This edition of Five Questions & Quick Hitters is with Taziah Hawkins, a multi-sport talent who's currently running Cross Country from Hanson High School (SD). Thanks for your time Taziah!
1. You are having a tremendous season in Cross Country this fall. What are some of your favorite courses you've gotten to run, and what are the benefits you feel you gain in being a multi-sport athlete?
One of my favorite cross-country courses that I have run would probably have to be the Irene-Wakonda course. Last year was the first time ever running there and it was the conference meet. All of my teammates told me that they didn't like this meet and that there was this one very steep hill we had to go down. I wasn't nervous or anything, I just had to run my race. Our team ended up winning the conference title that week, and I won the individual title. We went back to the Irene-Wakonda meet the next week and I truly like this course so much that I won the meet again! This year, our team defended our team title at the Cornbelt Conference cross-country meet, and I again finished by winning the back-to-back individual title this year. Some benefits that I feel I gain being a multi-sport athlete is that it keeps me in shape for other sports seasons, being competitive all year round, and always having the opportunity of being on a team. I enjoy having multiple coaches who believe in my abilities to get the job done!
2. Coming up in a couple weeks you will be attending the Dakotas Top Expo. What are some of the things you want to learn from the camp, and what are some of the other camps you've gotten to attend over the summer& fall as you prepare for your Freshman season in basketball at Hanson?
I view the Dakotas Top Expo as a great opportunity to compete against some of the best players within the midwest. I am looking forward to learning new drills that I can take home and include in my own workout plan. I am also very excited to bring some of these drills that I will learn at the Expo back to my coach so it will make our team better as we start the season. I have attended the DWU Elite Camp, the Warwick Elite Camp, an SDSU skills camp, Warwick Workouts, and Boom Athletics.
3. Hanson is coming off a good season in 2021-22. As a Freshman, what are some of your personal goals this year, and what are some ways you want to create a role for yourself in the program?
Hanson has had a rich tradition in girls' basketball for many years. I've heard many stories of when my mom played (Jenny Bridge - 2003 SD Miss Basketball) and I grew up watching my grandpa (Jim Bridge - 600+ career wins) coach the Hanson girls basketball team. Now, I finally get the opportunity to have him as my high school coach. This year I want to help my team succeed and make it to the State Basketball Tournament. Even though I'm only going to be a Freshman, I want to be a leader and contributor to the team. There are many ways I feel like I can contribute, offensively and defensively, but I know that I bring a lot of energy to the team, and if we can keep the energy, our team is going to have a lot of success.
4. I noticed you also have had success in club volleyball. Do you have a sport in mind that you would like to aim for in college already, or is that still something you're deciding on, and what are some things you feel you will look for in a school and athletic program as you get older?
I enjoy being a multi-sport athlete. I am keeping my options open for any opportunities that will come my way.
5. I know you're busy with athletics, but when you have free time, what are some of your favorite activities besides sports?
When I am not busy with sports, I like to hang out with my friends, or just simply chill out at my house. A lot of the time when practices are over, my friends and I like to go to Mitchell to get ice cream and just hang out together.
1. Favorite Cross Country course: Irene-Wakonda or Freeman
2. Favorite gym you've ever played basketball in: Creighton
3. Funniest teammate: Cadence Jarding
4. Favorite Netflix series: Outer Banks
5. Go-to hype song: Big Energy - Latto
6. Favorite Ice Cream flavor: Cookies and Cream
7. Favorite restaurant: Texas Roadhouse
8. Favorite Disney character: Princess Moana or Princess Tiana
9. Dream Job: Big Brother Contestant
10. Favorite athlete: Paige Bueckers