Shatajah Wattely: ‘I want to do the best I can in whatever I do’
Philip Zoppi – Sports Writer
Shatajah Wattely of the women’s indoor track and field team set a new Southern record in the 60 meter dash with a time of 7.58 seconds.
This performance surpassed Jasmine Bien-Aime’s record of 7.60 seconds in the 60 meter dash, set back in 2013. Wattely’s performance also moved her to No. 4 in the nation.
When asked about this race and two other first place victories that Wattely secured in the Spartan Regional Invite in early January, Wattely didn’t want to pin point any race that was the best or meant the most to her.
“I want to do the best I can in whatever I do. Any race means a lot to me. I don’t like to pick and choose races that mean more or less to me,” said Wattely.
The 60 meters isn’t the only race that Wattely holds the all-time record for at Southern. Wattely also holds the record in the 200 meters with a time of 24 seconds. The all-time world record set by a woman in the 200 meters is 21.34 seconds by Florence Griffith, dating back to 1988.
Wattely was only 2.66 seconds away from that record. Obviously 2.66 seconds is a long time in the track world, but that just speaks to Wattely’s natural talent.
Wattely’s head coach, Melissa Stoll, acknowledges Wattely’s talent but thinks one of the main reasons she’s progressed so much is due to her work ethic.
“Shatajah has definitely gotten a whole lot stronger. She’s still learning, but from her first year to her third year she’s progressed so much. She’s just asking the right questions and is a great student of the sport,” said Stoll.
As Wattely continues to break records her performance in the classroom is only getting better. This past week Wattely was selected to the Northeast-10 Conference Weekly Honor Roll.
Wattely has a hectic schedule, but has kept her motivation up for succeeding in school just as much as she has in succeeding in athletics.
“Managing academics and being an athlete is very difficult,” said Wattely. “Just staying focused and knowing the reason why I’m in school, and the reason why I’m in athletics pushes me through school work.”
On top of school and track Wattely is also responsible for being one of the captains of the track team. Wattely is one of four captains that include Crystle Hill, Grace Gothers, and Georgette Nixon.
Stoll sees Wattely’s displaying leadership as a captain both on and off of the playing field. Stoll wants the leaders of the team to lead more by example. Doing the daily tasks and representing yourself in a positive way does more than verbally going after someone in Stoll’s mind. Stoll believes Wattely does a great job of this.
“Shatajah definitely leads by example,” said Stoll. “On the track she is very diligent in everything she does, that includes always remembering to stretch and the little things like that. She’s also a very vocal leader in an encouraging way.”
Wattely has always said that whatever she does she wants to do it to the best of her ability. As one of the team captains she challenges her teammates to do the same.
Wattely wants to see just how good her ability is as she has set many goals, one of them being winning national titles.