Meet The Freeze: Nigel Talton Wants To Make The 2018 World Indoors Team

The Freeze may have lost his first race as the mascot for a mid-inning promotion during Atlanta Braves games, but it was a win over a prematurely celebrating fan this past Friday that spread a cold front over the internet:


Underneath the flashy costume is Nigel Talton, an aspiring track star with a message for other sub-elite sprinters. A graduate of Peach County High in Georgia and a former collegiate sprinter for Iowa Wesleyan and Shorter University, the 26-year-old Talton has been on the Braves' grounds crew since 2012.
 
FloTrack got on the phone with Talton to share his story. He was an obvious candidate for The Freeze once he demonstrated he could round the bases in under 15 seconds, and he has the track times to back it up. Talton holds impressive lifetime PRs of 6.73 in the 60m, 10.47 in the 100m, and 21.66 in the 200m. He had a successful career in the NAIA at Shorter University that included a third-place individual finish in the 100m in 2012, and he continued that success post-collegiately to make the final of the 2013 U.S. Indoor Championships in the 60m.
 
Watch Talton get third in the NAIA 100m final:


Talton came out of college as an accomplished athlete, but in the cutthroat world of track and field, his times were not good enough to secure a sponsorship. Having made a U.S. indoor final, he's aiming for 2018 world indoors, telling FloTrack: "Don't give up on your dreams... I just want to make a team before I'm done. My route to that path was detoured, and this came upon me, so right now I'm just continuing to train… just training and saving up for next year."
 
One of the detours that Talton is referring to is the fact that he had to leave his longtime coach Derrick Atkins (2007 World Championship silver medalist in the 100m for the Bahamas and Asafa Powell's cousin) to accommodate his busy work schedule. Talton works two jobs and is seeking a sponsor to give him an opportunity to train for the 2018 U.S. Indoor Championships, with a goal of making 2018 Indoor Worlds team in the 60m. Talton described his training as heavily endurance-based, choosing to focus more on 300m, 400m, and even 600m interval repeats to improve his strength when he finds a rare moment to train.
 
Like many athletes at his level before him, Talton laments the lack of post-collegiate support. The Freeze is essentially a side gig that subsidizes his dream. 

"I just want to have the opportunity to train as a professional track runner," Talton said. "I wish there was a program for us athletes. It's so hard for us athletes that don't have sponsors that have potential. It's very hard, that's why I work two jobs. I'm going to continue to keep my faith and continue working for the indoor season... It's not about me, I'm just doing it to inspire others and to entertain." 

Certainly, Talton has provided one of the most entertaining sprint moments of 2017.

Watch The Freeze run on FloTrack:

Amy Cragg and Laura Thweatt Added To Chicago Marathon Field

Press Release

How Can The Athletics World Cup Be Improved?

For the United States, the Athletics World Cup this past weekend in London was a success. 

Ben Thomas To Lead Oregon Distance Program

One of the collegiate track and field’s most high-profile jobs is no longer vacant. 

Texas Names Pete Watson As Men's XC/Distance Coach

The University of Texas has named Pete Watson the men's distance and cross country coach. 

Making Sense Of U20s, American Men Dominate The 100m; Weekend Recap

It was a crowded week on the schedule in the world of track and field. The IAAF World U20 Championships spanned six days, the Athletics World Cup occupied the weekend, and Rabat Diamond League took place on Friday. 

U20s Day 6 Recap: Tia Jones Wraps Up U20s With Gold

Earning her second international gold in two seasons and her first IAAF World U20 Championship, Walton High School (GA) junior Tia Jones closed 2018 with quite the performance with a win in the 100 meter hurdles on Sunday in Tampere, Finland. 

Breaking Down The Final Day Of The AAU Club Championships

The final day of the AAU Club National Championships on Saturday was full of record-breaking and elite performances. 

U20s Day 5 Recap: Team USA Finally Lands Gold

The IAAF World U20 Championships have, at times, been a frustrating experience for Team USA.

Day 6 Semifinal Results Promise Epic Ending For AAU Club Nationals

2018 AAU Club Nationals Highlight: 9yo Destyni Devine Breaks Club 200m Record

The sixth day of competition at the AAU Club Championships on Friday was brimming with promising semifinal performances, which bodes well for the final day of competition.

Matthew Centrowitz Joins UW As Volunteer Coach

UW Press Release