Thursday 22 Aug 2019

Athlete of the Week: Taniyah Oates


Eastern Wayne High School


Taniyah Oates has competed in hundreds of track competitions, from challenging her Wayne County rivals to pursuing state championships.

As a senior at Eastern Wayne, Oates currently finds herself in the fiercest race of her life, against the clock.

Oates and her father, Leander Oates, who also serves as the Warriors’ track and head football coach, both know their days of riding to school together, eating lunch and chasing athletic excellence, are numbered.

Taniyah is this week’s Mt. Olive Pickles High School Athlete of the Week. The High School Athlete of the Week is a partnership between Curtis Media Group and Mt. Olive Pickles to recognize local high school athletes who excel athletically, academically and through service to their community.

The recognized athletes are chosen by the athletic department and administration from their respective high schools.

Taniyah began competing in track at the age of 14. Her love for the sport blossomed as she watched her dad work with Eastern Wayne’s track team. During her career she’s developed into one of the cornerstones of the Warriors’ program.

Taniyah competes in the 300 meter hurdles, the long jump, triple jump, high jump and she is a member of the 4 X 100 and 4 X 200 meter relay teams. She represented Eastern Wayne in the state finals in 2016 and 2017.

“From my freshman year to now I’ve improved a lot,” Taniyah said. “Going to the state finals was a big moment. I never thought I would go to states for track. Now, it’s my senior year and I’m trying to push myself so I can go to the state finals one more time.”

Leander acknowledges coaching your child brings with it an expected set of questions from other athletes. His insistence on coaching Taniyah the same way he does every member of the track team, while establishing specific goals for each season of her career, has been a key ingredient to her success.

“It is tough having your own child up under your wings,” Leander said. “I tell her all the time, that the expectations I have for the other athletes, I don’t expect anything less from her. I set goals for her, and we make it a comparison thing year to year, to see where she can be.”

Leander has coaxed Taniyah into the weight room this year, which has begun to pay dividends on the track. While his role as a coach is to maximize every ounce of Taniyah’s athletic ability, Leander also knows that with each day and each track meet that comes and goes, this chapter of his daughter’s life is quickly coming to a close.

“This season she’s started weight lifting, and it’s been very important for her this season,” Leander said. “It’s bittersweet. I’m dad, and she is my daughter leaving. She’s been my running mate, we eat lunch together and we ride to school together. We stay positive, and we build on our goals every day, and we’re wishing her the best.”

Taniyah is also a member of the Warriors’ indoor track team. She earned a berth in the indoor state finals all four years of her high school career. She also is a member of Eastern Wayne’s basketball team, and was a varsity cheerleader for four years. Taniyah served as captain of the cheerleading squad as a senior.

Aside from athletics, Taniyah maintains a 3.8 grade point average. She is a member of the National Honor Society, CTE (Career and Technical Education) Honor Society and the RHO KAPPA Honor Society.

Taniyah also sings with Eastern Wayne’s Arrow Bellas choral ensemble, and volunteers with the Wayne County Relay for Life, Special Olympics and the Goldsboro Housing Authority.

“With my academics, I try not to procrastinate,” Taniyah said. “That’s an important thing. With my volunteer work, I try to plan it out right.”

Taniyah has been accepted to Hampton University, North Carolina Central University, East Carolina, Winston-Salem State and UNC Charlotte. She has yet to decide which school she will attend in the Fall, but Taniyah plans to study criminal justice, with an emphasis on forensics.

“It’s just different looking at different crime scenes,” Taniyah said. “I’m really into those types of things.”


  1. ???? says:

    Ms.Oates sound like an intelligent young woman with a bright future ahead of her regardless of where she chooses to continue her education.
    This incredible young woman has made the right choices. She has set goals for herself and has been determined to not only achieve those goals, but to surpass them.
    She’s so blessed to have parents who obviously have taken time to instill in her the values that so many people lack in today’s world. Kudos to her parents who have done an outstanding job of parenting this young woman. They obviously believe in her, have encouraged, guided and supported her as she has grown to be this remarkable person. I know they’re so proud and rightly so. We, as a community, are proud of her and await to hear even greater things about her in the future.

  2. Slim says:

    And Kathy . I like you cause you like me . give the positive thoughts to those that do well in life . instead of negativity on crime only . just life on General you put to notice on . thank you being u .truthful.

  3. Slim says:

    Ms oates you have made us proud in wayne co doing what. You do . and that look like —. Being great. I thank you because people don’t think we never good enough to do things in this world but cause trouble -an do wrong doing in life . not all of us are bad or dumb . a Lot of folks want us to think so in life . but I’m proud you stand as a leader showing we good at a Lot of things . your family is truly proud of you as I am if it like you was my child . keep it up Ms oates. And mom never let her think she anything less!

  4. Kathy says:



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