Track & Field's Taylor Watkins was selected as the Virginia Lottery Student-Athlete of the week after contributing to the Rams' first place finish at the George Mason Spring Invitational on Saturday. Watkins won three events over the weekend and set a new personal best in the 400 meter.
Watkins, a native of Charlottesville, Va., grabbed her first gold running the anchor leg of the 4x100 meter relay. It was the first 4x100 the junior had run in college. "The 4x100 was right before the 400, and that threw me off a bit, but I think it ultimately helped me to be warm for my 400 and run better," Watkins said.
She did run better, completing the best lap of her career with a 55.53 time. Watkins placed first in the event among 40 other competitors, including two teammates in her same heat.
"We push each other. We always talk about how it's nice to be in a heat with each other because we practice with one another, so it's just kind of a comfort element," said Watkins. "Some days they beat beat me, some days I might beat them, but ultimately I think it helps me to do better."
Watkins' final first place finish of the day was earned by running the third leg of the 4x400, which she describes as her favorite event. It's also an event that the Rams have found a lot of success in, placing first or second each time they've competed in it this season.
"I think all of us on the 4x400 team are good athletes, and so that helps. We all run a good open 400s, and so we run even faster in the 4x400. It's something we all get extremely competitive in," said Watkins.
"I think the difference overall this season, not just the meet this weekend, has been my mentality. I feel like I've had a lot of growth that helps me. I don't doubt myself anymore."
Dream vacation: I love to shop, so probably Paris.
Funniest teammate: Sakia
Superpower you wish you had: Something that involves helping people.
Favorite meal: Thanksgiving, all of it. Especially the yams.
Biggest fear: That's something I'm learning, not to be afriad of anything.