With the help of a ritual, Faith Turner makes history


Courtesy of Stephanie Wright / WSU Athletics

Freshman Faith Turner races during the Shocker Prelude on Jan. 14 inside the Heskett Center. Turner set the third fastest time in the Shocker record books during the KU-KSU-WSU Invitational.

Everyone has a ritual. On game day, a fan may wear a certain pair of socks, or a student may only use a specific pencil on the day of an exam day. Faith Turner’s secret in order to compete well at a track meet includes following a strict ritual. 

Turner is extremely superstitious, everything she does to prepare for a meet must be the same. Her most important ritual includes calling her parents. 

“I call my mom and then I call my dad to get in touch with them and get all the nerves out.” 

Turner is a sophomore from Pittsburg, Kansas — a two and a half hour drive from Wichita. Although her family does not live far, making trips home can be difficult for a student athlete. A family atmosphere is important to Turner, and was one of the main reasons she decided to attend WSU to further a career in elementary education and coaching. 

The track and field family she has developed over the past year has pushed Turner to become the best student-athlete she can be. 

“This is a marvelous athlete. This is a special girl and a really wonderful student athlete,” Director of Track and Field Steve Rainbolt said. “We were having a celebration around here when she signed as a senior in high school. Last year she had a good freshman year, but I would not put it in a category of a great freshman year.”

Turner is a three time academic honor roll recipient and was awarded the academic all conference award in 2021. She is also involved in the student-athlete advisory committee (SAAC) as an inclusion officer.

Turner finished her freshman season at the American Outdoor Track & Field Championship, where she placed 28th in long jump, 14th in triple jump and fourth in 10×400. She did not make the podium last season — one of her goals — but that pushed her to become better.

“This year she’s been a different person, mainly with this leg speed improvement that’s going to translate to long jump and triple jump success,” Rainbolt said. 

On Jan. 14, Turner finished with a time of 7.51 seconds in the 60 meter dash at the KU-KSU-WSU track and field meet — the third fastest time in the history of WSU track and field.

“I have been working hard. Just how practices have been going, it’s been showing me that my progress is going to keep going and keep building each time, so I was expecting to hit roughly around that time,” Turner said.

Turner continued to make history as she finished the triple jump at the All-Kansas invite with an indoor personal best of 11.76m/38’7”. 

Turner’s main goal is to make the podium at conference in any of her events — long jump, triple jump, the 60 meter dash and the 4×4.

“Step by step, I want to keep improving each meet, each practice and just keep going each time,” Turner said.