Tatiyana Rayford looking to hurdle her way into Georgia Southern history

Amanda Arnold

Tatiyana Rayford, a hurdler and sprinter here at Georgia Southern, has already made her mark in school record books. As she goes into her senior season, she wants to leave it all on the track before walking away with her journalism degree and a lasting presence on the track and field team.

Coming from Woodstock, Georgia and strong track programs at Marietta High School and Woodstock High School, Rayford took the state title for 100 meter hurdles in 2016 and held several school records in hurdles and long jumps during her tenure.

In her three years here at GS, Rayford has been wildly successful in her craft. Her freshman year, she placed fifth overall in the conference with 60 meter hurdles and ninth in 100 meter hurdles at the Sun Belt Outdoor Championships. She was injured her sophomore year, but came back last year with vengeance. The highlight of Rayford’s junior season was placing 11th at the Sun Belt Outdoor Championships in 4×100 relay and two fifth place 60 meter hurdle titles at the Wake Forest Invitational.

Growing up in the middle of five siblings, Rayford relies on self discipline and a strong work ethic to keep her focused and motivated.

“This season, I’m trying to drop my time. Freshman year, I made it to the finals in hurdles and actually scored,” Rayford said. “This year, I want to at least score in the event and hopefully win. I definitely want to PR as well.”

Boosting a staggering 11 freshmen on the team compared to eight seniors, the track and field team is full of new faces with new dynamics. Rayford, a team veteran, feels that the new energy is good for GS going into this season.

“The freshmen, in general, add a change to the atmosphere here,” Rayford said. “I think everybody is going to be in a good position for conference.”

During her time here at GS, Rayford has formed a strong bond with head coach Kelly Carter.

“I’m going to miss the love that he gives,” Rayford said. “He shows interest and he really cares. Everything he says and does comes from his a place in his heart.”

Amanda Arnold, The George-Anne Sports Reporter, gasports@georgiasouthern.edu