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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Using track as her stage

Using track as her stage

Brigetta Barrett puts triple threats to shame. She can sing, dance, act and write poetry.

Oh, and at 20 years old, she’s an internationally known high jumper.

A sophomore on the No. 9 Arizona women’s track and field team, Barrett has nationally set the bar for her fellow collegiate high jumpers — literally. Recently at the Elite Invite, she jumped 1.90 meters, which is currently the best in the nation for women’s outdoor track and field.

Also, her height is currently tied for the best jump in the world for the 2011 outdoor season.

Barrett’s outdoor success isn’t too surprising considering she took home the NCAA Indoor title in March. For Barrett’s indoor season, her highest mark doubled as her personal record of 1.92 meters.

When looking at Barrett’s jumping credentials, many might assume it’s what she was born to do. But with her future degree in theater arts, Barrett has other plans in mind—after she becomes an Olympian, of course. Barrett recently talked to the Arizona Daily Wildcat about her season, her singing and her future.

 

Daily Wildcat: Why theater arts?

Brigetta Barrett: My ultimate dream is to be an entertainer. I love to sing and I’m always singing. I love to act, I love dancing, I write poetry, and I’m just in love with all aspects of entertainment.  

Between jumping and theater, which one do you have a greater passion for?

I find it really hard to make a decision between two huge passions, so I don’t have a preference. I’m a firm believer that everyone can reach all dreams of theirs, and I plan to do both.

Do you have a 10-year-plan?

My master plan in a perfect world is that I would go to the 2012 Olympics, do great, get signed and then use my status as an Olympic athlete to help me with agents and auditions and getting out there.

You’ve really thought this out. Why do you need to be an Olympian first?

Going into the acting world as a nobody, well, not a nobody, but unknown in that world, is hard. My thought or theory is that by being an athlete, having an agent and having a gateway into athletic modeling, it would also make it easier for me to get auditions for singing and acting.

Which actors and actresses would you love to work with?

Definitely Denzel Washington. He’s a great inspiration. I love Meryl Streep, too.

Do you consider the high jump pit your stage?

It’s kind of my personal stage, but not for the audience. It’s my stage for having fun and being me so that I can compete. If it stops being fun, I don’t want to do it anymore. It’s funny, because in high school when I was being recruited, one of the coaches that called me said, ‘It’s so much fun to watch you,’ and I had never thought about it from the audience’s point of view. I just enjoy jumping. The coach told me it was fun to watch me because I’m always singing.

Does the singing help you focus?

That’s how I calm my nerves, I sing and I dance, and I make the other competitors laugh. It gets people’s minds off the fact that they are competing, so they can actually PR (personal record). Like Nike says, “”Just do it.”” When you do it and have fun with it and really enjoy it, that’s when you do your best.

In what other ways does your theatrical side influence your athletic career?

Some of my favorite words of wisdom that my coach first said to me were, “”Find another passion.”” He was talking about how athletics can be destructive if the athlete is only an athlete. If one thing is your life and that one thing is not going well, then your life’s not going well. But for me, I can write a poem or sing my way through a bad meet or practice. I do experience the sorrows of not having a great meet or having a horrible practice, but it all gets better when I sing and write.

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