© Copyright – 2014 – Athletics Illustrated
Nineteen-year-old Brandon McBride of Windsor, Ontario, is one of Canada’s top track and field athletes. He excels at both the 400 metre and the 800 metre distances, with personal bests that are Canadian Junior records of 1:46.07 for the 800m and 45.89 for the 400m. He has also performed well in cross-country winning, combined with track, nine Ontario Federation of School Athletics Associations(OFSAA) cross-country gold medals.
In February he won indoor gold in the 800m distance with his finishing time of 1:47.51 in Fayetteville, Arkansas, which is the fastest Canadian indoor time for 2014, so far. He won double gold during the 2013 Canada Summer Games. Recruited by Mississippi State, 2013-2014, is his first year competing for the Bulldogs.
Christopher Kelsall: Growing up in Windsor, Ontario, was it a good sporting environment?
Brandon McBride: Growing up in Windsor, Ontario I had everything I needed. I had a great support group, great friends and great coaches, it was almost too perfect. That’s why I struggled when I got to university, because it was almost like I came from a controlled environment.
CK: How did those struggles manifest themselves?
BM: Being in a different environment and being away from your main support as well as having to make new friends and to adjust to a new staff. All of that can be really tough on a person.
CK: You played basketball, yes? What other sports did you play?
MB: Yes and I played soccer a lot growing up as well.
CK: In soccer, what position (s) did you play?
BM: I played mid-field. I didn’t care if I scored or not. I was the type of player that just like to do tricks and fake people out. I loved running back and forth on the field. I just genuinely loved running and now I love it more than ever.
CK: Who is your NCAA Basketball team, besides Mississippi?
BM: Growing up as a young boy I loved watching UNC play, they were by far my favourite team. I loved their colours too, so I will have to stick with them or Kansas because they’re led by a young Canadian star.
CK: How will you be able to study, train and watch March Madness?
MB: [Laughs] It a struggle to be honest, but I just multi-task and use my time wisely so I can study and watch March Madness.
CK: How about your NBA team?
BM: My NBA team is the Lakers, but of course I have to show some love to the only Canadian team [laughs].
CK: And what about FIFA World Cup?
BM: I don’t know, I used to watch a lot of FIFA, but I don’t have enough time now. My favourite club team was Barcelona.
CK: What do you prefer in training, intervals or the longer mileage work?
BM: That’s where I’m really weird, I love both of them. My weakness is the fast paced longer intervals. My long runs are 15 to 16 kilometre runs. I just love running in general, I love lacing up my shoes and going for a 10 kilometre run.
CK: So is outdoors your preference out of the three disciplines of cross-country, indoors and outdoors?
BM: I definitely prefer outdoors! It just seems so much more natural to me.
CK It appears that you are very strong at both the 400 metre and 800 metre distances. Have you decided which direction you are going to specialise in going-forward? Sprinting versus middle-distance?
BM: I think I have a lot of room to grow in both, but ultimately I think the 800 is going to be the event I focus on.
CK: What time goal(s) do you have in mind for the upcoming outdoor season?
BM: For outdoors I’m definitely going to focus more on time so that I can set myself up for a nice summer. Running tactical races are fun but running fast is better. That has always been my attitude towards racing the 800m. My goal is to hit the Commonwealth Games A-standard this year so that I can represent my country. If I can do that my year will be complete and successful.
Also, my goal is to stay healthy and consistent in training. If I can achieve that I honestly think the sky is the limit. I can’t wait to chase the standards outdoors.