By Veronica Perry
Nicole Yeargin began running track her senior year of high school – fast forward years later, and now she is on-course to compete for Scotland in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics and earn a USC Price degree in real estate. Yeargin’s mother Lyn was born and raised in Dunfermline, qualifying her to run for the country.
Prior to her university sports career, Yeargin played soccer and served as the kicker on the men’s football team. When she joined track, her only goal was to get in shape. It began with high jumps and hurdles, but she soon discovered an innate talent during one memorable race. “It wasn’t until I ran my first 300m race indoor that we all found out I had some speed behind me,” Yeargin said. After that, her growth as a sprinter began to flourish.
“Individual sports are a great way to improve your self-motivation and work on yourself for yourself,” said Yeargin. “Knowing I can push my body to its limit and see improvement from it motivates me to go hard each day in practice. Competing is the time to show everyone how much sweat and tears you’ve put into practice.”
When she’s not competing, Yeargin puts this same passion into her real estate classes at the Price School. “I chose to study at USC because I knew, on and off the track, the school is one of the top in the nation,” Yeargin said. “After my visit, I knew I would be surrounded by driven, successful young people on the track team and in the classroom.”
Yeargin shared that real estate and construction run in her family. As a child, she saw her father build and renovate residential and commercial buildings. “Watching the passion he has for his work and the success that follows inspired me to go into the real estate field too,” she said.
Her biggest challenge at USC so far as a student-athlete is time management. “My day consists of class, practice, weightlifting, tutoring, rehab before and after practice, and trying to squeeze in healthy meals and enough sleep,” she explained. With a full plate, Yeargin is conscious of planning her day to minimize stress and optimize performance, both on the field and in the classroom. In the future, Yeargin aspires to run professionally and eventually sign a shoe deal. Once she retires from the track, she intends to invest in real estate, or work with a developer to learn more about the business.
Although COVID-19 has affected her immediate future plans, none have been permanently cancelled. She will still compete in the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 and looks forward to graduating from USC spring 2021. “The Olympics and track season might be postponed but I still plan to be as competitive if not more than I was the year before,” she said proudly. “All I can do is separate myself from the pack and prove I came here to compete, win, and give it my all!”