Fort Mill High senior Tiayonna Blackmon has verbally committed to run track and cross-country next year at N.C. State University.
Blackmon will join her sister, Angelina, at the Raleigh, N.C., school. Her sister red-shirted her freshman year and will be a fifth-year senior next year at N.C. State, giving the two a chance to run together.
Blackmon said getting to be close to her sister was one reason she picked the Wolfpack, but the school also had a major she wanted - pre-vet medicine. She has a 3.7 grade-point average.
"They have a really good program up there," Blackmon said. "That really was a big push. I will be there with my sister, so it won't be as stressful."
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But N.C. State wasn't the only place that wanted Blackmon; Clemson University, the University of South Carolina, University of Alabama, Erskine College and Hampton University all pursued her.
However, N.C. State wasn't a forgone conclusion for Blackmon just because her sister went there.
"I was skeptical about going to N.C. State because Angelina did some big things there," she said.
In March, Angelina Blackmon won her first career ACC title in the 800-meters at the ACC Indoor Championships. She is also a NCAA provisional qualifier in the mile with a time of 4:45.84.
But after all was said and done, N.C. State was the younger sister's choice, too. And with the season she is having, all the attention she is getting is not surprising. Blackmon said she is enjoying her best season ever in track. She ran a personal best in the mile at the Taco Bell Classic with a 5:05.53 and a 2:19.06 in the 800-meters, also at the Taco Bell Classic.
"I am enjoying track more than cross-country because I'm getting more of the results I want to see," she said.
Blackmon did say running indoor track meets in college may take some getting use to.
With two big meets still left in the year, Blackmon said she still has some unfinished business. She wants to run the mile under five minutes. Blackmon not only runs in the mile and 800-meters, but also runs in the 4 x 400 and 4 x 800, but likes the mile the most.
"It's the perfect distance," she said.