By Patrick Engel
Ricordo McKenzie can outrun opponents on the track and out-design them in Adobe.
His six Chicago State records support the former. A skim of his LinkedIn page not only substantiates the latter, but hints graphic design is a passion. Track and field is listed as an activity a third of the way down his page. McKenzie’s knowledge of multiple Adobe programs, meanwhile, is in the first sentence of his bio. It’s rooted in his affinity for art, which he developed as a child in Montego Bay, Jamaica. That came years before he turned into a competitive runner and Division I athlete.
“I would just draw stuff, draw me and my mom,” said McKenzie, now a sophomore at Chicago State. “So that sparked the interest.”
His track career, though, took off with a seemingly innocuous decision in 2011, when McKenzie was a freshman at Cornwall College (which, despite the name, is an all-boys secondary school in Montego Bay). McKenzie said he chose to run a few races at Cornwall’s fall interschool track and field competition just for fun.
“I actually ran barefooted,” McKenzie said. “And I won everything.”