SALT LAKE CITY — A mere eight days before he was to report for football’s spring training camp, Javelin Guidry was competing at the USA Track & Field Championship in Staten Island, New York.
The 5-foot-9 defensive back from the University of Utah had only trained for about a week leading up to the 60-meter championship event. Guidry said he “didn't have a lot of time” training with football conditioning mixed into his workload — not to mention the student part of the student-athlete phrase the NCAA likes to use — but wanted to give it a shot.
“I usually did track workouts in the morning, like early morning, and then I had football in the afternoon.”
Still, the sophomore qualified for the final race and finished sixth with a 6.72 time — an impressive feat considering his competitors are training nonstop for these races. All of his competitors, most certainly, trained for more than one week, and without the burden of a second sport — a time-intensive and demanding sport nonetheless — looming over their head.
But the track called Guidry.
As an athlete in high school, Guidry won the 100-meter championship in both Texas and California, with his latest title coming his senior year at Vista Murrieta High School in Murrieta, California. Guidry ran a 10.13 on June 3, 2017, at the California CIF Outdoor State Championship —a personal best record and the fastest time in California history.
Usain Bolt, the fastest sprinter in the world, set the record at 9.58 in 2009.
Guidry, though, passed up the track and field life to continue his football career at Utah, where he’s expected to be the team’s starter at nickel. But by committing to Utah, where’s there’s no men’s track and field, he’d no longer be able to be a dual-sport athlete as a college student — or at least one officially representing the university.
Guidry said he missed the track, though, and wanted to be back competing with some of the fastest athletes in the U.S. He planned to do it in the spring last year as an unattached runner but held off until 2019. Guidry entered the Washington Invitational in January, which was just short of a month after Utah’s Holiday Bowl appearance on New Year’s Day, and won the race with a 6.59 time.
That time beat out Kyree King, a professional sprinter who has competed internationally for the U.S. and tied for the seventh fastest time in the world this year. A month later, Guidry took sixth in New York — an opportunity he calls “a blessing.”
Still, his competitive drive has him believing that sixth in the United States isn’t good enough.
“Like everyone's congratulating me, like sixth was great. But the competitive side of me wanted first,” he said. “And I knew if I did it full time I would have got first, but it is what it is. It's still learning experience.”
But as long as Guidry is still able to, track will always be a part of his life — even if football doesn’t pan out in the end. It’s a talent that comes naturally to him and he still plans to balance his football life with a budding track life.
The football program has been supportive of Guidry and encourages him to participate as much as he can. Doug Elisaia, the football team’s director of strength and conditioning, even modifies Guidry’s training regiment in the early part of the year to help him balance the two sports that demand different skill sets.
Football is more about building strength and muscle, where training as a sprinter is more about “base work,” or staying lean and getting a lot of running in. But training for both is all about recovery, according to Guidry.
Blessed !!!! 🥇 pic.twitter.com/w3hAwrdXPP— *Javelin K. Guidry (@JavKFootball28) January 27, 2019
“The main thing is recovery — make sure you recover because I'm doing football workouts,” he said. “So just making sure I was recovering in between and sleep was the main thing.”
With track over, for the time being, Guidry’s attention returns solely to football where he feels like he’s mastered the nickel position.
“I feel like coach (Sharrieff) Shah wouldn't say it, but I feel like I've mastered the nickel,” Guidry joked. “I could still get better each and every day, but just learning like more of the outside as well and learning where what everybody else does so that if I'm needed to, I can be versatile in both positions.”
Last season, Guidry recorded 42 total tackles and 3.5 for a loss. He added nine pass breakups and forced one fumble. He stands as one of the fastest defensive backs in the country and one that receivers will have a tough time matching his speed.
“We’re just ready to go.”
Utah has two weeks left to its spring camp and will conclude on April 13 with its annual Red-White game. The game will be at 11 a.m. at Rice-Eccles Stadium.