WATERVLIET, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Melique Garcia was always fast. That fact was confirmed when he was a fourth grader, a classmate challenged him to a race determining who was the fastest in the school
“he was like I heard you’re fast so I was just sitting there like I guess kind of, you know I want to race you after. So I was like alright and I ended up winning.”
In high school he played football where he was part of a Class C Super Bowl winning team and wrestled. His journey into track didn’t start until a recommendation from a wrestling coach,
“so he told me and I was like that might be a good idea so I actually left the wrestling team because they had just started an indoor track team.”
It turned out to be the right decision. Garcia was a five time collegiate All-American where he ultimately graduated from SUNY Cortland in 2015. After college he started competing for the Dominican Republic where he almost went to the 2016 Olympics as an alternate in the 4×100 meter relay. A paper work issue kept that from happening.
In 2018 he started competing for Honduras. His mom is part Dominican while his dad is Honduran,
“I feel more in lineage with that side of the family my grandfather is from there they told me a lot about his back story and where he grew up.”
At the end of 2020 Garcia traveled to Costa Rica for the Central American Games. That’s where he secured his spot in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics qualifying in the 100 meter dash,
“It’s a blessing I got to say and it makes you feel like being on that next level you can actually compete with the best of the best.”
At the same competition he was part of a team that set a Honduran national record in the 4×100 meter relay. He has a chance to qualify in that event as well prior to the games. Whether or not they happen is another story due to the pandemic. If he does get the opportunity, the local product is as determined as he’s ever been,
“my goal is to be the first Honduran to run sub ten in the one hundred so if I can run a nine second one hundred then I’ll say alright I’m good, I can retire, I’ll be happy.”
This won’t his first competition on the world stage, he competed at the 2019 World Championships in Doha. Melique also coaches Track and Field at Watervliet.