The Convenience of Excellence


Tanya always knew how to win a race with flair, sprinting hard enough off of the curve so she could begin the victory lap around the 360-meter mark. On October 21, 2016 Tanya Harris Fleming continued that victory lap as she ran her way into the UNC Asheville Athletics Hall of Fame as a result of her success in the classroom and on the track.  Thank you Tanya for trusting me as a coach and for the honor of introducing you, through the words listed below, into that Hall of Champions.

“Within track & field, athletes are known to disagree on what event brings the most challenge.  In their tireless debate, athletes will consider every millisecond, centimeter, and calorie to gain an advantage. However, after two-decades of coaching, I have found that it’s the athlete, not the event, that defines toughness.

This is because most of us can complete these events, but not everyone can compete for victory while overcoming immense pressure and fatigue, as this requires a commitment to excellence.

Excellence requires effort; and effort is not convenient.

No one knows this more than Tanya Harris Fleming.

  1. Moving alone, from Florida to North Carolina, was not convenient.
  1. Embracing a different culture as a result of that move, was not convenient.
  1. Using her free time after practice to study hard enough to become a 3-time Big South All-Academic athlete was not convenient.
  1. Taking time out of her already full schedule to serve as the Chancellor’s student-liaison for campus diversity was not convenient.
  1. Building a flawless transcript and resume that allowed her to enter Law School was not convenient.
  1. Coming to practice day in and day out, often times while her teammates where away for spring and summer break, so she could prepare for the NCAA regional championships was not convenient.
  1. Dominating the 400m Dash as a result of her hard work was convenient.

 Convenient because she put in the effort required of becoming excellent. And that commitment to excellence forged a path to the podium.  A podium within the UNC Asheville Athletics Hall of Fame where Tanya Harris Fleming has entered as one of the most decorated track and field athletes in the history of Big South Sports”.