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View From The Hill: A promise to his grandmother kept WKU sprinter on track to finish college

Published: Apr. 29, 2021 at 5:38 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Dartez Hamlin, a student athlete graduating from WKU this weekend, says it was a promise made to his grandmother that helped push him over the finish line.

His love of running and his desire to help others have also fueled his success.

“I tell everybody that. I didn’t think I was gonna be in the position I am right now to graduate college.

Me and school never mixed. Like we never had like a oh I love going to school, I love turning in, like I never liked school.

But I made a promise to my grandmother before she died that I was going to get my college degree so that’s the only thing that kept me going through these last four years of college.”

A promise and a love of running brought Dartez Hamlin to WKU two years ago as a transfer student.

“Track has been within me since I was little.”

He says the desire to do one thing prompted the determination to do another.

“Coach Chumbley is very strict, he’s a stickler on ‘make sure you have good grades or if you don’t have good grades you can’t compete.’ So I was like, I need to compete because I love running.”

The sprinter also has a giving spirit which earned him the Conference USA Spirit Award last month.

“All the community service I do with me and my mother, I do out of the kindness of my heart. Even if I did win the award, which I did or if I didn’t get the award, it wouldn’t change the stuff that I’m doing now.”

Unfortunately, Hamlin will be competing on Saturday and won’t be able to attend his graduation ceremony.

“I have mixed feelings on it. It’s more like my family, if my family wanted to see me walk the stage and like you know, commence and see like oh, Dartez finally got his college degree.”

But he says a teammate snapped some graduation photos he’s eager to share.

“I have those to be on display and send out to my family.”

Once his track season ends, Hamlin has a goal of training for the 2021 Olympic Trials. WKU will hold commencement ceremonies at Houchens LT Smith Stadium on Saturday at ten am and six pm.

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