Although it’s just his first year as a Goucher Gopher, Shannon Sanders ‘16 is no stranger to the oval. The sprinter transferred from
Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA, to Baltimore “for better opportunities,” he said. “I felt that Goucher had more to offer, and would put me in a better place in the future.”
Sanders certainly has found great opportunities in the Track and Field program, led by coach John Caslin. Sanders’ current times in the 200m and the 400m are in the top five times in the Landmark Conference, and his 60m time places him in the top 20. With these statistics and the conference championships still several weeks away, Sanders still has time to improve and increase his standings.
Sanders started running as a sort of neighborhood game. “I used to race kids at my school and my neighborhood. I grew up with a friend that was a national champion in the 100 and 200 meter dashes,” he said. “Everyday at school we would race. I decided that I wanted to take part in a sport that focused on speed and racing.”
Fittingly, he became a sprinter, and his favorite races are two of his best – the 200m and the 400m. While the move up to Goucher has had its challenges, Sanders said,“I enjoy the feel of the community at Goucher.” The track team is considered one of the closest teams on campus, but athletics aren’t the only reason Sanders has been thriving at Goucher. “I value being able to grow within a close-knit community where everyone is open to learning about each other and their respective opinions and beliefs,” he said.
When Conference Championships occur in March, Sanders is sure he will be ready. The coaching staff at Goucher has been good for him, and “the team atmosphere is one of focused determination,” he said. “It is a competitive environment in which the coaches push us to do our best.”
Outside of the team, Sanders has other role models who inspire him daily. “My biggest inspiration is Derrick Rose and my running role model is Tyson Gay,” he says. “They are silent leaders who guide by example, not verbally.”
Members of the indoor track team work out for up to four hours per day, and both the men’s and women’s teams are determined to improve on their standings from last winter. Sanders has his own personal goals for the season as well.
”My goal for the rest of the indoor season is to improve my health in order to compete at the best of my ability, and to add another Landmark Conference Champion to the list,” he said
His high ranking in the standings already have put him in a good position to make that goal a reality.