FAMU’s Track Powerhouse Doing It the ‘Wright’ Way

“Latoya is pretty much the nucleus of the team,” said Darlene Moore, Head Women’s Track and Field Coach, of her star senior Latoya Wright.

Wright, 22, is a criminal justice student who said she is determined to break records.

“I plan on breaking the school record in the 400-meter-hurtles,” Wright said. “The current record is 57.23 seconds. Sophomore year I ran 58.9 seconds. So far this year my fastest time is 59 seconds.”

Although the 400-meter-hurtles is Wright’s prized event, she runs the 100-meter-hurtles, the 4-by-1 and the 4-by-4.

The St. Catherine, Jamaica native has been to a major competition almost every year since she arrived at FAMU in 2007.

“I have been to regional’s every year since I was a sophomore,” Wright said.

Wright also said she hopes to continue her winning streak at the MEAC.

“My sophomore year I came in third, my junior year I came in second, so it’s only right that I come in first this year,” Wright added.

Wright has been running since she was a child, but didn’t get serious until middle school.

“I’ve been running since I can remember, but I didn’t get on an organized team until I was in the 7th grade.”

Although a natural speedster, Wright said organized track and field did not come as easily.

Wright laughed as she said: “I started doing hurtles my junior year [in high school]. I was doing the 800-meter event, and my coach decided I needed to do something else because I wasn’t very good at it.”

Wright said she even tried other activities before she realized her calling.

“I tried basketball and other fun stuff like the step team. It just wasn’t my thing. I saw that track was what I was best at,” Wright said.

It was at Palm Beach Lakes Senior High School in Palm Beach, Fla. that Wright said she began winning.

“I won regional my junior and senior year in 300-meter-hurtles. And at state, I placed my junior and senior years,” Wright explained.

It was on these laurels that Wright said she was given a full-ride at FAMU.

“I was given a scholarship to run track. I wasn’t going to pass that up,” Wright said.

Roniqua Yocum, an 18-year-old freshman from Louisville, Ky., said she admires Wright’s work ethic.

“She’s a great athlete,” said Yocum, a criminal justice student. “When she goes to the meets, she’s always serious and ready to work.”

Moore agreed.

“She’s a quiet young lady, but she leads by example,” Moore said. “She is a very hard worker and a determined athlete.”

Wright said her family keeps her motivated.

“My family is my inspiration. My mother and brother are proud of me, especially my father,” Wright said. “He used to run track when he was younger. He was so happy when I started [running track].”


Although Wright said she is uncertain about pursuing track as a profession, she does have one specific dream.

Wright said, “I would love to represent Jamaica in the Olympics someday.”