Former Springdale sprinter happy with transfer to Duquesne
By this past spring, Kim Watterson not only questioned whether Syracuse fit her description of an ideal college setting, she wondered if the track and field team shared her definition of fitness.
Watterson, a 2012 Springdale graduate, ultimately chose to part ways with the Orange.
At her new destination, Duquesne, few differences exist between Watterson and her coaches and teammates.
The former Dynamos standout, who runs the 200- and 400-meter events, transferred back to Western Pennsylvania just after the end of her freshman year and recently started classes at Duquesne. Track and field practices begin this week, though formal competition won't start until winter, when indoor races begin.
“I really missed Pittsburgh from being that far away, and the overall track program (at Syracuse) didn't fit with my training style,” said Watterson, a two-time champion and former record holder in the WPIAL 400. “They had a big focus on hurdles up there and not as many 400 runners. Duquesne focuses a lot more on the 400 and 200. I just figured it fit better with my style.
“I really love track, and I wanted to go somewhere that I'd do even better for myself.”
Watterson's biggest training-related objections stemmed from Syracuse's emphasis on starting-block work and short-distance training. She wanted to spend more time working on race-length conditioning.
The training differences added to Watterson's already lukewarm feelings for Syracuse. She missed her family. She longed for a more urban campus setting.
Duquesne, which recruited Watterson, provided what the runner wanted.
“I put a lot of thought into it throughout the spring semester, but after my visit and meeting the girls here (in April), I just decided it was more my personality and style here,” Watterson said. “I'm a lot happier here already.
“The whole track team, I basically either ran against the girls or know them from soccer. … And then I have friends at the close schools, so it's nice to see familiar faces.”
Because she transferred to a school in a different conference, Watterson will be allowed to compete for the Dukes this winter and spring under the one-time transfer exception. She's eager to train — particularly because the methodology now meshes with her philosophy on middle-distance running.
“I want to come in and prove that it was smart for me to transfer here,” Watterson said. “I miss the friends that I made (at Syracuse), but that's about it.”