-Marcelo Maziero, Sports Editor
As the spring sports season is coming to an end, the NCCAA (National Christian College Athletic Association) is nominating the last players of the week. And the current woman athlete of the week is from Mississippi College, track & field runner, Kiana Grant.
Grant was born in the rural town of Lucedale, Miss., and lived there until the 10th grade, when her father was transferred to Meridian, Miss. From a big family of 11 siblings, Grant said that the reason why she started running track & field came from inside her home. “I started doing track in 7th grade, the cross-country coach needed more girls on the team and since my sister ran cross-country, she convinced me because she knew I always enjoyed racing people at recess and winning. Track and cross-country go hand-in-hand and I was decent at cross-country so I went ahead and did track too. From then all the way to 12th grade I ran track and cross-country and I loved it,” she said.
When it comes to inspiration, Grant uses her family and former teammates to give everything she has. “The people that inspire me the most are my old teammates and my younger siblings, because I know that they look up to me so I want to set a good example by excelling in both academics and athletics. I’m also inspired by my former coaches and my parents because they believe in me and expect a lot from me, and I don’t want to let them down,” Grant said.
Being a hard worker and always willing to give the best of herself brought Grant some moments that she classified as unexpected and very special. “There are two great moments that track brought to me. The first is when I so unexpectedly won the state championship title my [high school] senior year. I never thought I could do that and everyone was so proud of me, and I’ll always have that title. And the second is when I got to commit to running track and maintaining good grades in exchange for a virtually free education. Ever since middle school I dreamed of achieving that, and actually doing it was such a great feeling,” she said.
About being nominated Athlete of the Week from NCCAA, Grant said that she has much bigger plans than just a nomination that lasts for a week. “It is a nice feeling being nominated for athlete of the week, and I’m grateful for it, but I’d much rather win a national championship title in at least one of my events. Athlete of the week is just one week while a championship title is forever,” she explained.
Majoring in Kinesiology with focus on Exercise Science, Grant sees herself being a coach in the future.