Freshman Taylor Watson has started fast on the University of Utah track and field team, breaking two school records in her first two collegiate meets. The first coming in the 55 meter race with a record time of 7.16, and the second coming in the 60 meter race with a time of 7.68.
Taylor hasn’t always been a track star. She began as a basketball player as a kid and felt like her strengths were in getting up and down the court quickly and playing defense. When she felt like basketball might not work out, Taylor decided to try another sport that showed off those strengths and hasn’t looked back since.
Running has always been something that Taylor has been passionate about.
“It takes my mind off of things that could be happening, and I just love feeling fast,” she said. “I could be having a bad day at school, and once I get to track, it all goes away.”
Taylor’s family has also played an instrumental part in her becoming the athlete and person that she is today.
”My family is very supportive throughout all of my sports. We’re a big sports family and that’s something that I’ve always loved is how supportive my Dad, Mom and brother are.”
At Cherokee High School, Taylor finished with two league titles in the 100 and 200 meter runs in 2017 and 2018. She also competed at the 2017 USATF National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championship after winning the 100 at the 2017 USATF Region 10 Junior Olympic Championship. She also took the 100 and 200 at the 2017 Colorado USATF Junior Olympic Championships.
“I started really running my freshman year, and that’s the first time I won state for the first time,” she said. “After that I started loving track more and more. Junior year is when I really started getting there and that’s when I realized that I could maybe do this in college. My favorite highlight of my high school career is when my team won state by one point.”
There were many reasons why Watson decided to come to the U. Among those reasons were that Utah felt like a family, the coaches were amazing and the academics were excellent as well. Taylor likes to hang out with her teammates and especially her roommate Brooklyn James. Taylor is also a big fan of tacos and the restaurant “Spitz.”
One of her favorite hobbies outside of track is playing the guitar. She likes most genres and loves to jam out on her acoustic and electric guitars.
The U has presented great coaches and teammates to help Watson to continue to take big strides in becoming the next great track athlete at the U.
”She’s super fun to be around and super positive,” said coach Kyle Kepler. “I think all the athletes can see that, but when she gets on the start line, she’s a bulldog. She wants to win and she has an incredible competitive spirit. She knows how to contain that when she’s around her teammates, and she’s a great teammate, but she can flip that competitive switch when she gets to that start line.”
Taylor is also looking to be a good role model for up and coming future track stars. She said that if she could give one piece of advice to anyone pursuing track and field, it would be, ”Never ever, ever give up. Even though it may not look up for you right now, keep your mind to it, and you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.”
Keep your eyes peeled on the track for Taylor Watson the next few seasons at Utah. Remember to not blink, you might miss her speeding through the finish line.