July 23, 2009
Considering his most recent success in winning his first ever individual title at the NCAA Outdoor Championship in the 200m dash, any problems that exist in Charles Clark’s life do not seem to distract him from his personal and professional goals. Many fans recognize Clark from reading about his medal in the 200m dash and setting an incomparable record this past season in the 4x400m relay team at the 2009 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, but Charles, as we call him off the track, remains a mystery.
Don’t stop until you get enough is what may come to mind when you hear of the name Charles Clark. Charles has been accumulating many awards, medals, titles and trophies ever since he started running. As proud and excited as he is about the banner that will hang of him this school year in the Moore Center of the FSU Athletic Department, material things such as awards, banners and medals do not appeal to him as much as him knowing that he is doing this for God and to show others that there is more to athletics than the material rewards earned.
While balancing track and school is an issue for some, Charles excels in both. When asked who he attributes his achievements off the field to, Charles points to God as the one who helps him succeed. With this being said, his greatest challenge is staying focused on the bigger picture. Many distractions are inevitable in a college town setting and can pose a threat to student-athletes, but with prayer and learning from other teammates, Charles constantly evaluates the decisions he makes. Charles credits his former teammates with teaching him lessons his freshman year.
Outside of track and school Charles has numerous hobbies. Aside from his passion of music, Charles also enjoys shooting pool, bowling, playing golf and watching suspenseful movies. His love for entertainment and having fun carries onto the track as well. As one of FSU’s sprit leaders, Charles incorporated a new tradition in the track meets- war paint! In every meet Charles competes in, the junior paints traditional war paint on his face to motivate his teammates while also creating the Seminole atmosphere.
As for his recent victory in the 200m dash after three years of battling in the race, Charles explains
“This is the first time I was finally healthy and had been blessed to have a great season so it just continued to progress. There’s no stopping me! You’re only as good as your last race. If you’re stuck on the past, what is it really worth?”
But what does it take to get a national champion ready for the big race many have asked. According to Charles, a nice dinner such as chicken, pasta, broccoli and strawberry lemonade the night before and small breakfast such as oatmeal or eggs, one with yoke and one without, is truly the breakfast of champions.
With the individual national championship in the past, Charles has now set his eyes on his future in Europe this summer as he represents the U.S.A at the 2009 World Championships. After qualifying in the 200m dash with a second-place finish time of 20.00, the Virginia Beach, Va., native has less than a month left in preparing for the battle of the nations. No matter if you know him as Charles, Clark or superman, he is sure to leave his legacy at Florida State on and off the track for his spirit, character and dedication.
By: Nicole Lamar- Sports Information Intern