The faces of the best of the best line the halls at the Frank O’Mara Performance Center. One day Britton Wilson hopes to be one of them.
“You can tell it’s a legacy I want to be a part of,” says sprinter Britton Wilson.
If you watch Wilson on the track, you see her talent and potential. She’s already set records at Arkansas.
What you don’t see are her past struggles.
“I was really worried about coming here and nothing would change, but so much has changed mentally, physically, my happiness, my diet. So many things and it’s been great so far,” she says of her move to Arkansas.
Wilson transferred to Arkansas after two seasons at Tennessee.
“She wasn’t feeling confident. She wasn’t stepping on the track feeling confident, and I can always tell with her,” says her mom LeYuani Wilson.
“The help that I wasn’t getting started to take a toll on me because I thought that everything was going wrong was because of me,” Wilson adds, “So I was trying to do everything in my control to make it better, but in turn it was kind of driving me crazy because I was trying to control it, and control everything and become too perfect. That took a toll on my mental health.”
A change was the only option.
“Just called it a leap of faith,” her mom says she told her when she was deciding to transfer, “You need to do it and trust and believe that what you built stands and people will see that.”
Wilson had a list of what she was looking for, and after her official visit she knew Arkansas checked all the boxes.
“The hard work has paid off, and it’s taken a great amount of hard work, but its good work and it’s paying off for my mental health as well.”
“There is this light within and there is joy, and she says to me all the time ‘I’m just happy to be here. I’m just happy to be here.'” adds LeYuani.
Being around her new teammates and Coach Chris Johnson has gotten Wilson back on track to doing what she loves, competing.
“I remember when Coach Johnson would say, ‘when you run your fastest it’s not going to feel hard’, and I remember when he said that I thought to myself ‘I think it’s going to feel hard,’ but then when I split 49 it felt so easy.”
Of the many goals Wilson has set for herself her this year- big picture she says, is making the World Team and competing in Eugene, Oregon, this summer.
With the way she is running right now, I like her chances.