January RRC Student-Athlete: Caitlin Waters|
Jan. 16, 2014
By Kayla Curry
Caitlin Waters, a senior Track and Field runner for the Lady Raiders, has found success as a student-athlete with the help of her family and her extended Texas Tech family.
Waters' love for the sport was sparked at a young age by her mom's experience of being a student-athlete herself.
"My mom ran track for Ohio State," Waters said, "so I've been running track since I was in the 6th grade. I've been doing track my whole life."
Waters believes her mom's background has influenced her in a multitude of ways.
"She's influenced me in the whole competitive behavior of it and the team effort" Waters said. "Wanting to be better and to be proud of yourself for doing something that you've accomplished and you've put hard work into."
The Clovis, New Mexico native continued in her mother's footsteps by becoming a collegiate athlete herself. She made the move to Texas to compete for Baylor University, following her high school graduation. After her freshman season, she decided that a move west would be just what she needed.
"I was at Baylor my freshman year and that was a really tough year for me," Waters said. "Along with the girls I lived with, a lot of us transferred that year. It was just a lot of things that came in to play for that transfer. I really wanted to come here."
At Tech, Waters competes as a middle-distance runner for the Lady Raiders. In her third season, Waters was an All-Big 12 athlete in the 800-meters after finishing eighth at the conference indoor meet at Iowa State.
Just as impressive as her track efforts, Waters' maintains a 3.75 cumulative GPA as a biology major. Her family influences steered her to the decision of picking a more challenging major.
"My dad is a dentist, and so are my grandfather and my aunt," Waters said. "I kind of had the idea that I wanted to go into the medical field of some sort. I've always been really interested in dentistry because of my family."
Although she has clearly excelled in her academic career, Waters said it has not come easily to her.
"It is a task," Waters said, thinking about her struggles to succeed. "You cannot procrastinate or you are already behind the curve. It's tough. It's a full schedule. There is not much free time."
Waters said at an early age her father instilled time management skills in her which help balance the everyday life of a student-athlete.
"'You've really got to get on top of things,'" Waters said, impersonating what her dad would say to her in high school. "'You can't get behind the curve because by then it's too late.' I've always tried to have that goal of trying to be ahead rather than getting behind."
The senior middle-distance runner said she also takes full advantage of all the help that the Tech Athletics program offers.
"They provide tutors. I can go to the Marsha Sharp Center. I can get on the computers there. I can print anything I want," Waters said. "We have advisors to help us make decisions about classes. Anything and everything you could want, they have it for you as a student-athlete."
During her last semester as a Red Raider, Waters hopes to break a 2:10 800-meter run and graduate in May maintaining her GPA. As for her plans after college, Waters plans to make another move to continue her education.
"I'm going to dental school next year," she said with delight. "I got accepted in to USC dental school. I'm going to be moving to L.A. this coming August and going to school there."
Waters said she is looking forward to finishing out her time at the university strong and will always look back with pride about her time at Tech.
"I've loved every second at Tech," Waters said. "I'm so glad I decided to come here because it's been the best decision ever."