Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

James leads on and off the track


Since coming to the University of Alabama, Kirani James has done one thing – win. The talented sophomore has already rounded up a stash of accomplishments, including winning the NCAA 2010 men’s outdoor 400-meter championship.

“I think Kirani has represented the University of Alabama in tremendous fashion,” head track coach Harvey Glance said. “He has been a conference champ, national champ, world-junior champ, world leader and he’s been very comfortable being an ambassador for Alabama track and field.”

James has not only led the Crimson Tide on the track, but he has also been a leader off it as well.

“Kirani is just an amazing person,” distance coach Joe Walker said. “Everybody talks about him as an athlete, but the thing that stands out most to me is how much of a team guy he is, especially in what is considered an individual sport. He just brings a maturity beyond his years.”

James always knew he was one of the faster kids growing up. At 13 he participated in the Caribbean games, and from there on, the Grenada native knew he had what it took to be a world-class runner.

“I did extremely well,” James said. “Since I saw that, I realized that I could compete with everyone and run fast.”

The 2,000-plus mile trip from Grenada to Alabama makes it hard for James to see his family back home. However, James claimed the transition was not too difficult.

“It’s not really that bad,” James said. “I know why I’m here. I’m here to get an education and to continue my athletics, so I try not to worry about it much and focus on the task at hand.”

Since arriving at the University, James has received a parental treatment from coach Glance, who James says is like a second father. Glance said he’s seen a real maturation in James since he joined the team.

“It’s great to know he sees me as a mentor, someone who has done what he is trying to do,” Glance said. “He is trying to learn. He is trying to learn to be a model citizen, to respect people and treat people like he wants to be treated. I really like that about him because that’s all part of growing up.”

James has often been compared to Glance, a gold-medal winner, in both athleticism and in the confidence they exude.

“What I see in Kirani is that he hasa very quiet confidence,” Glance said. “If you are not careful around that confidence that he portrays, you’ll be overwhelmed. He’s an extraordinary athlete, he’s kind of like a magnet in that he draws people to him. He is a very people-oriented person.”

James has the potential to capture the same Olympic success as Glance did, and Glance said he expects James to be extremely successful throughout his career.

“Next year he will be competing in the Olympic games for sure in 2012,” Glance said. “He’s just grown so fast. He very seldom loses races; he very seldom loses his focus. I feel very confident that he will not only compete in the games, but he will compete for a medal.”


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