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On The Fast Track
Lisa Fernandez and Emma Johnson '14

Left: Aisha Watt poses with her medal after winning the 2023 Mountain West Conference Championships

Aisha Watt has hit her stride. Setting race records, winning relays, and taking gold at competitions that only a handful of people have won in the history of San Diego State University’s program, this Division I track and field athlete is leaving her mark. 

Aisha built her success at SDSU upon her legacy as a three-time team MVP for Prep, setting four school records. Watt earned eight Metro League district and state titles while maintaining grades that earned her the first of two scholar athlete awards from major organizations. 

Aisha was recruited by Georgetown before committing to SDSU. “I’ve always said that going to school out of state was the best thing I could have done for myself,” she says. “While being in a new place and not knowing anyone was really scary at first, it allowed me to grow and flourish in ways I never expected.” The sacrifices were great, but the teamwork, discipline and leadership paid off. From a long list of accomplishments, Aisha shares her most memorable. 

Going into college as a track runner, I had very low expectations. My main goal was to get faster and enjoy being on a team. Maybe I would become fast enough to travel to conference meets. Fast forward to 2021 and I’m on the main 4x100 relay team that won the gold and scored points individually in the 200m dash. The next year I competed in the 4x400, which scared me because I don’t train for it and the conference chip that year came down to this event. I will never forget the fear I felt before that race and my teammates telling me I could do it. Not only did we win the race but we broke the stadium record and qualified all the way to Nationals in Eugene, Oregon. Lastly, the 4x400 at our 2023 Conference meet my senior year. I’m really proud of this specific race because I got the baton in 2nd place, probably 30 meters behind the team in 1st place, and ran her down to secure the lead. My 400 split for that race was the fastest of the meet, including the open 400, and it secured our win in that race. These moments remind me that I am capable of so much more than I give myself credit for,” says Aisha. Being put in these situations where at the moment you would rather be anywhere else and are questioning why you chose this sport, but to do it anyway and to win. There is no better feeling.

Aisha is now passing the baton. She graduated in May with a B.S. in Kinesiology and a Pre-PT emphasis and currently works as a flexologist. (That’s a fancy word that means I stretch people,” she says.) She credits Prep teacher Brian Meza ’92 for her career direction. “I loved Mr. Meza’s Anatomy and Physiology class, and I knew I wanted to pursue a career that utilized that knowledge. So, I decided to pursue physical therapy and I am currently applying to grad schools.” 

Aisha has proven, again and again, that she can fight for a win on the track. Recently she found herself facing a new challenge when she joined a lawsuit against SDSU regarding alleged Title IX violations related to the allocation of athletics scholarship funds, treatment and benefits, as well as retaliation. Once she learned of the grievances from other athletes she says, ‘I couldn’t ignore it.” Aisha says, “if anything I just hope this case raises awareness and paves the way for future female collegiate athletes.” A leader both on and off the track, Aisha continues to take the type of risks that raise the bar for current and future female athletes. 

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Lisa Fernandez, Director of Communications & Marketing