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The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Track and field’s Destiny Masters motivated to place at nationals

Cheyanne Tull
Destiny Masters does a practice jump at Wilson Invitational on Jan. 25.

Track and field redshirt junior Destiny Masters draws motivation from setting goals, and this year her goal is to place in the top three at the NCAA nationals.

“I know that’s where I want to be,” Masters said.

Recently in Manhattan, Masters broke the Wichita State record for the pentathlon with a total of 4,211 points. She currently leads the American Athletic Conference in the indoor pentathlon and is ranked No. 5 in NCAA Division I rankings.

But in high school, Masters wasn’t planning on being a collegiate athlete at all.

“I only did it my sophomore year, and I only did it my junior year at regionals and state,” Masters said. 

Support from her high school and college coaches has pushed her to where she is today.

“If I didn’t have (Director of Track and Field Steve) Rainbolt here with me, I would’ve quit year one,” Masters said.

The transition from high school athletics to the collegiate level was tough for Masters.

“It kicked my butt,” Masters said. “But now I’m in year five, and it’s like, ‘Oh my god, I only have one year left.’ That’s crazy to me.”

Masters likes to keep to herself. She said she appreciates her teammates and the track community but is generally self-motivated.

“I’ve always had issues with leaning on people too much,” Masters said. “I can’t count on other people to be there.”

Masters said her mindset has improved a lot throughout this season.

At the Kansas Triangular last month, Masters placed second in the high jump at 1.85m/6’0.75”. It was the second-best mark in WSU history.

“I didn’t think I could be good,” Masters said.“After making the six-foot bar outdoors at KU, it was like, ‘Oh, dang, I can do better than I thought.’” 

The high jump comes easy for her because it’s been her main event since high school, but mind over matter can be a struggle when going for a goal she’s never achieved before.

“There’s a mental block for me … when it starts to feel painful and hard,” Masters said. “It’s like I want to back off but in the 800-meter you have to push forward and go harder, then back off.”

When she’s in the middle of a race, the words of her coaches are what pushes Masters forward. 

“I do tend to think about what (assistant track and field coach Kirk) Hunter says,” Masters said. “Once you start feeling the pain, run harder.”

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About the Contributors
Taliyah Winn
Taliyah Winn, Assistant News Editor
Taliyah Winn is the assistant news editor for the Sunflower. She is a sophomore at WSU, double majoring in political science and journalism. In her spare time, Winn relaxes by drawing, weightlifting, and crocheting - usually while listening to music, YouTube videos, or Dungeons & Dragons podcasts. Winn uses she/her pronouns.
Cheyanne Tull
Cheyanne Tull, Reporter
Cheyanne Tull is a second year reporter, photographer and illustrator for The Sunflower. Tull is pursuing a double major in graphic design and journalism and media production. She hopes to work with outdoor brands combining her love for adventure and creativity after graduation.

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