Whitney Gipson has been making headlines since her first year as a Horned Frog. Although Gipson’s collegiate career is coming to a close, the sprinter and long jumper plans to pursue a professional career after graduation. The track & field star will begin a new chapter in her life as she competes to become an Olympic athlete. Following a professional career, Gipson plans to become a sports journalist.
What is the one award that has stood out the most in your four years?
“I think [the Chancellor’s Award] stands out the most. I won the Chancellor’s Award for athletes. People don’t see the stuff you do behind the scenes of athletics. It just shows I have good character and I do give back to the community. Coming to college is not just about being an athlete; it’s ‘cause I’ve been so blessed to come here and just to give back and to be able to share my success with others is rewarding for me.”
Who was your biggest mentor in college?
“In the classroom, Dr. Bob Akins. He’s amazing because he’s always taught us to market ourselves and sell yourself to people. He’s the biggest mentor because after track I’m going to have to be able to find a job and be able to market myself to employers. He taught me you need to get it right the first time because you may not have the chance to redo things.”
What has been the biggest support system for you?
“My family, foremost. Then, coach [Darryl] Anderson and coach [Nic] Petersen. When I’ve been down about stuff and when I haven’t [run] or jumped as far as I wanted to jump, they believed in me and never stopped believing in me. My mom has always been there for me, [and] my dad has always been there for me. They all try to encourage me and lift me up when I’m down.”
What is your next step after college?
“I really want to continue my long jump career so I may have a possibility of becoming a professional athlete in track & field. That’s the goal. I really want to be able to continue my long jump career. I feel like I have a chance to. Just traveling the world and representing USA would be an amazing dream, which I’ve always had.”
Talk about the Olympics.
“I have a good chance. The Olympic trials take top three in every event. It’s pretty much who brings it that day. It’s a wild card almost. I feel like I have a good chance. ‘Cause last year at USA champs, I was the only collegiate to be in the finals and I felt like I really belonged in that group with the professionals.”
What would be after your track & field career?
“I really want to get an internship somewhere at a news station. I just want to go into my journalism career. I want to be a sideline reporter for a major sports network. I really like producing, being behind the scenes, telling people where to go, how I want each shot set up and what story I want first.”