Xavier Guillory returned from the National Track and Field Championships held in Wichita, Kansas last summer with a medal in the 800 meter finals with a 7th place finish in a field of 45 runners. He also finished 13th in the 400 meters out of a field of 38 of the best runners in the nation in his age bracket. The top eight finishers in each event won medals.
Xavier is an enrolled Nez Perce tribal member and the son of Raphael and Gloria Guillory, both Nez Perce tribal members who now live in Spokane. His dad, Dr. Raphael Guillory, is a professor at Eastern Washington University (E.W.U.), his alma mater. The Guillory’s have five youngsters and Xavier, at 10, is the middle of their five youngsters and the only boy in the family.
“Xavier is one of the fastest kids in the country,” his dad comments. That likely comes both from excellent coaching and family genetics. His dad played at Lapwai High School on the reservation when they won 76 straight basketball games and took State three straight years. He went on to start at free safety on the E.W.U. football team which won the Big Sky championship.
Xavier’s granddad played football at the University of Idaho, then turned pro with the Dallas Cowboys till a knee injury ended his career in pre-season.
Gloria was also an athlete, playing three sports at Lapwai and being named All-State honorable mention in basketball.
That inheritance, combined with excellent coaching at the Spokane Mercury Track Club, probably combines for Xavier’s success. But his favorite sport? “It’s football,” he exclaims.
“You’ll always see him with a football in his hands,” his dad says.
Xavier is looking forward to the Nationals again next summer which will be held in Baltimore. “I want to run the 200, 400, and 800 meters,” he says. He just barely missed qualifying for the 200 at regionals this year but says, “I think I can get in at the 200 next year.”
He’s also an excellent student. “We heavily emphasize the education end,” his dad says. “I think the academic side is the more important.” Good advice for all young athletes.