NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - Norfolk State University is known for its outstanding Track and Field program, and James Taylor appears to be the Spartans' next big star.
The young man from Suffolk had to be persuaded by his high school coach to even try the sport, and has since fought through highs and lows to become one of the top sprinters in the nation.
Now a Junior at NSU, James Taylor is a second team all American track athlete.
Monday, Norfolk State named Taylor the male Athlete of the Year, leaving him a bit surprised. A lot of people, including Taylor, thought the award would go to Pendarvis Williams of the NSU Men's basketball team.
Winning the award meant James overcame hurdles both on and off the track. "When I first came to college I wasn't academically eligible. That means my SAT scores didn't reach the scores I needed to compete."
Not only did he fight his way back, he now serves as a mentor to others.
On the track, Taylor's success was quickly derailed when he broke his ankle during his Sophomore year. "I honestly thought I was done. I was thinking, 'I broke my ankle. How am I going to come back from this?'"
Taylor had surgery and a pin inserted in his ankle, but he bounced back this season with two wins and now ranks as the MEAC's number one sprinter in the 100, 200 and 400 meter dash.
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