University Times

Athletes Empowering Peers

In honor of Black History Month, University women athletes strive to make an impact.

Yamani Wallace, Contributor

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Tiyde Pickett and Louis Stokes were the first African American women to compete in track and field. That was in the 1936 Olympics. They paved the way for young women athletes to leave their own mark on society just as they had. Young women athletes such as Ashlea Maddox, J’Liyah Miles and Ericka Taylor who represent the Cal State LA’s Women’s Track and Field team follow in the footsteps of Pickett and Stokes’ trend to empower young female athletes of color.

National Athlete of the Week, freshman Ashlea Maddox, not only breaks Golden Eagle track and field program records but she desires to pave the way for young athletes like herself:

“I see myself helping others and empowering athletes to stay or be positive no matter what adversities they’re facing. I’m a strong believer that we attract what we constantly think about.”

J’Liyah Miles, junior political science major and sprinter, has major goals of her own. Aside from being the 2016 CCAA long jump champion Miles wants to become a public defender:

“I want to be able to fight for those who don’t have a voice,” said Miles.

Ericka Taylor not only continues to improve her times for her middle-distance competition she strives to keep her community healthy. Taylor, a nutritional science major, has dreams of opening her own bakery and keeping her community healthy at the same time.

“I want to own a bakery where everything is healthy, and make people realize that everything that is healthy doesn’t have to be nasty,” said Taylor.

These three women not only strive to be their best athletically and academically, but have intentions on empowering young athletes of color such as themselves.

“I want to help people realize their potential and to see the benefit of appreciating the power behind our thoughts,” said Maddox.

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