From The Binny to Beijing - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

From The Binny to Beijing

Posted: Updated:

June 1, 2008

Albany -- A natural athlete on the football field and basketball court, 2005 Monroe High School graduate Ricardo Lockett caught the eye of the Tornados track and field coaches his junior year of high school.

Lockett was talked into competing in the high jump, but his track career really took off when he started running after filling in on the Monroe relay team.

Since that point, Lockett has been racing full-speed ahead, and the Albany-native is now chasing Olympic Dreams.

Ricardo Lockett is ranked 13th in the nation in the 200 meter dash, and is an A-List qualifier for the U.S. Olympic Trials.

Lockett has two years of college eligibility remaining, but has taken the year off from Fort Valley State to concentrate on making the Olympics.

"I sat out this year just to train for the Olympics," says Lockett. "Took a big risk. Sat out so I could practice hard every day, two times a day. It paid off. I gambled, and I won."

The Albany-native was in town on a rare day off, and says he's constantly fine-tuning his race.

"My coaches and everybody else are working with me, and we just got to put the race together," says Lockett. "Take out all the kinks. Basically all the small things. Right now, it's all about speed."

Lockett says off-track issues like sponsors, coaches, and agents are the biggest change, and the competition is fierce.

"At this level, everybody is fast," says Lockett. "They're not running for scholarships, they're not running for high school state, they're running to support their family. They have a lot on the table, and they're going to give it everything they have. One-hundred percent. So that's exactly what I give, two-hundred percent, to be the best."

Ricardo Lockett will be competing at a meet in Florida next week, before heading off to race in Europe.

The U.S. Olympic time trials begin June 27th in Eugene, Oregon.

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