Twanisha Terry also known as TeeTee Terry was born and raised in Miami, Florida. She's the oldest of 5 siblings. She began track at the age of 9 years old for Gould’s Park. When walking home from school one day, Terry noticed a track team practicing and told her sister and friends that they were all going to try out. They all went to practice and gave it a try but only Terry continued the sport. She made it to the Junior Olympics her first year running and was a part of the Bantam group 4x100 relay team that set a national record. In high school she was a 6 time individual state champ between the 100 and 200. Terry currently competes for the University of Southern California where she is the freshman and school record holder in the 100 with a time of 10.99 and 10.98. She was a part of the USC School record holders in the 4x100. She is the 2019 Indoor Nationals 60 meters Champion. Aside from athletics, Terry is a junior majoring in Communication and minoring in Forensics and Criminality, which will be completed this year. During her senior year, she will be working on her masters in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. After school, Terry plans to run track professionally and once that career is completed, hopes to pursue a career in either criminal justice or sports broadcasting.
What's it like accomplishing so much at a young age?
It’s an amazing feeling, I can’t really explain it in words. I have accomplished so much so far, which I love because I am an example for others to let them know they can do anything they put their mind to no matter their age. Out of all I accomplished so far, I think for me my greatest achievement is attending school free of cost doing what I love, especially graduating in 3 years and getting ready to work on my Masters in Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
What are your goals once things get back to normal?
Once things are back to normal, my goal is to be more focused than ever to prepare not only for the 2020-21 collegiate season, but the Olympics as well. Also, another goal is to complete grad school after 2021 Spring Semester.
What made you choose to run the 60, 100 and 200?
I’ve always been a short sprinter since I started track at the age of 9. I never liked the 400, but I ran them here and there. I also ran many 4x400 relays throughout high school but the 400 is the least of my favorites.
What has been one of the biggest hurdles to overcome while balancing track and school at USC?
One of the biggest hurdles was in the 2019 Fall semester when I was taking 20 units. For those who don’t know, 20 units is a lot! Non-athletes don’t even take that many units. I had to balance out both school and track considering my schedule was so packed. This was a really stressful semester. To put into perspective, on Wednesdays during that Fall semester, my day started at 4 am to get ready for hills, which we left at 5 am for since the hill is off campus. My first class was from 11 am to 11:50 am, then 12 pm to 1:50 pm, followed by my last class from 3:30 pm to 6:50 pm.
Who would you say is the funniest teammate?
It’s so hard to pinpoint one person as the funniest because it depends on the situation sometimes and my teammates each have different personalities.
What has been your most memorable race to date?
There are three races I remember very vividly. The first was the Mt. Sac Relays my freshman year, which was my first time running with professionals. I was the only freshman in the race and I won, not only did I win, but it was my first legal sub 11. Then at the 2019 Indoor Nationals when I won the 60 out of lane one. This was special because I was not a favorite going into the race. I had a false start at conference two weeks prior to nationals. Due to that, I was so focused on making sure I didn’t flinch or jump the gun in the prelims that I sat in the blocks and reacted so late, barely making it into finals. Finally at the 2020 Tiger Paw Invite, Celera Barnes and I tied for first place down to the thousandths. Emotions were all over the place. I felt like I won the race, but the board showed her name and you heard everyone cheering for her. While waiting on the rest of the times to show, the audience was silent. Then my name popped up as the winner and I heard all the USC fans going crazy. Eventually it showed that we had the same exact time.
What does your weight training consist of and which exercise do you feel helps your running the most?
I’ve been working a lot in the weight room, but it varies over time depending on what part of the season we are in. The exercise that helps me the most is power cleans.
What's the weirdest or funniest thing that ever happened to you while running?
This wasn’t necessarily while I was running, but I almost walked to the 4x100 last leg with some funny looking shades on myself and I didn’t notice until someone point it out.
What's your go to hype song?
I don’t really have a go to hype song. Usually before meets I listen to my gospel playlist.
What's your biggest pet peeve?
People who drag their feet. I hate it so much.
What venue has been your favorite to race at?
Any place internationally or at Florida Relays because the energy is amazing. I haven’t been since high school though.
In your free time when you’re not running, what hobby’s do you enjoy?
Babysitting or just playing with babies. Dancing, singing, crossword puzzles; playing Candy crush and now crocheting which is a hobby I picked up during this quarantine.
What's the most important tip you like to give new runners?
Give your all at anything you do and do not compare your journey to other people.
Who is someone you look up to in the sport?
I’ve always looked up to Carmelita Jeter since high school because she’s a beast in the 100, which is my favorite event and I love her energy. Also, Shelly-Ann because she’s phenomenal. Another beast in the 100 and the amazing times she ran after giving birth to her son.
If you could compete in one Field event, which would you choose?
Long jump. I think I would be good at it. I tried a few times in high school, but I don’t know how to carry my speed down the runway.
Did you ever imagine you'd be where you are today in the sport?
Honestly, I did not. I started this sport to just keep me occupied after school.
What's next for Twanisha Terry?
Grad school at USC and the 2021 Olympics.
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