Athlete of the Week Archive

May 12, 2006


Shaylee Babbitt

How old were you when you first started running competitively?
"In junior high when I was 12 or 13 years old. I ran short sprints and hurdles, but I was tiny. Probably about 4'8". I was good for being that small, but I couldn't wait to get bigger."

Did you follow UW Track & Field as you grew up in Yoder, Wyo.?
"We did follow Jessica Fox. I knew about her because she was from the same area and same high school conference as me. I never got a chance to run with her since her last year here was when I was injured as a freshman."

What is your favorite event to compete in?
"Probably the 100 hurdles right now. In high school it was the 200 (dash), but now it's the hurdles."

Do you prefer individual events or the relays?
"Oh, I like them both! I love the intensity of the 4x100 relay. It's kind of scary, but it's really fun."

Do you follow professional track and field? Who's your favorite athlete?
"Yes, I watch pro track and field. On the men's side I like Jeremy Wariner (2004 Olympic gold medalist in the 400 meters). I just watched him last weekend and I hope he continues to do well. I used to like Marion Jones until she was named in the drug scandal. I kind of lost my faith in her."

Is there anyone that you pattern your running after or that you have learned from?
"I like Shauna Smith. My freshman year she really helped me learn some good things. I made sure that I studied her all the time and now I feel that has carried over into some success for me."

What are your plans for this summer?
"Summer school and going through the workouts that coach gives us. Hopefully I can stay in Laramie and work out and get in the weight room some."

What's your major?
"Physical Education. I want to be a PE teacher and a coach."

What do you do for fun when you're not training? Hobbies?
"I have a little dog. A Chihuahua. When I get done with practice I put him on a leash and go run. It gives him a chance to get outside. But that's about it. Between school and running that takes up most of my time."

How do you balance school and travel to meets?
"It's very difficult. All of the tests are usually on days when we're on the road, so we have to make them up. What we try and do is haul our homework with us on the road. You see our whole team with laptops, sitting there typing papers and that's how we deal with it. The professors are usually very willing to work with us. It's easier within my major because they know my situation."

What are your goals and the team's goals heading into this weekend's MWC Championships?
"Our team goals are to place in the top three. We need our relays to do well and we want to get a lot of qualifying times and marks for the Regional meet. We know that we all can and if we get a nice day in Provo you never know what could happen. My goals are to qualify for regionals in the 4x100 and the 100 hurdles, which would be PR's for me. I want to make at least the finals in the 200 (dash), but there are a lot of fast girls in our conference so we'll see."

What is your race preparation the hour before an event?
"Well, that is when I start warming up. I'm completely opposite of what most people do. Everyone else is plugged into music and won't talk to anyone. I don't want to be listening to anything and I just want to talk to people. It relaxes me. If I get tense then I start thinking about my accident last year in the hurdles when I broke my collarbone. So I try not to even think about the race and just relax. When I get into the blocks is when I get serious."