It's a huge opportunity for Mississippi State and the city of Starkville when Tavaris Tate takes part in the Olympic Trials later this week.
The former Starkville High School sprinter realizes the magnitude of the stage, but still focuses on having a good time.
"It's a blessing just to have the opportunity to run for the Trials and even have an opportunity to run for my country like I have before," Tate said. "Going into it, I really don't have any stressful thoughts. I look at it as another meet and I'm going to enjoy what I do and making it to the next day."
Tate leaves for Eugene, Ore., with his father Russell today and competes in the 400-meter dash Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The track in Eugene will not be new for Tate as he ran there as a freshman and junior at MSU in the Outdoor World Trials and for the Pan Am team, respectively. He also ran there in the nationals.
"It's a good track and the people there built it around track and field," Tate said. "To have it at track-town nation is big."
Tate doesn't take lightly the responsibility of representing his country, Mississippi State and Starkville.
With the Independence Day holiday looming in a couple of weeks, that puts some extra motivation in Tate's tank.
"It's an enjoyable time because I'll be able to go do something spectacular then come back home to my family and enjoy that week," Tate said. "It's going to be something big and special.
"Starkville is my home and that's where my support comes from. Being a Bulldog is a second home and to represent the United States is even greater."