Skip to main content

Byhalia's Bougard commits to competing with Bulldogs

March 12, 2014

Mississippi State track and field athlete Erica Bougard, right, said coach Steve Thomas has been an important part of her development. (Photo by Madeleine Takahashi, For Starkville Daily News)

Erica Bougard is quickly becoming a household name in the track and field world.
As a sophomore last season, Bougard ended the indoor season as the 2013 NCAA Indoor Pentathlon National champion and just recently as a junior, she was crowned 2014 Southeastern Conference champion in the same event.
While the successes are coming quickly, it was not too long ago that Bougard wasn't even sure if she wanted to continue her track and field career on the collegiate level.
“When we recruited her out of high school, she was a big-time basketball player as well,” Mississippi State head coach Steve Dudley said. “If you asked her what her first love was, it was basketball. Even though she had a good freshman year, she still mentally was a basketball lover. Inside of her was a conflict with whether she wanted to be a track athlete or basketball player. I really think she had to make a decision at the end of that year whether to stay here at Mississippi State or go somewhere else and play basketball.”
Bougard’s decision got a bit easier that summer when she travelled to the United States Junior Championships where she qualified for the Junior World Championship team. Getting to compete for her country sparked something inside the athlete. Her passion was ignited and from the moment she returned back to MSU, Dudley said something was different about Bougard.
“That summer was the point it clicked in her that I am good at this and this is something I can be really good at and I can be on team USA,” Dudley said. “She always tried hard at practice, but you can tell when a kid is mentally and physically invested. She was always 100 percent physically, but not mentally prior to that. When she put that USA jersey on, she was like, 'OK, I am 100 percent.'”

To subscribe to the E-edition, please click here.

View more articles in:
The memories of April 21, 2008 when we went to the Boston Marathon still lingered in our hearts and souls on April 15...
Emily Jones Deluded Diva My neighbor, (I'll call her Brenda for the sake of anonymity), is one of the best things that...
By RUTH MORGAN For Starkville Daily News General Wiley Norris Nash was one of Mississippi as well as Starkville’s most...
Creation is imagination, and being a visual artist I'm attempting to be creative, inventive, and imaginative. To...
Monday was a really bad day.  Huey P, my oversized HP laptop computer, just up and died. He had no symptoms indicating...

 

Premium Drupal Themes by Adaptivethemes