Olympic medalist remains close to Hinds Community College
September 26, 2012
Photos and story courtesy of Hinds Community College Sports Information
While competing in the Summer Olympics in London, there was one person 2006 Hinds alumnus Trell Kimmons talked to on the phone every day - his track and field coach at Hinds, Reggie Dillon.
Kimmons, who won a silver medal for Team USA as the lead in the 4x100 meter relay, was honored Sept. 20 with “Trell Kimmons Day,” which included an autograph party in the afternoon and resolution presented by President Dr. Clyde Muse at the football game that night. But the festivities really started the day before when Kimmons spoke to a crowd of students and faculty on the Raymond Campus for the Honors Forum titled “The Culture of Competition.”
“Having Trell come speak to our Honors students was so exciting,” said Dr. Ben Cloyd, Honors Institute dean. “He is such a good ambassador for Hinds, and his Olympic success story is one that the students were really inspired to hear.”
Kimmons said his ties to Hinds and his connection to Dillon remain strong. From a distance, Dillon helped Kimmons with his training by phone each day.
“He was telling me my workouts. He knows I’m a disciplined athlete so he knows if he gives me my work-outs - whether I’m back at home, or overseas or whatever - he knows I’m going to do my work-outs,” he said.
Dillon said when Kimmons turned pro after his sophomore season at Hinds, he asked who was going to coach him. “He looked at me and said, ‘what do you mean. You are,’” Dillon said. “We’ve had our ups and downs during practice, but at the end of the day we leave the track on the same page. To see him run in the finals at the 2012 London Olympics was amazing and the medal ceremony was just icing on the cake. All the hard work has finally paid off.”
Hinds is the only community college in the state with a track and field program. Although he was a football star at Coldwater High School, Kimmons decided to concentrate on track at Hinds Community College.
He was a four-time national champion and set two National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) records during his time at Hinds.
As a Hinds freshman in 2005, Kimmons won a national title in the 60-meter dash (6.58 seconds) and 200-meter dash (20.32 seconds). He won the same events as a sophomore in 2006 and set NJCAA records in the process, running the 60-meter dash in 6.53 seconds and the 200-meter dash in 20.89 seconds.
“I still represent Hinds, no matter whether I put on a USA uniform, an adidas uniform or whatever uniform I put on. To see the tweets, the emails, the text messaging, the Facebook messages from my Hinds teachers and the Hinds students I went to school with and the Hinds athletes - that was a real big motivation to me,” Kimmons said. “Hinds allowed me to train on the track, and that’s a blessing. I just want to tell you guys ‘I thank you and I love you.’ ”
Reading instructor Nancy Finklea said Kimmons was a quiet student and she didn’t realize his prominence in track at the time.
“I had no idea that he was such an incredible athlete,” she said. “He never said anything about track unless asked about it. I'm so proud of him and all he's accomplished. He understands what it means to set a goal, work to reach that goal and then set a new, harder goal.”
Kimmons joked with retired English instructor Alec Valentine that his English composition class “made me go pro.”
“Trell was a nice young man, who turned in some good papers,” Valentine said. “I knew he was a track guy, but he never bragged. I didn't know till I saw him on campus years later that he was being groomed for the Olympics. I feel proud for him and proud to know him.
Cover photo: Trell Kimmons led the Hinds football team onto the field prior to kickoff on Sept. 20th.
Above photo: Trell Kimmons with Hinds track & field coach Reginald Dillon.