Greg Flint's time of 49.81 in the 400-meter hurdles ranks second all time among BYU's best in the 400m hurdles. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
The 400-meter hurdle is a race where the weak do not survive. It takes every ounce of energy and stamina to complete the grueling quarter-mile run. Mental toughness and a willingness to push yourself to the limits, not to mention a pair of thoroughbred legs, are some requirements one must have in order to compete.
For Flint, these requirements are things the senior grew up on and has implemented into everything he strives to do.
Growing up on a farm in Kaysville, Utah, Flint was taught that hard work, effort, dedication and enjoying what you do are traits one must learn in order to keep a farm running. But not only did his parents, John and Shauna Flint, teach the young stallion how to run a farm, they taught Flint a great deal more.
"My grandpa and dad really instilled that learning how to work is the most important thing," Flint said. "And that work ethic can carry over into different aspects of your life, whether it's a professional career or athletics."
Even at a young age, Flint had to put to use the characteristics his parents had been teaching his three older sisters and himself.
At the age of eight-years-old, Flint attended a track meet at Davis High School where his father coached the track and field team, featuring a group of javelin throwers that ranked among the state's best. So Coach Flint decided to bring the javelin to the football field, where everyone could get a look at the talent these athletes bore.
A young and eager Flint accompanied his father to the football field. A slight breeze swirled around the stadium, and Flint and his father stood out-of-bounds and watched the talent unfold in front of their eyes. But no one expected the event that would unfold moments later. This single event signifies the type of life Flint has had and the type of person he has become.
Standing out of bounds, young Flint watched as a Davis athlete prepared to throw the javelin. As the athlete began to throw, his knee buckled causing the javelin to go off course. Flint saw what happened and stood in shock as the javelin headed in his direction.
"I saw it coming and I went into shock," Flint said. "The next thing I knew I was on the ground and the javelin went all the way through my thigh and when I hit the ground it bounced back out barely missed the artery and skinned my bone. So I was in the hospital for a couple of weeks."
Six months later, Flint regained his strength and returned to his chores on the farm and to workouts at the track with his dad. But the incident left Flint with a scar and mark he will always remember. When the accident occurred the doctors thought his leg would get infected and that he may have to loose the leg, or, if it happened to be severe enough, Flint could loose his life.
Flint and his family are happy the doctors' worst fears didn't occur.
"It's a pretty good miracle considering what happened and that I'm back and have no problems now," said Flint.
The father and son would pair up later in high school as his father coached Flint to two consecutive state championships in 1996-97. His junior year in high school, Flint set a state record in the 300-meter hurdles. His state record was later broken while Flint served a mission in Taichung, Taiwan, for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Once his two-year service in Taiwan ended, the newly returned missionary made his home at BYU. Flint said BYU suited him the best for what he wanted to do.
"I felt like I'd have more opportunities here, because we travel more and it would be positive spiritually and educationally," Flint said. "And I felt like BYU was well-known in its construction management department. It just felt right coming here."
Flint has been a stallion on the track at BYU. Posting exceptional times in the events he enters. His best marks include: a 49.81 in the 400m hurdles, a 14.5 in the 110-meter hurdles, and a 46.3 in the 400-meter dash.
"I don't think I've been really blessed with a lot of natural ability," Flint said. "I felt like I've had to work for what I've accomplished."
Flint helped lead the Cougar men to their second straight MWC Indoor title and their fourth title in five years. But this year's men's title came down to the 4x400 relay.
"The meet came down to the 4x400," Flint said. "We needed to win the 4x400 in order to win the meet. So we had a lot of pressure on us."
The MWC Indoor title was left in the hands of Matt Rowe, Paul Smith, Ben Gardner and Flint.
"Matt got us a good lead and we just sustained the lead throughout the whole race and won the race and won the meet," Flint said. "So it was really kind of an emotional win and it was fun for us to win the meet that way."
Flint has qualified for the Olympic trials this summer. But before the Olympics come around, Flint has some unfinished business he would like to take care of.
"I want to make it to Nationals," Flint said. "My goal is to be an All-American."
In order for Flint to reach his goal, he'll need to qualify in the top eight to become an All-American.
"Last year I got disqualified in the first round at Nationals," Flint said. "I had some rough luck last year at Nationals, so this year I want a little revenge."
Flint graduated in April with a degree in construction management. He and his wife Erin now live in Layton, Utah.
When his career is done at BYU, Flint hopes the things his parents and grandpa instilled in him will have left an impression with the younger class of track athletes.
"I hope to be remembered by my work ethic," Flint said. "Hopefully I left an impression with the younger guys. I hope they know that through hard work you can accomplish your goals and by looking out for your teammates, pushing them in practice, and encouraging one another, it helps out the team and at the same time you benefit as a person."