Houston back on track after NFL journey
Tre Houston admits that exploring a route into the NFL was to the detriment of his athletics career, but says he has no regrets and has rediscovered his love for the sport.
Houston put sprinting on the back burner for two months last year while preparing for trials with the New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs in the hope of being selected as a wide receiver or punt-return specialist.
The 28-year-old, who runs in the 200 metres heats tomorrow, did not make the cut with either team and had to then pick up the pieces of a disjointed athletics season.
“Last season wasn’t great for me because I was trying out for the NFL and trying to do track at the same time. My body was burnt out,” Houston said. “It was a complete distraction and when I got the opportunity I was just studying tapes day in, day out for those eight weeks.
“I was just trying to learn everything I could before my tryouts. I just said, ‘forget track, the NFL is where it’s at!’
“I have no regrets; it was an amazing experience. I’d never played football in my life, never went to college for it.
“I don’t think it was meant for me, but if I’d grown up in the States I would have probably been playing football.”
Houston’s build-up to the Gold Coast has been less than perfect.
He returned to Bermuda from his namesake city in the United States, where had been based for a number of years, at the end of last season and will be opening his season at Carrara Stadium after missing several meets in the US because of injuries.
“This is year has been trial and error for me,” Houston said. “I’ve been at home from the off-season until March, training under DeVon Bean, and I then went to Orlando for two weeks just before coming here.
“I’m trying to strengthen my mind to say that I’m ready because this going to be my first meet of the season. It’s not been easy and for me to come out here shows character. I’m going to have to dig deep.”
Houston says he is not overly concerned with bettering his personal best of 20.42sec. It is all about reaching the semi-finals for the Bermudian, who has not done so since the 2010 Delhi Games when he ran 21.25.
“It’s not my first Games, so I already know what to expect and what I need to do to get out of the rounds,” said Houston, who hopes to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“I’ll treat every round like it’s the final and the main goal is just to make the semis.
“It’s fairly early for a championships and I’m just going to leave it all on the track. I’m not too focused on a PB, it’s just about getting to the next round, whatever it takes.”
Today Athletics: Tyrone Smith, men’s long jump qualifiers, 10.30pm.
Tomorrow Athletics: Tre Houston and Kyle Webb, men’s 200 metres heats, 12.05am.
Wednesday Athletics: Tyrone Smith, long jump final, 7.30am* Tre Houston and Kyle Webb, 200 semi-finals, 7.50am*. Mountain biking: Flora Duffy, women’s cross-country, 10.30pm.
Thursday Athletics: Tre Houston and Kyle Webb, 200 final, 9am*
Saturday Tyler Butterfield: men’s marathon, 7.15pm
*Should athletes qualify
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