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Hampton U Track and Field Spotlight: Emmani Shaw

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Hampton U chapter.
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​​ To Sydney McLaughlin, Athing Mu and Sha’Carri Richardson. These powerful athletes continue to dominate the track and field world today. The world of track and field is an emerging sport that will remain for centuries, and Hampton University has been advantaged enough to have one of the best D1 track and field programs as an HBCU. With that being said we look into this team to pick out important and talented student-athletes on our team and that includes freshman Emmani Shaw, a first year Biochemistry major from Norfolk Virginia; and also who I had the privilege of being able to interview.

Tell me about yourself/ How would you describe yourself? My name is Emmani Shaw, I’m 19 years old. Born on February 23rd, which makes me a Pisces. I would describe myself as tall, funny, friendly, outgoing, courageous, optimistic, hardworking, beautiful, and understanding.

What made you choose Hampton University? After reviewing a series of schools, the one thing that I searched for was a school that would fit me as a person both academically and athletically; and for me Hampton did just that.

What is your favorite and least favorite thing about college? Why? My favorite thing about Hampton has got to be the people that I’ve met since being here, not only have they been able to get me through a lot of the things I wouldn’t be able to handle alone, but they’ve allowed me to grow into who I am presently. Also I would say my least favorite thing, and an obstacle I’ve faced would be the teachers, I found it really hard to grasp the teaching styles of most teachers and some aren’t as cooperating as others.

When did you start Track and Field? What are your major highlights/achievements? Describe them? I started track and field in the 6th grade. My biggest achievements would be having won both nationals and states my senior year. To me, it was one of the best experiences of my life because it was something I’ve never done before and to win more than once in the same year was amazing, and it was something I did myself also.

How important are athletics in your life right now? They are extremely important to me, because when I get overwhelmed, I use it as my getaway. As a student athlete, the pressure that academics puts on you can be overwhelming, being able to use my sport as my outlet has always been special to me.

What do you believe is the greatest challenge most athletes are facing today? Being the student in student-athlete, having to be able to juggle my rigorous academic schedule and sport schedule is probably the hardest thing I’ve had to adjust to. Having to miss classes for meets in season, or doing homework during a meet are all little things that aren’t highlighted enough.

What are your plans for athletics in the future? This could be for your freshman season? After College? Or Anything?  I want to have my name on the wall of Holland before I leave, and to leave my mark. I aspire to go pro and even compete in the Olympics in the future.

What would your advice be for anyone who is looking to pursue sports in college? You have to sit back and think to yourself: Do I have that self-discipline, drive, and want to pursue this. Being a student-athlete is hard, and I know a lot of people say that already but it is. The want to be successful in your academics and athletics can be overwhelming. So I’ll be blunt, if you’re not able to work hard or are not prepared to work hard then sit down with yourself and reevaluate if the college athlete life is for you.

Lastly, Is there anything that you would like to add? College is not always hard, it can actually be really fun. Hampton does a great job at hosting on campus events that can act as stress relievers, especially for student-athletes. Also be prepared for your plan to potentially change, everyone comes to college with a set plan and when that doesn’t work out don’t make it be the end of the world; use it to your advantage and don’t give up.

It was an absolute pleasure interviewing Emmani. I’m so glad to have her as a teammate, and I’m so excited to see her grow and be amazing athletically and personally. Keep an eye out for Hampton University’s Men’s and Women’s Track & Field team this year; because they have big things in store.

Hi everyone my name is Oluwatomilayo Akintunde, but I go by (Tomi), I'm a first year kinesiology major, minoring in Spanish; and I'm from North Jersey.