Someone who wins four events in a single track meet ought to receive some sort of title for the accomplishment. Therefore, let's say Nia Stevens of Tapestry Charter completed a "grand slam" on Saturday in the West Seneca Track and Field Classic.
She broke meet records in three of four events, and came close to make it four for four. Nia won the 100 meters is 12.82, the 200 meters in 25.49 (second-fastest time in the state), anchored the 4x100 relay team in 50.73 (fastest time in the season this year), and won the 400-meter race. That "grand slam" led us to name her the Prep Talk Female Athlete of the Week.
Name: Nia Stevens
School: Tapestry Charter Thunderhawks
Position: 100, 200, 400, 4x100, 4x400
From Coach Dan Tryon: "Nia has been running for Tapestry Track and Field since seventh grade and is a two-time state champion. She is an amazing young woman. She currently holds a 3.4 average in school and is also involved in volleyball. She is an incredible leader and one of the hardest workers on the team. Most importantly with all the success, she is one of the most humble athletes I’ve coached in my 16-year coaching career."
Tell us about a typical week: Go to school during the day then go to Tapestry track practice until 5:30. Monday & Wednesday I go to sports training from 8:30-10 p.m. In the little free time I have, I spend it with my friends or family.
How has your season gone so far?: This year has been going really good so far I am working harder than I have ever before. I am really close to my PR (personal record) in the 200-meter dash. Currently I am ranked No. 1 in the state for the 200 meters in division 2 and No. 3 for the 100 meters, and our 4x100 relay is No. 1 in WNY and No. 2 in the state for Division 2.
Highlight of athletic career so far: My highlights would have to be winning back-to-back state championships for the 4x100-meter relay in Division 2 and being the first-ever individual state champion at Tapestry.
Favorite thing about my sport: My favorite thing about track would have to be all the friendships you make. I get to meet people from all different schools I would’ve never talked to without track.
Favorite teammate and why: It would have to be Taylor Hunter because we have been running together since middle school and ever since we were younger she always pushes me to do better. She is extremely supportive and motivational.
Toughest opponent and why: My toughest opponent would have to be the clock. Time is always against you no matter what.
WNY athlete I looked up to and why: I looked up to Taylor Alston because she was the first girl to ever make sectionals from Tapestry and she was the fastest girl on the team. Taylor had a very good leadership vibe and she always kept the mood positive. She was a successful athlete and great captain that’s why I looked up to her.
Pro/college athlete I admire now and why: Ashley Fields, who went to Amherst High School and graduated from Baylor University because she has accomplished so much in both her high school and college career. During her breaks, she comes down and trains with us, which pushes me in practice.
Favorite school subject: Algebra because I understand the material and my teachers Mrs. Wutz and Mrs. Vertalino always make class fun.
What’s ahead (athletics and/or academics): I hope to continue to improve in my events and even get into jumping one day. I also am hoping to catch the eye of some colleges so that I can get a scholarship from one of them.