ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Windermere Observer: Ukeyvia Beckwith

Beckwith won Metro championships in both the 400 meters and the high jump for the Olympia Titans. Her high jump was a school record, and she was ranked third in the state in both events.

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  • | 6:30 p.m. April 21, 2016
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Could you take us through your day at Metro?

I checked in for high jump, but they didn't get to the height I had come in at yet, so I had to go run the 400. My coach was (encouraging me), because in the prelims I was nervous: “I don't know if I want to run – this girl here runs a 57 (seconds).” She was like, “What do you want to run?” I said, “I want to run a 58,” so she said, “So what are you going to run?” I was like, “I don't know.” She was like, “No, you have to believe in yourself.” … I came out (to) the track, and all the girls were in blocks but me. At the 200, my coach was there, saying, “Come on, Ukeyvia,” because the girl was in front of me, “You got it.” So I listened to her and I kept my same pace until the last 100 meters, and then I opened up my stride and caught her. During the finals, it was more like, “You got this – you're seeded first. You'd better get first.” That's what was playing through my head.


Why didn't you have blocks?

I don't practice with blocks because I was used to running the 800, and you don't use blocks in the 800, so I'm not really comfortable with it.


How do you transition from one event to the next?

I got off from the track from my 400. My butt was hurting really bad. [laughs] It was kind of hard to walk over ... from the finish line to the mat. They were still on 4-(foot)-4, so the lady was like, “Do you want to come in right now?” I was like, “No, I'll come in at 4-(foot)-6 like I said I was going to.” When they called me, I got a bit of a break – she put me at the end, so I didn't have to rush into it.


When did you decide to be a runner and jumper?

Well, jumping, it was more like they just put me in it to see how I would do. … It was my freshman year; I was like, “Oh, sure – let's go to high jump!” … For running, it started in fifth grade, because my friend – she's actually on the team now … She was always faster than me, so she would run, and then I would never get picked to run with them, because there were other people that were faster than me … Well, I wanted to be able to run with them, so that drew me toward track more, and then I did AAU for sixth and seventh grade.


What is your favorite class?

I'm also in band, so marching season is probable my favorite thing to do, and that's at the beginning of the year – first quarter-and-a-half … and then you get to concert season. It's not as fun, but it's still OK. I would say band would be my favorite.


What are you looking toward after high school?

I don't really know what I want to do, but I know I want to do something in the medical field. I've been watching a lot of “Grey's Anatomy.” [laughs] So I was like, “Oh my gosh – I can become a surgeon.” Then I realized how long it actually took to become a surgeon, so I might just become a physician or an assistant – something that takes less time but gets the experience of it.


Are you thinking of running in college?

Yes, I do want to run track in college, because once I stop and get out of college, (I) don't have that competitiveness unless (I) go into the pros. But I don't think I'm going to do the pros.


What is your favorite room of the house?

My room. My dog's in there; all my stuff's in there; I just feel more comfortable in there, and I'm watching Netflix a lot. I like my own peace and quiet. … I'm watching “Daredevil.”


– Zak Kerr


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