Salute to Seniors: Malia Watkins

Watkins ended her impressive track and field career at Frederick Douglass on a high note, capturing the 1A 100 and 200 meter dash titles this past spring. They were the third and fourth individual state titles of her career. (Photo by Craig Amoss)

Malia Watkins made an immediate impact as a freshman at Frederick Douglass-PG High School. Watkins finished third in the 400 meter dash at the state championship as a freshman, and would expand her event repertoire throughout her career. During her four years at Federick Douglass, Watkins scored in the state meet in the 55, 100, 200, 300, 400, shot put, high jump and long jump.

Along with four individual state titles and even more as a member of relays, Watkins participated at New Balance Nationals in the heptathlon, showcasing her range in the sprints and field events. Now she will move on and compete collegiately at Missouri State University.

Watkins received a full athletic scholarship to attend and compete at Missouri State University next year.

Name: Malia Watkins

School: Frederick Douglass-PG High School

What was your most memorable race moment?

My most memorable race was the 2016 Prince George's County Outdoor Championships when I ran 56 in the 400. It was so unreal to me. My most memorable jump was at the 2017 Prince George's County Indoor Championships when I long jumped 18 feet, 4 inches.

Who would you consider your biggest competition over the years?

I would say that my biggest competitor over my past four years of running was myself. Having to get on the line every time and run to beat your own best time is all the competition I need. As my coach always tells the team, "You run against the clock."

What was your greatest accomplishment?

My greatest accomplishment was becoming an All-American when I participated in the heptathlon at nationals last summer in Greensboro, NC. It was an amazing experience because it was my first time competing in the multis.

If you could do it all over again, would you change anything?

If I was able to do everything over again, I would change the way I handled my junior year. I treated it poorly, so I had to work even harder during my senior year to get the results that I wanted in the end.

What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?

The most difficult obstacle I had to overcome was listening to my coach. Listening to your coach (if you have a good one) will take you far. I was used to our previous coaching style, so it took some time to adjust when we got our current coach. Eventually I shifted my mentality. All I had to do was listen from the beginning, practice the material, apply it and it all came together.

What will you miss the most?

What I will miss is my team. We are very family-oriented and are always supportive of each other. You won't find another team like Frederick Douglass T&F anywhere else.

What advice would you give to younger athletes?

Give your all during all four years and always listen to your coaches. Remember that it is just you and the track, no one else. Never be worried about who is running in the heat with you or who is in lane four, just run your race.

Who had the most impact on your high school track career?

My coach, Darryl Haraway, has had a major impact on my performance and my overall life goals. He has taught me patience, how to learn from my mistakes, find out what I did wrong and to go back and fix it. He has also taught me to push through the tough times, know that anything is possible and I can do anything I put my mind to.

What are your college plans?

My plans for college are to attend Missouri State University with a full track scholarship, which I started this summer. I am extremely excited to be coached by Carmelita Jeter (the fastest woman alive) and will study to earn my doctorate degree and become a physical therapist.

Who would you like to thank?

I would love to thank God, because without Him everything I accomplished would not have been possible. I would also like to thank my mom for everything that she has done for me, and she does a lot. She has never missed a meet (even got so bad that she became one of the track coaches and the Team Mom). I appreciate her a lot.