As the winter track season was quickly approaching, Godwin needed to find a new coach. Fortunately, Tom Nadeau was able to find a qualified coach to teach running to the students of our school.

Keilah Tyson, former stand-out sprinter at the University of Kentucky, will be coaching Godwin track this year. Although Tyson did not begin running until 8th grade, she was able to receive a full scholarship to the University of Kentucky by the end of her high school career.

As a runner, Tyson’s biggest challenge was mental frustration. 

“My mind would tell me that workouts were too hard, my mind would tell me to not give it my all because it hurt too much,” said Tyson. 

Running tested Tyson mentally, which she was not used to. 

“Once I realized that my body could do anything my mind told it to, I quickly changed my mindset and became a fearless competitor,” said Tyson.

Throughout Tyson’s career, her favorite track events were the 100 meter dash and long jump. 

“The 100 meter dash allowed me to show off my speed and the long jump was the only event I never got nervous for due to the fact that I had six attempts to get it right,” said Tyson.

Tyson is unable to compete anymore due to a surgery that she had which prevented her from competing 

“The surgery I had did not allow me to return to the track at 100% of my full ability which is why I dedicate my time to coaching,” said Tyson.  

Throughout Tyson’s track career, she was most influenced by her high school coach Claude Toukene.

“Without him I would not be the athlete nor the coach I am today,” said Tyson. 

Tyson said Coach Toukene “sparked something in me that changed my life and helped me change the lives of others.”

Tyson quickly learned the discipline it took to be on a track team and the positive influence it had on life. 

“You learn quickly that talent has nothing to do with success in the sport,” said Tyson. 

Because her body did not allow her to compete anymore, Tyson knew she wanted to coach. Tyson has been coaching track since 2016 after she graduated from Kentucky. She started off at her former high school (her alma mater). After that, she moved to Richmond and took a job at Powhatan High School for 3 years. 

As a coach, Tyson hopes to instill ‘the process’ into her runners 

“The process will seem impossible on some days but they have to trust that everything is working together for their benefit,” said Tyson. 

Along with instilling “the process” into her runners, Tyson also wants to make them better individuals on and off the track and hopes to make a lasting impact on her athletes. 

“As a coach I hope to make an impact on each of my athletes’ lives. An impact that will last for the rest of their lives,” said Tyson.

As a coach, Tyson’s best memories have been when her athletes have been able to succeed and achieve their goals or college scholarships. “That is my top priority and every time they scratch a goal off the list and I see how excited they are, it feels better than when I was winning as an athlete,” said Tyson.

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