Kendall Baisden is a junior in the BHP program and is a professional track athlete. Baisden was a star of the Texas Women’s Track & Field team the past two years before she made the decision this summer to go pro and take a year off from her schooling to compete and train.
Her ultimate goal is to secure a spot on the 2016 Summer Olympics Track and Field team and to win gold in the women’s 400m and 4x400m Relay. Over the summer, Baisden won two gold medals in the Pan American Games 400m and 4x400m relay. Those wins were added to a long list of her track accomplishments which can be viewed on TexasSports.com. She has a career best time in the 400m of 50.46. Sanya Richards-Ross, a fellow Longhorn, took gold at the London 2012 Olympics in the 400m with a time of 49.55.
Baisden started running track at the young age of 10. She tried out for the track team to improve her tennis game, and she says her track career just took off from there. “I was running with 8th graders in the 4th grade and taking first place. I grew to love it a lot more than tennis,” says Baisden. She credits running track with shaping her by teaching her discipline, the importance of long-term goals, remaining optimistic, and how to have good sportsmanship. She still follows tennis and considers Serena Williams to be her athletics role model, saying that her presence and the way she plays motivates her to be the best.
While she was at UT, Baisden was managing a demanding track schedule with her BHP courses. She had to prioritize what was more important each week and learn how to balance. She plans to come back to finish her BHP degree and possibly combine it with a supply chain management degree. “I love the people in BHP. They have big dreams like me,” she says. “BHP drove me to be innovative and dig deeper and apply it to life. BHP helped me decide to go pro and figure out what I was comfortable with. It taught me if I want to achieve my dreams, I need to dig down and think about what I want. I realized that going pro is the only way I am going to reach my goal.”
Baisden is currently in California training and although she says she can’t give her training secrets away, she says she is fully focused on track and is in an isolated and controlled environment where she is focusing on her body and her sport all the time. Even when she is not training, she is doing extra maintenance for her body.
“I want to show athletes that hard work, dedication and good sportsmanship are important if you want to be successful,” she says. “I want to show you can compete clean and be down to earth. You can be who you are and still be successful. Many athletes go pro for the money, but not for the love of the sport. The only reason I am still able to be successful and in this sport is because I love it so much and am so dedicated.”
Baisden’s business background has also made her cognizant of her own brand. Right now her brand is attached to Texas and her past success here, but she is currently working to figure out what angle she wants to take with her future brand, saying she wants to be a fierce athlete, but wants to win in an honorable and inspiring way and to reach out to youth to help them.
As a program focused on instilling integrity in our graduates, we admire her athletic integrity and look forward to following Kendall this year as she competes in professional meets and in the Olympics trials. The trials are held a couple weeks before the start of the Olympics and it will come down to the final race before she will know if she has a place on Team U.S.A.
Either way, Baisden says this is the start of a great, long career in track, and that if she makes it to the 2016 Olympics, it will not be her last Olympics, but the beginning of many.