Q&A: Track and field athlete, Khala Clarke, spends her free time blogging

Clarke discusses balancing track, school and her blog ‘Evolved Creativity’


Deondre Pasquini - The State Hornet

Track athlete Khala Clarke sprints out of blocks after her practice. When she’s not running track, Clarke spends her time working on her blog ‘Evolved Creativity’ and her YouTube channel.

Imani Morton

Third-year track and field athlete Khala Clarke made the Sacramento State Hornets team her sophomore year after a 12-day tryout.

Her love for track began after trying various sports in high school through her coaches’ recommendations, and track was the sport that stuck with her. Although the 400-meter hurdle athlete is very dedicated to track, Clarke also has another passion — writing.

Clarke is a journalism major who splits her time between running track and keeping up with her blog, Evolved Creativity, where she interviews up-and-coming artists such as photographers and rappers. Along with her interviews, she puts together videos for her YouTube channel.

The State Hornet spoke with Clarke about both of these passions, and how she balances the two.

Question: How did you get into track and field?

Answer: I started running in high school. I was a cheerleader my whole life, and once I got into high school, I didn’t cheer with all the other Pop Warner girls because I lived somewhere else. So, I didn’t make the cheer team and I was like OK, I gotta do a sport. So I did volleyball, and then my volleyball coach was like, “You’re so long, you should do basketball.” So I played basketball, and my basketball coach was like, “Whoa, you should do track. You’re so fast!” And so I did track, and track was what I was best at.

Q: How did you make the team at Sacramento State?

A: Senior year (of high school), I wasn’t recruited by any teams except for Redlands. So I would talk to coach Kim (Sac State track and field coach) and things like that. But, I didn’t get on the team my freshman year so I took a whole year off of track. And then I officially tried out last year. It was like a 12-day tryout, too.  

I literally started on one of the hardest workout days ever. But, I was able to keep up and they were like, “She has potential.” And they kept me on the team. They didn’t even tell me I was on the team, though. They just started giving me gear.

Q: What do you do to prepare for meets as far as practice and diet?

A: I always make sure I have clothes laid out for practice before I leave for when I get back home from school. I make sure I eat something a little healthy depending on the day. On technical days, I don’t have to be too strict with my diet even though we do a lot of stuff. I can still eat something like spaghetti and Texas Toast or something like that as lunch. But on hard days, it has to be a very light lunch maybe like a sandwich with baked chips on the side. I hate baked chips. But I’m not too crazy with my diet. But, I don’t eat out so it works out. I’m not a big fan of fast food so I cook everything.  

Q: What are your goals with track?

A: I always keep my eye on the school record. I’m always chasing down my teammates. It’s competition, so every time I run it’s like I’m running to chase down my time or my (personal record). My current is 1:05. That’s good right now, but I want to get that down to 1:02 or one minute by the end of the season.

I’m one out of a few athletes that aren’t on scholarships. I don’t get anything from the team money wise. They don’t pay my tuition or my housing. My tuition is paid through CalVet and my parents pay out of pocket for my living. So, that’s my goal too, is try to get a partial scholarship or something but I really just do it for the love of the sport so I don’t really think too much about it.

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Q: What inspired you to start a blog and a YouTube channel?

A: With starting track last year, it kind of held me back from doing a lot of my journalism stuff. Freshman year and last year, I worked really hard on my writing and I really kept up with that stuff but then I kind of fell off a little last year when I started getting into track and was trying to get on the team.

So this year I was thinking, “I’m going to be a senior next year, I need to get my stuff together.” And I kind of missed writing, and I always wanted to start my YouTube channel and a blog. That’s why I dove into it. I was already working on it for so long so I was like, “You know what, I need to get this together one day.” One Sunday, I sat down and just did it.

Q: How did you know you wanted your subjects to be upcoming artists?

A: I took Phillip Reese’s class 130 A & B last year. We did our beats and I was the entertainment beat. I did all my stories on a cafe that did poetry and open mic night, I did one on a YouTuber, I did one on two artists and all underground rap artists like AJ and a whole bunch of other rappers on campus. And it was so fun.

When it came to AJ, I went to his concerts, I was sitting in on his studio sessions, and I was like, “This is hecka fun. Like all l have to do is go to these concerts and watch people edit videos? Like, this is fun.” I was like I think I’m going to go back to doing that because it was entertaining, interesting, and it was easy to find things to write about.

Q: How did you come up with the title “Evolved Creativity” for your blog and YouTube channel?

A: I think it takes a long time for everyone to find their passion, and finally getting it started. Like a developing process. For me, because I write poetry and stuff like that, it takes a long time for it to build up, it’s a lot of emotion. So, after time, it’s like, evolved. I also paint and it takes months for me to get one painting out but once I do it’s like, “Dang, that took a long time. And this is like really creative and beautiful stuff.” I learned that from AJ, too, because he literally came from nothing to doing all this stuff now. He’s huge now. Sprite is sponsoring him and all this stuff so it’s amazing. Everyone is just evolving in their creativeness.

Q: Is it hard keeping up with your blog, schoolwork, and track?

A: It’s crazy, especially right now. It’s the end of the semester, so all of your professors want to give you a thousand homework pieces, and track is picking up. We have meets and we’ve been traveling and stuff like that so it is a little hard. So it’s really hard to keep up, but, as long as I’m keeping up with myself and taking personal days, then I can do it.

Sometimes, I’ll squeeze in watching my shows. When I cook, I watch my shows and then I’ll go straight to doing homework. Or I’ll try to do homework wherever I can. Right when I get to practice, sometimes I have maybe an hour before we practice so I’ll do my homework in there and finish whole assignments so I can do something at home. Or I’ll watch my shows here and go home and only do homework. And weekends I’ll usually dedicate to my interviews and stories.

Q: What do you have planned next for Evolved Creativity?

A: I have a lot of stuff. I have a couple more artists that I’m going to be interviewing and I want to keep the blog going but I think I’m going to start my own website with it so that it’s easier to navigate. Because WordPress is super confusing. I’m really not tech savvy, it’s so funny. I’m not tech savvy at all so WordPress kind of throws me off. And I kind of want to build from it because a lot of people say bloggers aren’t journalists so I don’t know what I’m going to do about that.