Thompkins takes track career to next level


Caleb Ngwangu, Staff Reporter

The school’s outdoor track season is just around the corner, and one star to watch is Khari Thompkins, senior.  She broke the school’s record for the 400-meter dash for indoor and outdoor track. For indoor, she broke the record by running the 400-meter dash in 59.70 seconds. She ran the outdoor race in 57.07 seconds, and that was all in her sophomore year. In the fall of her senior year, she committed to run track at Eastern University, which gave her a full-ride scholarship.


Q: What were some of the other schools that were showing interest in you?

A: A few that I was talking to was DePaul University, the University of Illinois, the University of Minnesota, Northern Illinois University and Illinois State University.


Q: How long did the whole process of choosing a school take?

A: I started an open recruitment my freshman year but really got into talking to coaches the summer after sophomore year.


Q: Did you go to any camps or anything for colleges to notice you?

A: After having such a good sophomore year at state, I started to get coaches’ attention, so I started entering myself into bigger meets. The University of Illinois and the University of Kentucky meets are a few I ran in. In the summer, I run on a track club, TNT, and we compete with the best of the best, so being on one of few Illinois teams who places high at the national level really got me the attention I needed.


Q: When did you start to realize that you could run track at the next level?

A: Track has always been a big part of my life, but when I got to high school and started to run with the big dawgs and be as good as them, I knew that I was ready to compete at the collegiate level. It has always been a dream of mine to run at the Division One level.


Q: Who were the people in your life that helped you choose the right school?

A: My coaches definitely had a lot of input into me choosing Eastern, especially my club coach. His goal has always just been getting us to the next level, so we spend a lot of our time in the classroom after workouts– just on how to approach and handle the recruiting process.