Tanryn Thorn made it a habit to be a standout track athlete during her time at Central-Phenix City. Now, Thorn is looking to do the same thing at the college level.

Thorn has committed to join the South Carolina State track team. Thorn joins the Bulldogs program after a stellar high school career in which she won four state championships and also captured a New Balance track meet championship as well.

“It’s an HBCU that’s not really recognized, and I want to bring attention to it,” said Thorn, who chose South Carolina State over Florida A&M and Texas Southern. “South Carolina State is close to home, and the people I’ve talked to there are so very welcoming that they made me feel like I made the right decision.

“I was very nervous but extremely excited because I knew this was a big decision that’ll impact me for the rest of my life.”

Thorn came through as part of Central’s relay teams in the 2018-2019 school year. She helped Central win indoor state titles in the 4x400-meter relay as well as the 4x200 then followed that up during outdoor season by contributing on Central’s title-winning 4x400 and 4x100 relay teams. Thorn also finished third in Class 7A in the 200 with a time of 24.6 seconds.

In Central coach Charles Fortune’s opinion, Thorn was an athlete who was crucial in the team’s recent track success.

“The four championships that she was a part of, she was a vital part of all of those. She has been the lead-off leg as well as the anchor leg on some of the relays. She’s versatile from the standpoint of being moved around. She understands her roles in each position she’s on on the relay team. She’s one of the top quarter milers we’ve had since she started running,” Fortune said. “She’s got all kinds of natural talent. The things more than anything else is I still don’t believe she knows right now just how good she can be.

“She works to get better, and like I said she’s got the ability. It’s just a matter of her understanding that she has potential to be very good.”

Thorn’s Central career ultimately had a disappointing ending. After setting a new personal record with a 57.9-second 400 in the indoor season, Thorn had her sights set on adding some more medals to her collection before the outdoor season ended early.

Still, Thorn said being at Central has set her up to take the next step in her athletic career.

“I feel like it really prepared me well,” Thorn said. “We did some extreme workouts this year where sometimes I wanted to give up, but I kept going. That’s why I know I’m ready.”

Thorn is excited about the road ahead, saying she is looking forward to building relationships with new people and helping put South Carolina State track on the map. She said she plans on competing in the 400 and 4x400 relay in college and may also run the 4x200 relay and the 200 as well.

Thorn did her part while at Central to help the team stand out as one of the best in the state of Alabama. Now, she’s counting down the days until she can contribute in a similar manner at South Carolina State.

“I’m extremely ready,” Thorn said. “I could go tomorrow — well, after I finish dorm shopping of course.”

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