Wednesday, March 25, 2009

MileSplit - Interview with Malcolm Nunley

By: Ben Hovis -
Published: 2009-03-17 06:13:00

Q: First of all, Malcolm, how old were you when you started running track?

A: I started running track in the 8th grade when I was about 13. At that time I ran track just to run it, basketball and football was my thing. I didn't know where track could take me at that time. Although I was good, I didn’t take it seriously.

Q: Growing up with an older brother, were you guys pretty competitive?

A: Yes!! Booker and I competed in every little thing. Our competitive nature helped us both get better, especially in track. Ever since we began running track, we have been competitive. That competitive spirit was there in practice. In our workouts, we pushed each other to get better. I would try and beat him, while he was trying to hold me off.

Q: Why the move to Southeast Raleigh?

A: I wanted to be on a more competitive team, a team that would be in the running for a state championship. A state championship is exactly what I got, my first season there! To win by .5 was great, but for me to have to catch Knightdale for fourth place for the title, made the win feel even better! Southeast is a good team and we’re planning to win more championships.

Q: You have run so many events, from the 55 dash, to the open 500m, to the 400mH . . . what is your favorite?

A: I love to run, that’s why I’ve competed in every event up to and including the 800m. It’s good to have a wide range of events; it makes a track athlete look better. Although I have competed in so many events, I would have to say my favorite is the 400 hurdles. It is a great mix between my two passions, the 400 and the hurdles.

Q: With times of 55.13 & 55.14 in the 400mH, seems you have a bright future in that event. Would you consider those two performances highlights of your career thus far?

A: Yes, for now, I plan to blow those times out the water. But those times helped me earn my first event championship title, and got me a fourth place finish at the 2008 Junior Olympics. Those times have also put my name on the map for the IAAF Youth Team going to Brassone, Italy. When I ran 55.13, it gave me a new boost of confidence.
Q: Have you thought about your college plans?
A: I would like to stay close to home, and I would also like to play football in college. That’s why I have been looking at schools that allow their athletes to be dual sport athletes. I want to get my times lower in track and see what schools are interested in me before I decide.

Q: Being at a school like SE Raleigh, I'm sure your training began pretty early this season. When did you start getting ready for the indoor season? How early in your training did you start going over hurdles?

A: I started early, as soon as I came back from Jr. Olympics, football season started. There was no down time. I would practice football through the week and on the weekends I was hitting the track practicing with my hurdles Coach Steve McGill. Those off-season workouts were the worst; doing high reps of 800's, 600's, 500's and 300's. I did not touch a hurdle until November. I had to get my base down, before I began hurdling. My off-season training went well and helped me set new PR's this indoor season.

Q: It seems you have gotten to travel quite a bit with your running. What has been your favorite experience? What is your favorite track?

A: Thanks to Track Eastern Carolina, Coach Dave Simpson and Coach Nicholas Sparks, I have been given an opportunity to travel and run. I would have to say that the Randal Tyson Track Center is my favorite place to run. The high banks on the curve made the track so fast. It felt real good to run down off those turns, when I came off the turns, I felt like I was shot out of a sling shot. I hope I can run there again.

Q: What is your favorite food?

A: I don't know; I love to eat. If I could have one thing to eat though, it would probably be pizza.

Q: Thanks for your time, Malcolm. Now for the thinker. Who has been your biggest inspiration as an athlete?

A: My inspiration as an athlete would be my brother. Booker Nunley went through so many hard times during his high school track career, yet he still persevered through to become the US#1 110 hurdler in 2008. When Booker was hit with hard times, he made the best of it and by turning a negative situation into a positive one. When he was declared ineligible for high-school track, instead of giving up, Booker trained over the 42 inch hurdles competing in college meets unattached, running a 13.91 over the 42 inch hurdles as a senior in high-school. Booker then went on to take silver at the IAAF World Junior Championships. I have looked up to him and I am trying to follow in his path now. He has shown what hard work can do, and has helped pave the way for me.

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