Kyle Hinton: gifted dual sport athlete

As an athlete at the collegiate level, it is a tough task to excel and perform at one sport, but for some athletes they are gifted to compete at two different sports. One of those athletes is senior Kyle Hinton. Hinton is one of the few dual sport athletes for Washburn competing in both football and track and field. On the football field, Hinton is an all-region offensive lineman. As a thrower for the track and field team, he is one of the top discus throwers in Washburn history.

On paper, it says that Hinton hails from Phoenix, Arizona, but since his father moved around with the Army, Hinton said he has spent more of his life in Topeka rather than in Arizona. He lived in Phoenix with his parents, Shonda and Curt, and his little sister Kara. 

“I am from Phoenix, Arizona. My dad was in the Army for 20 years, so I moved around a lot. I have actually lived in Topeka more than I have in Phoenix. My mom is mostly a stay at home mom. Like my dad, she was in the Army too, but she got out of the Army when my sister was born. I have one younger sister, Kara, who is 18 months younger than me,” Hinton said. 

Spending time in Topeka before coming to Washburn helped Hinton decide where he wanted to go to continue playing football. Hinton looked to play football at the next level before he looked to continue his track career. 

“I just liked the overall football program. I really liked all of the coaches and I felt it in my heart to come here,” said Hinton.

Not many people have the will power to play two sports at the college level, but it takes even more talent to be able to compete at a high level for both sports. Hinton knows the challenges are tough, but the return is very rewarding.

“Playing both sports can be stressful at times but can be really rewarding being able to do two sports at a high level,” Hinton said.

Just as both sports can be challenging, both can also be entertaining. Hinton enjoys both sports, but one is higher up on his list than the rest, and his memories of the sports go back to when he was just a kid.

“My favorite sport is football, but track is very fun also, I love throwing. I remember my first memory was when I was playing tackle football when I was seven, I quit because of running so much, but I got back into it and I started loving it and I have been playing ever since then. For track, when I was in high school, I remember seeing one of the seniors throw what seemed like miles farther than me and I thought that I would never get to where he was at, but he taught me how to work out and now I’m just throwing pretty good now,” said Hinton. 

Hinton is an athlete that coaches love to have as a part of their organization. The same goes for Head Track and Field Coach, Cameron Babb who sees the impact that Hinton has made.

“Kyle is such a talented athlete from a physical aspect. His strength and explosiveness are a big reason why he has excelled this season. However, strength and explosiveness are not enough to be successful at this level because most throwers are big and strong in college. His mentality and approach to training has really set him apart as one of the top throwers in the nation this year. I think he sees it as a challenge when others throw further than him, so his competitiveness keeps him hungry to improve each week. He frequently does things in practice that leaves us grinning in disbelief. Kyle is incredibly smart in the classroom and balances the rigors of being a dual sport collegiate athlete between football and track.  Not many individuals can do what he does,” said Babb.