By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.— It seems strange to think that North Salem’s Rosemaline Watley competed in the Micronesia Games and the Youth Olympics over the past few months.
It’s weird because the Vikings Senior, who was part of the North Salem Girls Soccer team, plays basketball and is on the Viks Track and Field team, was quiet about it but describes herself normally as out-going and looking out for others.
You could tell as she describes herself that it’s hard to put herself into words when she tries to look out for others as she was described as a humbled person.
“Loud, crazy, out-going at times. I always put others’ happiness before I put my own,” said Watley, taking a few moments to think before speaking again. “I guess I could say I’m a humble person, but hearing it from others means a lot more.”
Being born in the Marshall Islands, Watley lived there for nine years before moving to the Mainland United States where she has lived for the past eight years, then getting an opportunity to compete in the Micro-Games this past July on the Island of Yap in the Island Chains of the Marshall Islands next to Guam.
On July 17, Watley, competed in the High Jump, found herself in a two-way tie with North Mariana Islands Rachel Abrams with a height of 1.36 meters (a 4.55 foot jump), finishing Silver on the count back while Abrams finished with the Gold Medal.
She also got the Silver Medal in the Triple Jump with a jump of 9.23 meters (a 30-foot-3.386-inch jump), finishing behind Gold Medalist Richelle Tugade from Guam to close out the Games on July 19. Tugade won the event with a 9.86 meter jump (a 32-foot-4.189-inch jump).
Watley didn’t know that she qualified for the High Jump until she got back to the States after the Games were completed. But that’s when she got the news: She qualified for the High Jump. She’s going to the Youth Olympics.
“During the Micro-Games, I didn’t know if you qualified and like Top 3 would have gone over there,” Watley starts. “So when I came to the States, they were telling me about it that I did and I was like, ‘Oh I did? I got to start training’ and so it was a big thing that came up.”
The games were held in Buenos Aires, Argentina roughly two months after her performance at the Micro-Games and the North Salem Jumper saw a major difference in the two events when she arrived for the games with the participants of the two events.
“So going to the Youth Olympics and doing the Micro-Games, it was a lot different. The Youth Olympic Games, the girls were a lot more confident in what they are doing and in the Micro-Games, it was like a fun thing to do,” Watley described.226
Watley PR’d with a five-foot High Jump, but couldn’t land the first qualifying height of 1.55 meters in Stage 1 (Five-foot-one-inch) and the 1.58 (five-foot-2-inches) meter height in Stage 2 to record an official height at the Youth Olympics.
The experience was valuable and certainly Watley put her best foot forward in saying that she competed against some of the World’s best at around her age range as she looks back on the experience now a few weeks after the fact.
“It’s just a lot of preparation that you needed to do to go into the Youth Olympic Meet. The girls really knew what they were doing and I barely knew what I was doing,” said Watley on the experience. “But it was a really cool experience.”
Ukraine’s Yaroslava Mahuchikh won the event, finishing with a height of 1.92 meters (Six-Feet-three-and-a-half-inches) and 1.95 meters (six-foot-Seven-inches) with Mariya Kochanova, competing as an Authorised Neutral Athletes (ANA) from Russia, finishing second with a height of 1.84 (Six-Feet) meters and 1.87 meters (Six-Foot-One-inch)
With her jumping competition behind her, Watley’s focus is now onto Basketball and seeing what her Senior Class can do with being around Head Coach Anna Marchbanks all four-years dating back to when Marchbanks was coaching them as freshman a few short years ago.
“I’m excited towards basketball, the season with Anna is amazing,” said Watley. “I’m hoping that I can get a scholarship out of this basketball season because my head is really into the season.”