“Little Things” Add Up To Huge Results For HSR-Setter Wilson

Quincy Wilson is 16, shattered a 20-year-old HSR and patterns his preparation after elite pros. (KEVIN MORRIS)

IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS, says 16-year-old Quincy Wilson. “I’m just maturing every day, practicing the little things that I could improve on. To improve from where I left off last year, I have to focus on the little things, like my form, my everyday habits, coming into school, being focused. If you look at a lot of the pros, that’s what they do. Watching them and following their footsteps, that’s what I like to do.”

To look at what he’s done so far, it’s clear that the soph from Bullis (Potomac, Maryland) is doing a bit more than following the footsteps of the pros. Some might say he’s breathing down their necks.

Where he left off last year was at a 45.87 PR, an age-15 record, along with a 45.06 relay leg at Penn, a runner-up finish at New Balance Nationals and a 4th-place at the USATF U20 meet. Not a bad campaign for a high school frosh.

The little things have paid off so far this winter. Wilson destroyed the HS 400 record with his 45.76 at New Balance Indoors. He also leads the national lists at 500 (1:01.27) and 600 (1:17.36), both soph-class records. He boasts top-10 marks at 200 (21.02) and 300 (33.11).

It was that 400 that made a lot of fans sit down and take note of Wilson, who has had East Coast fans buzzing for years. The old best of 45.92 was set in Pocatello’s altitude by Elzie Coleman (Free Academy, Newburgh, New York) 20 years ago, before Wilson was born. Since then no prep has broken 46 indoors, though the all-time list shows plenty of future Olympians in the top 20.

In getting ready for the race that day, Wilson says nothing stood out. He had earlier been troubled by some groin pain, but he says, “I got some good treatment; that was like a one-day thing.”

He describes the record: “Getting into the starting blocks, I’m taking everything slow, going through my race strategy in my head. When I got out of the blocks, I didn’t stay on my drive phase too long. I knew I had a plan and I had to get back on my plan. So when I got to the 200, I came through in 21.9 and I executed the last 200 really well with the 23.9 split. It all came together, what I’ve been working for.

“The time surprised me a lot because I didn’t see that I ran 45 at first. It took me a couple minutes and it even took a couple hours for it to sink it. It was a special moment. Only one other person has run 45 seconds in high school.”

Observers noted that the 5-10/135 Wilson didn’t look very tired afterward. He explains, “I feel like I prepared very well for this. Just the adrenaline, with my supporters, my family, everybody in the arena. It made me push through. I didn’t even feel as tired as I thought I would be.”

Wilson and Bullis weren’t done. Later that day in the 4 x 400, following teammates Alexander Lambert, Julian Roberson and Colin Abrams, he recovered well enough for a 46.87 anchor that tied the knot on a HSR 3:11.87, improving the school’s own 3:12.53 from ’19.

The indoor campaign was the latest highlight in Wilson’s auspicious — and still young — career. The second child of the family, he says he started running in Severna Park, Maryland, when “some coach saw me running when I was a little kid and he directed me toward a track club in the Fort Meade area. My dad is in the military, and we moved to Virginia. I started running with Track 757, which is Grant Holloway’s dad’s organization. I started training with them.”

Says his father, Roy, “Football was his first love. And in the off-season for football, we liked to keep both our kids active. We used track as a thing for him to try. I was just filming these little videos. He was so far out — there wasn’t another kid in the frame.”

Still experimenting with a variety of events, Wilson was winning AAU Junior Olympics titles in the 200, 400, hurdles and even scored a 2nd in the pentathlon when he was in 5th grade. By middle school, the 400 started to emerge as a strong suit. He ran 50.87 as a 7th-grader. A year later, having left the hurdles behind, he improved to 47.59.

When the elder Wilson retired from the Navy, he and his wife Monique opted to move back to Maryland so that Quincy could run for the Bullis team, one of the nation’s prep superpowers under the coaching of Joe Lee. “My parents always looked for the best for me,” says their son of growing up in a tight-knit, faith-centered family.

Wilson’s older sister, Kandace, started running after him but became a Virginia state champion and is now on the James Madison squad. She recently finished 3rd in the ECAC 400. He says her influence has been key. “She’s made me set my goals super high and she set the standard. Every day of my life I wanted to be able to beat her. I’m the younger sibling, so I just want to be able to compete with her because I’m a very competitive person — in the classroom and on the track.”

With the outdoor season coming up next, Wilson is focused on team goals. He expects to race at the Florida Relays, with important stick duty coming at the Penn Relays in the 4×4. “An American team hasn’t been able to beat the Jamaicans since I was born. I can’t wait to see. We have a great team. I see each and every one of us working hard every day. So I think we’ll have a great shot and be able to compete this year.”

After that, he mentions New Balance Outdoor Nationals as an important target. That’s fitting, as he has signed an NIL with the shoe company, perhaps making him the youngest to ever sign a major shoe deal. What he doesn’t bring up are the Olympic Trials, despite the fact that his recent 400 best has more than a few people talking about him as a possibility to make America’s toughest meet.

He’s at No. 15 on the U.S. list for the indoor campaign, but he says, “Honestly, we take it day-by-day, just seeing how my training is going. I still have to run the qualifying time (45.20) to even go to the Trials. I still have to keep working hard and keep training. So I’m just taking it day-by-day and we’ll see where I am by the time the Trials do come.”

He adds, “I’m still young. I just turned 16 and there’s a lot of maturing that I want to do to be able to compete at the very high level that I want to compete at. I set my goals very high. And the only way to accomplish my goals is being able to mentally improve. Being able to stay hydrated, getting sleep, eating well and just being able to stay mature when it comes to different things.” The little things.

Through it all, he keeps coming back to the fact that he’s having a blast. “I’m just enjoying staying in the moment and enjoying all the fans. It’s great to stay healthy for every race and come out there and just give it my best.”

Subscription Options

Digital Only Subscription

  • Access to Current Articles
  • Access to Current Issues
  • eTrack Results Newsletter
  • Unlimited Content from our Technique Journal, Track Coach

$88 per year (recurring)

Digital Only Premium Archive

  • Unlimited Articles
  • Access to Archived Issues
  • eTrack Results Newsletter
  • Unlimited Content from our Technique Journal, Track Coach

$138 per year (recurring)

Print + Digital Subscription

  • Access to Current Articles
  • Access to Current Issues
  • eTrack Results Newsletter
  • Unlimited Content from our Technique Journal, Track Coach
  • 12 Monthly Print Issues

$125.00 USA per year (recurring)
$173.00 Canada per year (recurring)
$223.00 Foreign per year (recurring)

Print + Digital Premium Archive

  • Unlimited Articles
  • Access to Archived Issues
  • eTrack Results Newsletter
  • Unlimited Content from our Technique Journal, Track Coach
  • 12 Monthly Print Issues

$175.00 USA per year (recurring)
$223.00 Canada per year (recurring)
$273.00 Foreign per year (recurring)

Print Only Subscription

  • 12 Monthly Print Issues
  • Does not include online access or eTrack Results Newsletter

$89.00 USA per year (recurring)
$137.00 Canada per year (recurring)
$187.00 Foreign per year (recurring)

Track Coach
(Digital Only)

  • Track Coach Quarterly Technique Journal
  • Access to Track Coach Archived Issues

Note: Track Coach is included with all Track & Field News digital subscriptions. If you are a current T&FN subscriber, purchase of a Track Coach subscription will terminate your existing T&FN subscription and change your access level to Track Coach content only. Track & Field News print only subscribers will need to upgrade to a T&FN subscription level that includes digital access to read Track Coach issues and articles online.

$19.95 every 1 year (recurring)

*Every 30 days