Senior spotlight: Rose Gaye

This year marks lucky number 13 of running track for senior sprinter, Rose Gaye. As she has been a part of Minnesota State’s track team for several years, she found that belief is the key to her successes. 

“Being a part of the team for so long and going through many adversities has made me think about things differently than I used to,” said Gaye. “More importantly to keep believing, and the moment you stop believing, you’ve got to remember when you did believe.”

Gaye is originally from Africa, then raised in different states around America. However, when it comes to home, she refers to Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Running around for fun has always been one of Gaye’s favorite pastimes. When she was in fourth grade, she realized that running track is a sport. Ever since she came to this realization, she has been a part of a track team.

“I kind of just liked running around for the fun of it and didn’t know it was a sport until the fourth grade,” said Gaye. “I have been running track for about 13 years now, as this year makes it year 13.”

Gaye attended high school at Davies High School in Fargo, North Dakota. As a member of the Eagles’ track team, she was a part of a record breaking women’s team in 2018, where the Eagles scored 222 points at state, the most points scored by a Class A girls team at the state meet. In 2018, she also was awarded the NDHSCA Outstanding Senior Athlete Award and the NDHSAA Powerade Outstanding Senior Athlete Award.

Transitioning from high school track and field to collegiate track and field was quite a jump for Gaye, as it is far more demanding and draining.

“High school track only goes for about three to four months, as collegiate track goes on for about nine months before being able to take a break,” said Gaye. “In terms of workouts, high school doesn’t seem as hard now that I look back at it. Some of the workouts in college have made me think about why I chose this sport to begin with.”

Although collegiate track and field is much more taxing than high school, Gaye has shown through her years at MSU that she belongs on the team. During the most recent meet, she competed in two events, placing second in a 4×400 relay race and third in a 400 yard dash.

Gaye was drawn to MSU for track because she felt at home and like she belonged upon her first visit.

“It felt like home away from home when I came on my first official visit,” said Gaye. “It was important that I was in a space that made me feel like I belonged.”

Outside of track, Gaye puts a lot of time into her academics as a psychology major, hoping to shed light on the mental health struggles she faced as an African growing up in America. She plans to continue her academic career in Texas at Graduate School.

“Looking back made me realize how I don’t want another little girl that looks like me to go through the same things and not get the right help they need before it’s too late,” said Gaye.

Gaye has high hopes for herself and MSU’s Track and Field team this season. The Mavericks plan to become back-to-back national champions.

Write to Ali Reed at Alicia.Reed@mnsu.edu

Header Photo: Senior Rose Gaye begins thirteenth year of track as a sprinter. She looks to get a degree in psychology and attend grad school in Texas. (Courtesy of MNSU Athletics)

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