Charleston Native, Deondre Spruill, prepares for the Olympic Trials in Tokyo 2021

Japan 2020

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Deondre Spruill’s life changed once his feet hit the track.

“I started running track in eighth grade at College Park Middle School,” said Deondre Spruill. “Then I went over to Stratford High School where I tried out for the track team there.”

Deondre went on to attend Mount San Antonio College in Walnut, California where he helped his team win a state title. But his success and athleticism come as no surprise.

“My mom and dad won States in High School at Walterboro,” said Deondre. “They were both 100 and 200-meter sprinters and they won the relays. My dad went on to play football at The Citadel, and he ran track there.”

And just like his parents Deondre runs the 100 and 200-meter, but on a bigger stage.

“Next week I’ll be going to California where I will be running with the S.H.A.R.K.S. Athletic Club,” said Deondre. “I’ll be competing with some of the best athletes around the world and training with some of the top guys in the United States. We will be training and gearing up for the Olympic Trials in Tokyo 2021.”

But getting here wasn’t easy. Deondre was thankful that his coach, John Bolton believed that he could take his talents in track to the next level. Looking ahead, Deondre knows the road to a medal is quite the journey.

“I’m going to be competing in the Mtsac Relays here in the U.S., said Deondre. “In Europe, I will be trying to qualify for the Flanders Cup, Riga Cup, Ryder Cup, and the Presidents Cup. While I’m in Europe, I’m going to be in Switzerland training there as well.”

In order to become an Olympic medalist, you must train like one.

“You know, training has been very, very hard,” said Deondre. “I push my body to the limit every day. I have to eat properly, prep my mind the night before, and study film. It is very intense.”

While the United States is in the middle of tackling the Coronavirus disease, the country continues to feel the effects. Like others, Deondre has been impacted as well. Training hasn’t been easy in these unprecedented times.

“Because of COVID-19 I had to start out on the grass and had to stay out on the grass a lot longer than I expected to this year,” said Deondre. “I had to move around to different tracks because of COVID-19 and possibly coming into close contact with others. I had to go to different gyms, and when I’m in the gym I have to train with a mask on. I’m not used to training with a mask on. It’s really difficult to train with one on.”

As a Lowcountry resident, Deondre hopes to make everyone proud.

“Being from this area, you know my family is largely impacted by it,” said Deondre. “A lot of the athletes I train would be severely motivated to do better in their selective sport. Some kid might be at home watching this and might get motivated to be just like me or be better than me.”

Deondre is still looking for some sponsors to help him reach his dream of becoming an Olympic runner. To find out more about his journey or to donate click here.

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