Darian Mills won three state championships during his time as a Tiger Shark. [ Bill Fauth | Contributed ]

PSJ standout hurdler to transfer to University of South Florida

After a successful first collegiate season at Thomas University, Port St. Joe track standout Darian Mills will be transferring to the University of South Florida for his sophomore year, where he hopes to face even bigger hurdles.

“I’m excited to go to a bigger division with a lot of competition,” he said of why he decided to make the change. “I believe in my talent and my ability to face those challenges.”

“I want to see my limits pushed. I want to be with some of the top athletes and see what I can be, what I’m capable of.”

Mills attended Port St. Joe High School from 2020 to 2022, transferring to the school for his junior and senior years after meeting Track Coach Keion McNair.

During his time at PSJHS he won three state championships in hurdles before committing to Thomas University.

In May, Mills became the first All-American that Thomas University has ever produced after placing third in the 400 meter hurdles at the NAIA National Outdoor Track and Field Championships. 

The University of South Florida’s track team competes in NCAA Division I.

Mills said that along with welcoming the challenge of a larger institution and athletic division, part of the reason he’s seeking to transfer is to serve as a role model for children in the communities where he grew up.

He recently coached local children at a track summer camp alongside McNair.

“It was really cool to see the kids so excited about track, just like I was when I was at that point,” he said.

“I want to be an inspiration to kids that might have the same aspirations and dreams as me, and I want them to be able to look up to me as a role model. They should never sleep on their dreams, and they should know they can get up and chase them.”

Mills, who is studying biology and hopes to become a dentist,said he is thankful for those along the way who helped him earn this opportunity.

“I would like to thank my coaches back at Thomasville, Scott Gowan and Stephen Thomas, for training me and giving me the opportunity to compete at the collegiate level.

His classes will begin in Tampa on Aug. 21.

Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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