© 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 16K runs. I just love running in general, I love lacing up my shoes and going for a 10K 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.