4 December 2018
In February, UCCS graduate student Skylyn Webb led the women’s track team to victory in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) indoor championship meet. She did it with a winning time of 2:12.36 in the 800-meter run, her signature event.
[Editor’s note: Skylyn Webb is the sister of the Scribe’s Editor-in-Chief]
Then, in May, she laid down a time of 2:02.47 seconds to win the NCAA Division II outdoor championship.
That performance earned her a spot in the Team USA outdoor championship, where she finished No. 10 out of 32 runners.
“That was a pretty crazy realization,” said Webb about the day she realized she would be running in the Team USA meet, “and it was even crazier because there were all these pro runners that I’ve been following and watching for years, and I was like one of them.”
Webb’s story began at Fort Lewis College. She played basketball for two years before switching to track and field, which she had been participating in since she was young.
“It’s kind of a long story,” she said, “ It was the best choice for me at that point in my life. And it worked out, so I’m glad that it all happened the way it did and I ended up running.”
A search for a graduate program brought Webb to UCCS, where she balances school, track and life in pursuit of a master’s degree in clinical psychology.
“It’s pretty crazy,” Webb laughed. “Basically, from the time I get up to the time I go to sleep, I’m either writing a paper or my thesis, or running.” But it is worth it, she said, because of a love of running and a desire to make the most of herself.
“I also really love to feel like I’m using my body and my life and my talents in the best way I can and seeing how far my potential can reach. I would feel like I was wasting something if I didn’t, I think.”
Webb’s journey has led her to set her sights on professional track and field, so long as she is able to graduate in May.
Her next opportunity will come this summer with another Team USA trial.
Webb said “it’s just a possibility based on time right now. If I run those times again this year [2:02.47], or run faster, then that could be something that’s definitely possible.”
Another possibility is the prospect of having professional sponsors after she graduates — sponsors such as Nike or Asics. Until Webb actually graduates, this remains only a possibility.
According to the NCAA’s latest rules, athletes will be unable to compete collegiately if they agree to be represented by an agent, if they accept any benefits from an agent (such as a sponsorship) or if they accept any benefits of any kind as a result of their athletic performances, including prize money.
So as far as sponsorships go, Webb said “I’ll have to run really fast this year, and then we’ll see if they contact me after that.”
Webb praised the team and the coaches at UCCS.
“The team is awesome! We have a really cool culture and we’re all really supportive of each other,” said Webb. “Everyone wants to see everyone else compete their best and it’s always just like that at practice — a really cool environment to be training in.”
She also said that, for anyone who hopes to do something great, “You have to really make the choice and truly commit, because you can’t do it halfway and actually expect good things to happen. It’s kind of an all-or-nothing thing when it comes to trying to be the best.”