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Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Utah defensive back Javelin K. Guidry works out during practice in Salt Lake City on Aug 2, 2018.

SALT LAKE CITY — When Javelin Guidry committed to play football at the University of Utah on Jan. 27, 2017, word began to spread quickly in the Beehive State concerning something many were already well aware of.

Guidry is fast. Very fast.

After moving from California to Texas before his eighth-grade year so his mother Kaishauna could attend medical school at Texas A&M, Guidry won the 5A state championship in the 100 meters as a junior. The Guidrys then moved back to California for Javelin’s senior year, and four months after he signed with the Utes, the defensive back ran the fastest 100-meter time in state history.

When Guidry decided to attend Utah, he did so with the full understanding the school didn’t have a men’s track and field team, although there was some discussion about how he might be able to compete at some point. Then last spring after he finished his freshman football season, Guidry began watching track and field meets, and he missed running in them.

" Five days of work with Jav is like a month and a half with some guys that I have ... "
Larry Weathers

Finally on Jan. 26, one day shy of the two-year anniversary of him committing to the Utes, Guidry returned to the track for his first official meet since high school and did what he had done so many times before: He won.

Not only did he win, but running unattached at the UW Invitational, Guidry took home the title in the 60 meters with a time of 6.59 after having the top time during the qualifying heats. That mark is tied for the seventh-fastest in the entire world so far this year. In the process, Guidry beat out Kyree King, a professional who has represented the United States on the international stage.

Unlike King and the rest of his competition, though, Guidry ran after training for just a few weeks. Having desired to get back into track this spring, the 5-foot-9, 190-pound Guidry consulted with his speed coach in Texas, Larry Weathers. Once the semester started, Guidry hit the McCarthey Family Track & Field Complex on Utah’s campus as well as the football facility and went to work.

Guidry and Weathers regularly checked in with each other via FaceTime as Guidry trained.

“I was proud,” Guidry told the Deseret News of winning. “I was really happy because I was thinking, ‘They do this professionally and train all fall for it, and me being able to just get like a week and a half training in and come out here and win it running 6.59, I’m just blessed for it.”

Beyond just speed, Weathers primarily credits Guidry’s ability to quickly learn techniques and then retain the new knowledge as the biggest reason he’s successful, along with his willingness to focus in on his training.

“Five days of work with Jav is like a month and a half with some guys that I have, two months,” Weathers told the Deseret News. “Deep down inside, he’s a raging tiger. He’s very mild-mannered, but he has a different type of drive and energy inside of him.”

Guidry said the Ute football coaches have been supportive of his decision so long as he doesn’t get injured. After he won, Utah defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley, cornerbacks coach Sharrieff Shah and tight ends coach Fred Whittingham were among the many to congratulate him on Twitter.

Photo provided by Javelin Guidry, Courtesy photo
University of Utah defensive back Javelin Guidry poses for a picture following his win in the 60 meters at the UW Invitational in Seattle, Wash., on Jan. 26, 2019. Guidry will compete in the USA Track & Field Indoor Championships later this month in New York.

Guidry qualified for NCAA Championships in March but won’t be able to compete unattached. However, he also qualified for the USA Track & Field Indoor Championships, which will go from Feb. 22-24 in New York City, and he is set to compete in those.

Spring football will then begin on March 4 for the Utes.

“Even though I raised him, nursed him and all that stuff, I’m still impressed by him as a young man and inspired by the way he’s able to focus and set his mind to a task and then he completes it,” Kaishauna Guidry said. “That really inspires me.”

Guidry’s father, also named Javelin (the younger has a middle initial of K, while the older has one of M), feels there are similarities between what his son does on the track and on the football field.

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“He’s a highly competitive individual, and what he does in track competing directly parallels to what he does in football as a defensive back,” he said. “Really a cover guy, and that’s competing with a receiver against himself, and that competitive drive really sharpens from one sport to the next sport.”

The younger Javelin independently said he sees things that same way.

“I just love to compete,” he said. “Football uses man-to-man, just you and him. In track it’s just you and the finish line, and you’ve got to train and trust your training and trust what you can do and do your best out there. I’m just using what God gave me, and it’s great. It’s fun trying to use my speed to the best of my ability.”