Q&A: Brittany Patterson, track and field athlete, still loves Takis

Sprinter and jumper talks beginnings, training and cheat days


Ashton Byers - The State Hornet

Sophomore Brittany Patterson poses on the track before practice at Sac State. Originally from Arizona, she arrived with a scholarship to run for Sac State.

Ashton Byers

Brittany Patterson is a sophomore on the women’s track and field team at Sacramento State. Originally from Arizona, she arrived with a scholarship to run for Sac State. The State Hornet spoke to her about what motivates her and what goes into the life of a student-athlete.

Question: At what age were you when you began running track and field?  

Answer: I started running when I was nine. I did club track. I didn’t start jumping, doing long jump and triple jump until my junior year in high school. I started off running, and that’s why I switched to jumps because it got kind of boring and I started to not like it. My coach in high school was a jumps coach. All my other friends did jumps and I was the only sprinter in the group, so I wanted to try jumps. My coach watched me jump and told me I was gonna do it so that’s how it started.

Q: How often do you train and where do you travel for meets?

A: We train five days a week and lift three days a week for preseason, but now that we are in season we train four days a week but only lift two days a week and travel out of town for a meet the fifth day. This past weekend we went to Seattle, this upcoming week we’re going to New Mexico, two weeks ago we went to Boise, Idaho. We have conference in Montana, so we travel a lot for indoor season, but for outdoor season we mostly stay in California.

Q: What’s your diet like when training for a competition and after meets?

A: I’ve actually been trying to tighten up my diet, because I love Takis, and I have a really bad sweet tooth. I have some Starbursts in my track bag right now. I try to keep a healthy diet because now we’re actually in season, so I need to keep my energy level up so I need to eat better so I can maintain my energy level throughout the day. I love wings too, so that’s hard, it’s my cheat meal I just love them. Before our track meets we’ll eat healthy and light for the meet, but after, I have a strawberry milkshake and fries so I can treat myself after training hard.

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Q: What’s your fastest time in your events and what goals do you hope to achieve that you haven’t already?

A: In the 100 I ran 12:03, in long jump my farthest is 19 feet, and triple jump my farthest is 41 feet, my 60 I ran 7.75, the 4 x 5 I ran 45.9. I want to get the long jump and triple jump school record. I’m only a couple of inches off my PR in the long jump and triple jump.

Q: Were there any setbacks you’ve experienced, injuries and what do you do?

A: Yeah, actually right now my lower hamstring and knee, it’s just really tight. This past weekend I wasn’t able to do triple jump or finish my last jump in finals because it just got so tight I couldn’t even run anymore. We usually go to the athletic training room if we are hurt or anything and they’ll just give us a lot of physical therapy, and injury prevention techniques.

Q: Who’s your idol that gives you the most inspiration?

A: The most inspiration would be my godbrother Will Clay. He’s a professional triple jumper. Also, my family, because I’m the first person to ever play a sport in college so they’re really supportive I love when they come to my track meets. I feel like I’m also self-motivated too, like for the school record, I want to do that for me. I’ll feel more accomplished because I feel like all my hard work will be paid off by me putting in the time, putting in the work.

Q: Do you get nervous before a race, if so what do you do?

A: Yes. I get nervous for sprint events more than my jumping events though just because I’m a sprinter, but I’m more confident in my jumps. Sprinting I just feel like Jesus, I have to run against actual sprinters and I’m an actual jumper. I feel like they have more practice in than me with sprints, with jumps my teammates cheer me on so I feel good. That’s another reason why I wanted to find something else in high school because it got to the point with sprinting where I just got too nervous and I didn’t like the sport anymore. I usually listen to music. Me and my friends on the jump squad we’re very upbeat and high spirited so that plays a part because we are all in it together. Nashedah, she’s my teammate. She always keeps my head high.

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