Junior runner Briana Sharp and her three siblings grew up playing sports in Beaumont, but finding the right one to stick with did not come easily.
“I’m terrible (at other sports),” Sharp said. “I have no hand-eye coordination. I tried out for the volleyball team and didn’t make it. I tried out for basketball and didn’t make it.”
It did not take long, though, for Sharp to find her path. Running became her prominent passion in sports. Coaches took note of Sharp’s speed and urged her to try out for the track team in middle school. It was a decision she has stuck with since.
Sharp competed in fun runs in elementary school, which led to her first competitive racing in middle school. Sharp’s success at Cypress Woods High School led to her being added to the Wall of Fame, highlighting all the athletes who moved on to compete at the collegiate level.
The next step for Sharp was choosing the right college to attend. Sharp had plenty of options available to her, but the trick was finding where she felt the most comfortable.
“When I was being recruited, the number one thing I looked for was finding a place where I could actually live, a realistic place, a place that wasn’t so stuck on athletics,” Sharp said. “I wanted to go to football games, but also enjoy my classes and have a beautiful campus. None of the other schools I visited felt homey.”
At Texas State, Sharp runs the 4x400 meter relay, the 400 meter and the 800 meter. During the 2012 outdoor season, some of Sharp’s best finishes included placing third in the 800 meter at the Texas State Invitational and running a season best 2:12.00, giving her a fifth place finish in the Southland Conference Championships.
“Briana is a great athlete,” said Coach Dana Boone. “She truly has developed since her freshman year, and she’s come a long way. I won’t just say she’s a vocal leader, but she leads by her performance and the way she competes on the track. She’s a nice addition to have in our program.”
Sharp plans to use her exercise and sports science degree to pursue her dream of going to medical school after college.
“My dad figured out when I was young that med school would be a good fit for me, and I like it,” Sharp said. “I want to be a physiologist, since I’m athletic and I’m always around athletes. I figured it would be something I would be good at, and I like to take care of people and make them feel better.”
Sharp is looking into the program at Houston, but her dream would be to attend any program in California.
“I’m going to take my fifth year to polish up everything (with my degree),” Sharp said. “Hopefully I find a school in California. That would be a dream come true.”