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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Brandeis sprinter Vincent Asante excels

Published: April 20, 2012
Section: Features

Brandeis track star Vincent Asante ’14 came to the United States from Ghana three and a half years ago and despite his time here he still considers Ghana his home.

He does admit that he feels as though Ghana has changed from when he used to live there. Having been away from the country for so long and having not seen his family and old friends, he knows the situation in his homeland will not be exactly the same. Asante was brought to Brandeis through a Posse scholarship, given each year to 10 students out of a pool of 1,600 applicants. The 10 students are selected for their academic ability, leadership and communication skills.

Asante is an explosive sprinter who competes in the 160- and 200-meter events, as well as the four-by-one relay when the chance arises. He developed an interest in track in high school, after finding that he disliked his soccer coach. Asante then tried out for the track team and realized that he was good at sprinting. Aware that he had never liked long-distance running, he “decided to compete in the sprints in his first heat.”

Depending on the competition, Asante preps himself for his events in different ways. If he hasn’t worked out for a few days, or if it is the start of the new season, he is generally nonchalant.

“I just go through it, see where I’m at and judge myself,” he said. After his event, he makes plans on how to improve and works on them during his training sessions. When he is going to a meet where the competition is known to be tougher and the stakes are higher, however, Asante admits he becomes nervous the night before. In order to combat this, he gives full reign to his goofy side, confessing himself to be a natural joker. He chooses to deal with his anxiety by “just relaxing, playing around and saying ridiculous things that no one understands just to chill out.”

This side of Asante is evident in his character right from the onset. He has a wide smile and an easy-going personality, an attitude that has gained him many friends, although he is still a conscientious student. His girlfriend spearheaded a movement with his friends to get him tickets to go back to Ghana this summer, where he will stay for three weeks before he returns in order to pursue a summer job.

As of now, he is an HSSP—Health, Science, Society, and Policy—major, planning to go into physical therapy. He believes that going into this field will help him learn how his own body works and how better to improve his own performance, in addition to helping other people recover from their own injuries. Asante is motivated. Each time he steps on the track, he looks to better his best times, to hold on to a consistent high standard.

He is also involved on campus, working and holding a Community Advisor position in addition to keeping his scholarship and competing on the track team. Although it is difficult for him to manage his time with so many responsibilities and priorities, he does so well. He says with a smile, “time management is what I eat daily.”

After his time at Brandeis, Asante hopes to go to graduate school for physical therapy, but would like to stay involved in track. He hopes to come back and coach at some point. In the meantime, he wants to enjoy his stay at Brandeis with his friends on and off the track team. He says that the team has a special bond given that he loves his teammates. While Asante has recently been finishing third in most of his events, he hopes to improve and return to winning ways.