April 17, 2019

Karrington Winters: Big Ten Medal Of Honor Finalist

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Karrington Winters is a two-time Big Ten Champion and holds the school record in both the indoor 4×400-meter relay and the indoor 600-meter run. A three-time USTFCCCA First Team All-American and two-time selection to the second team, Winters is part of three of the four-fastest indoor 4×400-meter relay times in program history. Winters, from Reynoldsburg, Ohio, is an Ohio State scholar-athlete, Academic All-Big Ten selection and Big Ten Distinguished Scholar and was named the 2019 Student Life’s Outstanding Senior Award.

Ohio State Buckeyes

What was been the most rewarding experience or opportunity during your time as a Buckeye student-athlete?

My time as SAAC President has been the most rewarding experience and opportunity during my time as a Buckeye student-athlete. Not only has it opened many doors and opportunities, but it has given me the platform to make a difference and give back to the student-athlete community. I have had the pleasure to develop stronger relationships with sports administrators, Athletic Council members, and a wide array of student-athletes. I have grown a deeper appreciation for the Athletic Department, SASSO, and everyone whose jobs are to better the student-athletes’ lives through my role on SAAC. This role made me into a better person and enriched my student-athlete experience because I’ve become more involved and more impactful in the community.

What makes you a good candidate for this award? Is there anyone, in particular, you would like to thank for helping you during your time at Ohio State?

 I am a great candidate for this award because I have mastered the balance of being a student-athlete, performing at the top of my field competitively and in the classroom, all while dedicating time to the betterment of the student-athlete community. From a World U20 Championship Gold medal in 2016 to individual and team Big Ten titles and  First Team All-American honors to earning Big Ten Distinguished Scholar Honors, my involvement in the Ohio State and Big Ten student-athlete community has remained strong. I have strived to leave a lasting legacy on the track through historic achievements individually and through relays, scholastically through academic honors, and within the student-athlete community as SAAC President. I believe I embody the values of a student-athlete through my unwavering dedication to my sport, my university, my fellow student-athletes, and to my studies.

I would like to thank:

….Karen Dennis, Joel Brown, and the entire coaching staff of the Men’s and Women’s Track and Field/CC program for their belief in me throughout my entire career. 

….Maddy McInytre, Ben Waite, and the entire Development floor for helping me kick start my professional career as their intern as a part of the 2017 Huntington Bucks Go Pro Class.

……Gene Smith, TJ Shelton, Derek Cowherd and the Athletic Department for their belief in the young woman I am becoming and endless opportunities.

…..most importantly, my parents and family for their unconditional support and advice. 

In your opinion what does it mean to be a student-athlete, especially at a university like Ohio State?

The definition of a student-athlete is a participant in an organized competitive sport sponsored by the educational institution in which he or she is enrolled; however, I believe being a Buckeye is so much more. Being a student-athlete at THE Ohio State University is to be a part of something bigger than yourself. It’s about being a part of the people, the tradition, and the excellence. Being a student-athlete is about the balance of athletics, school, personal life, and your social life. It calls for discipline as you are not only a full-time student, but a full-time athlete. Countless hours of blood, sweat, tears, and constantly pushing your body to the limit in order to compete at the highest level of intercollegiate athletics all while receiving an education from one of the top universities in the world is no task for the weak-minded. To be a student-athlete at THE Ohio State University is an honor, a responsibility, and it means that you are entrusted with wearing the block O with great pride. 

What are your post-college plans? After graduation, how do you plan to take what you have learned as a student-athlete into the business world/professional athletic endeavors

After college, I will be beginning my journey as a Merchandiser at the Abercrombie and Fitch Headquarters as a part of their Leadership Development Program. In addition, I will be sitting on the Ohio State Athletics Culture Review Committee and plan to become an active member of Varsity O, become a peer leader through the Wolstein Leadership Academy, and make a difference as an alumna. 

My time at Ohio State has provided a great foundation to build upon; I will cross over into the professional world with a host of transferable skills. Each year of my collegiate experience taught me invaluable lessons. First came time management, followed by persistence, facing adversity, and accountability. In the professional world, I plan to get accustomed to my new schedule through leaning on my time management skills. Once I get the schedule down and start to get accustomed to my new life, I plan to stay persistent with being curious and being a sponge in the workplace. When times get tough, and they will, I plan to utilize my ability to stay content and to see the bigger picture in the face of adversity. Lastly, throughout it all, I will hold myself accountable every step of the way. There will be no coach constantly over my shoulder and no teammates to “practice” with day in and day out. Due to my time at Ohio State, I will also take my ability to excel and work effectively in a group setting or be given a task to work on individually for the betterment of the entire group.