By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
Kryon McMaster, who won the National Jr. College’s 400m Indoor Championships in March and was subsequently released by the school following an injury that prevented him from competing outdoors, then went on to win the BVI’s first IAAF World Jr. Championships medal in July, signed a letter of intent last Wednesday, to become a member of the Florida Gators in 2017.
McMaster, 19, was a second semester freshman at Central Arizona College when he won the 400m title, then hurt his lower back after and was unable to perform, was cut by the school—never getting a chance to represent them outdoors.
He missed his last Carifta Games in Grenada over the Easter Weekend and didn’t compete till May in Florida, where he qualified for World Jrs. In all, he competed in six races outdoors—finishing five of them including winning the 400m bronze.
“The offers came in literally after I crossed the finish line and got the bronze medal,” he revealed after overcoming adversity and several of the top South Eastern Conference schools sought his services. “Mr. McMaster, I want a word with you please, literally after the line. I had a lot of offers. The major ones contacting me were: LSU, Clemson, Texas A&M, El Paso, Tennessee and Florida.”
He added: “It was a hard task at the end when you have a lot of people throwing different things at you. Choosing Florida was what I basically wanted in the first place. I always told my coach (Dag Samuels) that I wanted to sign early, because despite how many people throw things at me and different scenarios what they can offer better than Florida, I knew I wanted to go to Florida from the get go, so I decided to go with that dream and stay with Florida. But, it was a hard decision.”
Florida, Mc Master noted, has the best two NCAA 400m Hurdlers and Olympic champion Kerron Clement trains there. It’s also where the U.S. Virgin Islands’ 110m Hurdler Eddie Lovett matriculated.
“Florida has a really good hurdles program so in terms of getting me better and getting me to that next stage, Florida would be the one to do it,” he said.
In retrospect, McMaster sees the silver lining, from getting injured, winning a historic medal for the territory and now getting the opportunity to compete at one of the top program at the collegiate level.
“People would say getting released from Central Arizona would have a negative impact,” he said. “But getting released was probably the best thing because it showed me how to work, achieve my goal and don’t take anything for granted. I used the injury as motivation because I had a goal at the beginning of the season to medal at World Jrs. After coming home, we stuck with the goal and made it possible.”