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Getting To Know Kimberly Harris

Nov 25, 2020

Kimberly Harris is a freshman sprinter and jumper from Buford High in Buford, Ga.  She has personal bests of 11.62 in the 100m, 23.39 in the 200m, 52.16 in the 400m and 20-2.50 in the long jump.  She ran for Team USA at the 2019 U20 Pan Am Championships and was part of the 4x400m relay team which set the U20 world record with a time of 3:24.04.  We had a chance to catch up with her the other week.
Q:How did you choose USC?
K.H.: Well, I really hadn't heard of it until my sophomore or junior year of high school, but I had seen USC compete multiple times at NCAAs and they had always done well, they had always composed themselves well.
Q:How are your classes? Do you have a favorite one that you're taking?
K.H.: I'm enjoying my classes, they're all not too hard, not too much of a workload. I guess my favorite would be my writing class, just because I think of myself as a pretty good writer and the prompts challenge me a little bit and make me step out of my comfort zone.
Q:What was the coolest part about competing in the U20 Pan Am Championships last year?
K.H.: The coolest part was probably seeing all the different countries in one area, and just being able to wear the USA uniform, the same uniform that people like Allyson Felix and Sanya Richards-Ross and Sydney McLaughlin had worn. It really inspired me to want to run fast, and well.
Q:What drew you to each of your events, sprints and long jump?
K.H.: I kind of just did what my coaches wanted me to do. My coaches told me, "Hey, you should do the 400," or "Hey, you should do the 100 for this meet." And then long jump, once I got into high school, my high school coach put me in the event because we needed some points and I just happened to be good at it.
Q:Do you have any main goals for the season?
K.H.: I mean, there are records held right now by some people that I want to make my way towards breaking, and as well as that, I hope the team can become Pac-12 champions, NCAA champions…and the Olympics is obviously right around the corner, too.
Q:What are you most looking forward to this year?
K.H.: Definitely seeing myself grow as a person. This is my first year of college, so everybody kind of steps out of their comfort zone, you're not with your parents, you're in a different location, especially since I'm from Georgia, from all the way across the country. So I just want to see how I continue to develop into a better athlete, a better person in general, things like that.
Q:Do you have any random talents that most people might not know about?
K.H.: I did drama since middle school all the way up until my senior year of high school, so I guess that would be something that a lot of people don't know.
Q:What inspired you to get involved in theater?
K.H.: I think I saw that in middle school a lot of the older kids were doing it, and my teacher at the time, he was really cool. My mom was the assistant principal, so I was already around the school all the time, so he was like, "Hey, you should stop in if you're ever bored in your mom's office." And then I did, and I actually really liked it.
Q: Was it difficult to balance drama with athletics while keeping up the grades to make the honor roll?
K.H.: It was pretty difficult, for a little while, to do two sports at a time as well as my academics and drama, but my mom was always on me, my dad always stayed on me, and I had a lot of people in my corner telling me that I could do it. I also knew where I wanted to go, I knew that in order to get to the collegiate level, I had to do a certain thing in the classroom. That, and I also have younger sisters, so being a role model for them and showing them that they need to get good grades and that they can do it all at one time, that helps.
Q:What are you doing to stay sane in times like these?
K.H.: Well, now that we can practice, that's helping a little bit, and I'm also calling my family at home and talking to everyone, making sure that everybody is good. And I've been watching a lot of Netflix shows and stuff like that.
Q:What have you been watching on Netflix?
K.H.: I've been re-watching ​Grey's Anatomy​; I re-watch that all the time, it's my all-time favorite show, but then I've also seen that Netflix has the Black Lives Matter Collection of movies. I've been watching a lot of those because I didn't watch them when I was younger, so now that I have time to really pay attention, I'm starting to look into those.