite event?
No. I was a BIG EAST Conference finalist my freshman year and was on my way, but didn’t build on that the way I wanted. I’m working on getting back to that.

11. Which race do you prefer?
4×100-meter relay is my favorite event in track & field.

12. What is your favorite place on campus?
Siegfried. Section 2A.

13. What is your pre-race routine?
It’s usually pretty boring. I just listen to my iPod.

14. What is the best piece of advice that you have ever been given? Who gave it?
“Life will throw you down like that sometimes.” I don’t even know the guy’s name, but it was after I lost my last high school basketball game.

15. If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring track star, what would it be?
Work ethic and a positive attitude is 100% of what it takes.

16. When did you realize you had a passion for track and field?
I have a passion for competition. Racing someone on feet is as competitive as it gets.

17. Where do you envision yourself 10 years from now?
I hope to be working in my career with a marketing firm or in a company’s marketing or sales department.

18. How do you most like to spend your free time?
Sitting in North Dining Hall with my teammates. We sit in there for hours. We have class and practice all day, so its pretty much the only social time we have.

19. Where is your favorite place to travel with track and field?
My favorite track trip is probably Arizona State.

20. If someone could describe you in one word, what would you hope it would be?

21. What is the last song that you listened to?
“Kobe Bryant” by Lil’ Wayne

22. What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
I like to write.

23. Who is the funniest person on the track team?
Sean “Slimblo” Lindbloom

24. What is the best class you have taken at Notre Dame?
Business Law with Professor O’Brien

— ND —