Visualizing victories


Washington State senior hurdler Josiah Sims vaults during a practice at the Indoor Practice Facility, Feb. 12.

Creativity has the power to make the best athletes. No matter the sport, the difference makers, the impact performers, and the standouts do things in a slightly different way.

It is a trait possessed by senior hurdler Josiah Sims, and it’s what makes him a unique commodity to the Washington State track team.

Last January, Sims, a graphic design major, started his own clothing line. Some of his works were on display at Washington State’s art museum. In addition to creativity, WSU hurdlers coach Mark Macdonald said Sims’ personality also sets him apart from everyone else.

“He is a fun, personable, popular guy that speaks with confidence and pride about faith, hard work, respecting women, not doing drugs and being a good person,” Macdonald said. “He does it with such swagger that he makes it cool to be a good guy.”

Sims’ story is one to be proud of, as it almost ended before it started. Macdonald said Sims was almost cut from the team after his freshman season due to roster size restriction. However, he was allowed to stay on as a sophomore, and that is when he really took off.

Sims finished the season as a Pac-12 finalist and scored in the Pac-12 Championships. Last season, he finished fifth in the championships and earned himself a scholarship. He said his success is built from focusing on the process and not just the end goal.

“I’m not results-oriented,” Sims said. “I think results come when you focus on the process of what you’re doing, and constantly bettering that process gets you to where you want to be.”

Whether the goal is a personal record or something higher, Sims is always looking to get better.

“Every weekend I’m trying to do something I’ve never done before,” Sims said. “I’m just going to execute my race and whatever time comes from that execution will be the time I want to get.”

He said that his season is off to a great start because he has gotten to know his teammates outside of competition. He said the team is young this year, but it’s also noticeably hungrier than in years past.

As the indoor season winds down, Sims wants to make the finals at the indoor championships. As the season transitions into outdoor, he wants to make the finals at the Pac-12 Championships and finally make it to regionals.

“Each and every year I’ve been .01 or .02 seconds away from making regionals,” Sims said. “This is the year I want to make that happen.”

Coach Macdonald also has high hopes for Sims.

“I fully expect Josiah to make the Pac-12 final for the third consecutive year, an accomplishment that is very rare for any track and field athlete,” said Macdonald. “He should move on to the first round of the NCAA championships and has the potential to reach the NCAA final round in Eugene if he puts together his best race at the right time.”

Sims cites Coach Macdonald as a key reason he chose to attend WSU.

“He is a real people person and all about the athlete,” Sims said. “You don’t see that a lot in college sports, it’s more of a what can you do for me type thing.”