Virgin Islander Joshua Hill recently signed with the University of Texas at El Paso. The student athlete has competed for the VI at regional competitions and is looking forward to leaving his mark at the collegiate level.
Mr. Hill spoke with the Beacon about his recent accomplishment and his track and field career. Below are his responses.
Where did you go to high school?
I graduated high school in 2018. So, I went to Cape Sunnyside High School in Houston, Texas. My original plan was to go to college, but unfortunately I had no scholarship so I ended up taking a gap year, and the gap is basically just taken a year off to train and work as hard as you can to get, see if we get any scholarships. So the following year 2019, I was offered a scholarship from the school that I just signed to, but unfortunately I got a redshirt. I wasn’t able to compete.
What school did you sign with?
The University of Texas at El Paso.
What are your events?
I do the 200 and 400 metres.
What success have you had in those events during your high school career?
Throughout my high school career, I haven’t won any titles, but I think my biggest accomplishment so far is making the CARIFTA final in 2018 in the 400 meters in the Bahamas. My personal best in the 400 metres is 47.87 and in the 200 my personal best is 21.31.
Talk about your connection to the Virgin Islands.
My mom (Abigail Hill) and dad (Guy Hill) are from there; they live down there right now. I grew up down there. I was born in Houston, but I grew up down there for a very long time. I lived there since I was about four years old until I was 17.
Tell me what this means to you to to get this scholarship.
It means a lot. I’ve been working real hard. For me to get a scholarship and to be able to sign and be a full student athlete is very exciting. I can’t wait to see what I can do.
What are you going to be studying?
Do you ever see yourself back in the Virgin Islands?
I mean maybe in the future like in the future, future. But right now I don’t see myself living there.
What are some of the things that you do miss about the VI?
I miss the beaches. I miss the food. The people. My family. The entire island culture.
Who are some of the athletes that you look up to? Whether they professional or maybe they’re not even athletes, but mentors or people in your life.
Definitely athlete-wise I would say Andre De Grasse he is a Canadian sprinter and mentor-wise I would say my dad.
Your dad was a pretty good athlete himself.
He’s actually the one that inspired me to do track. I dug deeper into track history and I noticed that he was an Olympian and he accomplished a lot. I knew it was something I wanted to pursue. And the funny thing is, the school that I just signed to he went to college there.
Tell me a little about your daily routine?
In the morning I go to the gym for two hours. Then I go back home and eat and get ready for the afternoon workout from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
That is pretty demanding schedule.
It is. Honestly, it’s like a job.
How are you handling the pandemic?
It has slowed down a lot training-wise. I feel like we should take this time and not see it as a negative, but see it as a positive because you never know what the outcome could be. I have time to put in a lot of work. I contact my coaches online, and I do my classes online. So everything’s pretty much flowing just not in the physical form, everything just has to be online.
What are your goals for this season?
My goals for this season coming up, I would say is to set new personal bests and win as many titles as I can.
(Interview conducted, edited and condensed by Todd VanSickle)