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Getting to Know Your Golden Eagles

April 3, 2006

During the spring season, a player from each of the spring sports will sit down with a Southern Miss Athletics Media Relations intern to talk about their collegiate sports and life.

This entry features Southern Miss track athletes Noah Bryant, who was interviewed by Mallory Haynes, and Angela Johnson, who was interviewed by Brian Kowalski.

Senior Noah Bryant, Throws

What is your favorite event?
"The discus."

How do you feel about being a senior?
"I'm glad that I'm graduating, and I think that I have put forth a good effort during the five years that I have been here. I feel like an accomplished person by getting a degree, and participating on the track team."

What do you plan on doing with a degree in coaching and sports administration?
"I already have a full-time job lined up for next year at Presbyterian Christian School as assistant high school basketball coach, head coach of the junior high boys' basketball team, and head track coach. I will also be teaching elementary physical education."

Tell us something funny about yourself that no one else knows?
"I think that people would say that I have a great sense of humor, but I tend to say things at the wrong time."

What are some of your goals for yourself this season?
"My goal this year is to be a good senior leader. I want to give something that the freshmen will want to work hard for. We want them to be eager to step up when the seniors are gone. Overall, my main goal is to be a good Christian leader."

Do you feel like you have an obligation as an athlete to be a good role model?
"Of course I do, and I consider it a privilege. Sometimes kids come up to me when I'm around town and say that they have seen me throw for the Southern Miss track team. All athletes, no matter what sport, are role models, and it encourages me to be a good Christian."

Do you have any certain ways to prepare for an event? Do you have any superstitions?
"I don't prepare in any certain way, and I don't have any superstitions. I pray to God before I throw and say, 'God be with me. If it's good, it's good. If it's not, then that's fine too.' It's important to me, but it's not my life. What is most important to me is to live a good Christian life."

What are some other sports you like to play?
"I like to play basketball, as I played in high school. I also like to play golf and everything that deals with the outdoors."

Do you train a certain way to get in shape for your particular event?
"Everybody trains differently because of different events. My main thing is endurance. I like to get good leg strength and a little upper body strength, but I don't train the same as a runner would."

Senior Angela Johnson, Long Jump

What made you want to run track here at Southern Miss?
"My parents are what made me originally want to run track here. When I graduated high school, I honestly wasn't too big on going to college, but my parents liked the coaches at Southern Miss, so I decided I would try it out. So I ended up coming here and liking the coaches and the program myself."

You run many different distances and compete in the long jump. What event would you say is your favorite?
"I would have to say the 4x100 relay. I like the relay more because of the team aspect of it. I like to run the 100 and the 200, but as far as fun, I would say the 4x100.

How did it feel to be on the Conference Champion 4x100 relay team?
"It felt good, and I was surprised that we were able win this event."

Which do you prefer to run the most, indoor or outdoor?
"I would say outdoor. The only good thing about indoor is that you don't have to worry about the weather. Outdoor is better suited for me because I am not a curve runner, and indoor is usually all curves. My speed makes me better suited for outdoor."

Being a psychology major, do you feel it is difficult to juggle your schoolwork and track?
"Yes it is. You have to have a lot of time management skills, which I don't have. In any type of sport, and going to school, you have to be able to manage your time because if you don't, you are probably not going to make it. Some people have jobs on top of both school and their sport, so good time management skills are very important."

What do you do in the off-season to keep in shape?
"I mainly sleep and eat! Actually, I only work out the last month or so before school is about start, but other than that I don't do anything special."

Does running track take just as much mental preparation as it does physical?
"I would say that it does take just as much because if you are not mentally prepared to run, then you are not going to do well. There are a lot of people out there running that are better than you, and some people are not mentally prepared and get way to nervous, which already takes them out of the race."

How did running in a highly competitive high school district better prepare you to run here at Southern Miss?
"Running in high school prepared me, but then again it didn't. It does help you a lot when you come from a big high school like mine (Harrison Central HS). I ran in 5-A, which are the largest schools on the coast, and it was better because we practiced with and ran against better athletes. That helped a lot because when I came here, it wasn't that big of a difference."

You have won quite a lot here at Southern Miss, what do you feel is your key to success?
"I would say praying and being humble to the point that I don't believe that I am better than everyone. There is always going to be someone out there who is faster than you are. I mainly try to stay humble and grounded, and run track because it is fun."

Do you admire or model your running style after any Olympic athletes?
"I love Marion Jones, and I also look up to my dad because he also ran track."

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