By: Meghan Triplett
Tennessee State University's long list of athletes that have competed on the international level can add one more name to the list.
Markeith Price made another appearance in world championship competition competing as a member of the 2011 U.S. Paralympics' Team for the International Paralympics Athletic World Track & Field Championships held in New Zealand.
Price participated in the international multi-sport event in January in which athletes with physical disabilities compete against each other in different tiers based on the person's disability.
In the T-3 category, which classifies Price as legally blind, he finished 6th in the long jump (6.43m) out of 12 internationally ranked competitors and 4th in the 200m dash (23.68) out of nine ranked opponents.
"I thought I did pretty well," Price said about his results. "It didn't come out the way I wanted it, but it is okay because I will get them next time in London and then hopefully in 2016 in the Olympics."
In the 400m, Price suffered a disqualification as a result of stepping out of his lane. It was the first time he had been disqualified in world competition.
Although Price did not bring home a medal, he did not let it shadow his enthusiasm because it validated his motto for life: "To keep shooting for what I want to do and keep pursuit of my dreams."
As a sprinter and a jumper, Price has not allowed his disability to hold back his efforts in competing in track and field. He was born with his vision impaired and has been involved in the sport since the age of 11, since then, competing on different levels.
Back in 2005, he won gold medals for the long jump and the 600m in the IBSA World Youth Championships. He added a silver medal in 2007 in the triple jump at the IBSA World Games, and in 2009 at the IBSA Pan American Games, he won the event and added a gold medal in the 400m.
According to the U.S Association of Blind Athletes Indoor Track & Field, Price currently holds the records for the 200m, 400m, 800m, and long jump.
Price is the second Tennessee State athlete to compete in the Paralympics. Former TSU standout, Ryan Fann, competed on the 2004 Paralympic National Team. Both Fann and Price were coached by current TSU men's track and field head coach, Kelly Carter.
Carter, who coached the 2008 Paralympic National Team, was excited about Price's performance in New Zealand.
"I loved it. It was a great experience for him," Carter said. "It was great for him to get out there and see the world and see his competition; while being able to work with the current paralympic athletes and coaches. He had to buy into the program. He is one of mine. I could not think of not having him around me. He is like a son to me."
Price will compete under TSU as a member of the track and field team for the 2010-2011 indoor and outdoor seasons before competing in the Paralympic Pan American Games later this year.