In the fast-paced world of track and field athletes, becoming a future Olympian is the dream of many. However, one man is pushing himself toward this dream and is setting standards for his teammates in the process. Randall (Randy) Dameron, 2013 Shorter University Computer Information Systems graduate and track star, is doing just that.
Growing up, Dameron knew he had a knack for speed, but sports were a challenge for him because of severe asthma. He recognized the irony of picking track as his sport. Yet as, his lungs got stronger, so did his desire to compete and race.
Coming to Shorter, Dameron’s main goal was to make it to the Olympics. “I told myself that if I run track at Shorter, my final destination would be Rio 2016. That would be the monumental stage of my sport.”
In 2012, Dameron qualified for the Olympics after placing first in the Men’s 400 at the NAIA National Track and Field Championship in Marion, Indiana, with an impressive time of 45.93. Making a name for himself and reaching one of his long-term goals was emotional Dameron said. “I had put so much time and effort into my workouts, and watching that pay off was humbling.”
Long distance runner and teammate, Emily Buwalda, said Dameron is a leader on the track. “He never fails to go above and beyond. I have no doubt in my mind that he is capable of doing whatever he sets his mind to,” Buwalda said.
As a key member of Shorter’s track team, Dameron won, winning multilple titles in Men’s 400-meter and as well as awards in other events. Executing what he has practiced his whole life and not losing are the two most motivating things for Dameron. “I do not want to lose. I follow instructions, and trusted Coach Byrd completely when it came to my career. He taught me that you can’t burn the candle at both ends, and that staying focused would help me win.”
The selection process for the Olympics is tedious. Being in the top 28 is what is most important when it comes to track and field. Only the best of the best receive the priviledge of going and at any point in time a record can be beaten. Dameron realizes this and said Nick Dodson (former 400-meter hurdler for Shorter) pushed him the most to train for Rio, and was the one who taught him that excellence is earned, not given.
Former 3k steeple chase runner for Shorter, Daniel Sorenson said Randy is definitely one of the most qualified to compete in the Olympics. “I watched him put in hard work. He has the heart and love for his sport to make it far.”
One thing Dameron is most excited about going to the Olympics in 2016 is to make his mom proud. “I promised her I would go to Rio and race for her. Mom was a track athlete herself, and we share that inseparable bond. I can come in last place in the Olympics, and I can only ask that I see her face at the finish line.”