Sherril McFarlane looks to break even more records

Emily Arnold

The only thing on time-tested and accomplished track star Sherril McFarlane’s mind this season is breaking records.

McFarlane had the unique opportunity to continue competing as a graduate student and a transfer student because transcript issues caused her to sit out her freshman year.  She competed her sophomore, junior and senior years, but still had one more year of eligibility left.

After graduating, McFarlane desired a graduate degree that was not offered by her undergraduate school, South Carolina State University, and having one more year of eligibility, she chose Georgia Southern University to finish her track career.

“I was looking for a grad school and my friend went to a grad college convention and she brought me back a card with Georgia Southern on there and I was like, this is something that I really want to do,” McFarlane said

For McFarlane, and other track athletes, there are three seasons in a year; cross-country in the fall, indoor track in the winter and outdoor track in the spring time, because of this McFarlane’s training starts in the summer time so she can be in shape for cross-country.

“It’s a lot of discipline. You have to be very disciplined with what you eat and what you do because it can affect you,” McFarlane said. “There’s a lot of mental training, too.  I was always told that the mental training is bigger than the physical training.  You have to have a lot of mental strength to run, basically.”

Since being at GSU, McFarlane scored the best time of the season in cross-country at the conference championship race, bested her time in the 500m dash, got the second-best time in program history in the 400m, determined the second-best time in program history in the mile event twice and also set the school record for the 800m event twice.  And she’s not done yet.

“I feel really good about [breaking these records]. I feel like it’s a big accomplishment for me.  It’s kind of overwhelming sometimes and I’m really looking forward to breaking more records.  My ultimate goal is to go to NCAA regionals this indoor season,” McFarlane said.

Thinking about breaking the record for a race before running it can add extra pressure, so McFarlane tries not to think about that too much.

“[Before a race] I just go in there like, ‘just run Sherrill, just run.’ [During a race] I think about hitting my times,” McFarlane said.

The most recent record-setting race for McFarlane was the 800m event a week and a half ago where she set the school record and bested her own time for the second time this season.

“The time was posted on the board and I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh. 2:10!’ That’s something I never did before. It felt like a big accomplishment. I was so happy and it was just exciting,” McFarlane said.

McFarlane’s ultimate goal, however, is to return to her home country of Jamaica and open facilities there that will help people.  Assistant Coach Adam Colorito says that McFarlane is a great student and has the same determination for academics as she does for athletics.

“When you find high-end academic students who are also athletes, that same attention to detail and determination goes from one to the other,” Colorito said.  “She’s very determined, she’s very on top of her classroom work, which turns into track as well.  They compliment each other and she does them both at a very high level.”