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Getting To Know Kiara Strayhorn

Oct 24, 2022

In the latest installment of "Getting to Know," we sat down with jumper Kiara Strayhorn. The Missouri native that claimed back-to-back state championships in the long jump, is ready to make her case with the best of them here at USC. We discuss her transition to the west coast and what brings her joy outside of being a champion. 
Q: What brought you from Jefferson City, MO, to Los Angeles?
KS: I think mainly the opportunities with the school and the coaches, there's a great coaching staff. I think that was a big reason.
Q: Was there a final decision that brought you to USC compared to other schools that may be closer to home?
KS: I think mainly the relationship with the coaches. That and what they have produced, and how much success they have had and how much success they've put people through.
Q: How's the transition from a Midwest state to sunny Los Angeles been?
KS: I definitely love the weather. Back home, it's cold right now. I'm glad that it's still warm here.
Q: What is your favorite thing that you've done so far?
KS: I've been pretty busy, so I haven't been able to do too much. I've gone to the Hollywood sign a couple of times and that was a lot of fun, and I just love hanging out with my team.
Q: How has the team atmosphere been? 
KS: The team is great. I love the team. We've only been together for two months and they're already my family. I've never been with a team that takes people in like this. It's just been great.
Q: What are some of your favorite things about being out here?
KS: Definitely the weather is a big part of it. I love how many options there are out here. In Missouri, there aren't too many options and everything is fairly close. 
Q: Is there a specific major you are planning on pursuing?
KS: Not 100 percent sure yet, either business or communication.
Q: Outside of track, what are some of your favorite things to do that relax you?
KS: I love painting and listening to music.
Q: What kind of things do you paint?
KS: I paint a lot of outdoorsy stuff like flowers, trees and stuff like that.
Q: Do you sit in nature and paint?
KS: No, I normally just like to sit on the floor. I haven't found anywhere to sit in nature and do that here.
Q: Do you like hiking?
KS: I definitely love being outside. Hiking is something I've done, not too much so far, but I would love to do more. 
Q: What are some of your goals for the track season?
KS: I think the main thing is I've been having a couple of problems recently. I want to get healthy and stay healthy, and I just want to prove that there's a reason why I'm here.
Q: What is your ultimate goal for the year?
KS: I just want to be successful and make it worth it. Make it worth the time and effort I put into it.
Q: What do you want to achieve on the track?
KS: I'm doing Multis for the first time. I want to be able to set pretty high standards for myself, so I can improve throughout the years.
Q: Academically, what do you want to achieve?
KS: I want to keep my grades good, like 3.0 to a 3.5.