Running in the Fast Lane: Mercedes Tillman

Running in the Fast Lane: Mercedes Tillman

Murugi Thande, Photography Editor

‘On your marks, get set, GO!’ A pistol blares across the track and Mercedes Tillman (‘13) takes off at a high speed leaving her competition biting the dust. In the blink of an eye, she is instantly proclaimed the victor. Though she is chock full of natural talent, it is her blood, sweat and tears that put Mercedes in a league of her own.

Mercedes’s athletic success did not come overnight. Her rise to fame started as a youngster in Georgia, there she used to with race the boys in town and win. These victories empowered her. It was after her uncle encouraged her to join track and field in freshman year that she began to set herself apart as an athlete. Since then she has triumphantly earned Athlete of the Year for the past two years and Most Valuable Player for three years standing. Additionally, she is a Southern Maryland Athletic Conference (SMAC) winner in several events, Regional Champion in the 300 and 500, and second place in the 300 at 2011 State Championships.

“Mercedes is a very special student athlete, she makes great grades, maintains over a 3.0, and dominates on the track.  That is impressive,” said fellow athlete D’Andre Briscoe (‘12)

On her climb to the top, injury has been commonplace. During freshman year she popped her hip so she could not run until SMAC and State Championships. Throughout, she has pushed through aches in her quads, hamstrings, and knees. Though the actual physical pain is a downside to running, Tillman pushes her body to the limit. Despite the risks her passion for the sport stops her from quitting.

A competitive spirit drives Tillman. “I am very competitive. I have a lot of pride so I race to win, but I also race against the clock” she expressed. With each step, she races for a better time. Even when she looses Tillman knows that she has done her best, and hopes to do a better job next time.

“Mercedes is a hard worker, and she knows what to do to be competitive. She knows her competition, studies her events, and trains hard and that is what makes her a good runner. With all of those attributes in mind she knows where she needs to be and what she needs to do to help the team overall.” said Coach Reisinger.

In future, Tillman hopes to run for the University of Central Florida or Huntsman University of South Carolina. For now, she is working toward winning a State title this year and earning college scholarships. North Point has one more year to witness Tillman’s performance as the star of track and field.