Ogundeko signs to Coppin State for track and cross country
Eagles senior ready to continue career in the MEAC
Growing up primarily in Suitland in Prince George’s County, Tatiana Ogundeko’s first love was basketball.
As she walked through the doors of North Point High School in Waldorf, Ogundeko continued to play basketball up until her junior year but found out that she loved running during the process.
Ogundeko ran for three years on the indoor track and field team, one year of cross country and is finishing up her second and final season on the outdoor circuit.
The North Point senior middle distance runner recently made one of the biggest decisions of her life as she inked a national letter of intent at NCAA Division I Coppin State University to run on the track and field and cross county teams.
Beginning in August, Ogundeko will be continue her education as well as her cross country and track and field careers at the historically black university in Baltimore that enrolls over 4,000 students.
“At first I didn’t know where I was going, but when I was filling out the applications for school I wanted to stay local,” said Ogundeko, who received a partial scholarship and had her signing ceremony on April 21. “It’s not too big for me, it is not real small. Everything will be pretty easy to find. I’m extremely excited to go to school there.”
Ogundeko applied to other schools such as Division II’s West Virginia State, West Virginia Wesleyan and Division I’s Norfolk State, but Coppin State was just the perfect fit after she went on her official visit on April 2.
“Going to the right school and being able to sign Division I was real important to me,” said Ogundeko, who started playing basketball at the age of 7 and running track at 14. “When I went on my visit the coaches were real nice and I got to meet a few runners on the team. Everyone just made it feel just like home.”
North Point head track and field coach Debra Hall was ecstatic to see Ogundeko headed to the next level.
“I am excited to see Tatiana receive an athletic scholarship to Coppin State University,” Hall said. “She has worked hard over the past three years participating on the cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field teams at North Point.”
Coppin State is a smaller Division I school which competes in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Most importantly, the university’s goals match up with those of Ogundeko.
“The track program likes to win and having the opportunity to be in a atmosphere like that is a blessing,” said Ogundeko, who will specialize in the 800- and 1,600-meter runs. “Aside from athletics they also focus on academics and you must keep your grades up.”
Ogundeko will major in pre-nursing and now that she has found a college home she feels as though her college career has already begun.
In the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference outdoor championships last week, Ogundeko finished sixth overall in the 1,600, was 13th in the 800 run and apart of the 3,200 relay team which placed third. The Class 4A East Region championships began Thursday and continue Saturday at North County High School in Glen Burnie.
This past winter during the indoor season, she took fifth in the 800 at the SMAC and 4A East Region championships to boast All-County second-team honors.
“I’m going to miss North Point and the coaching staff,” Ogundeko said. “Coach Hall made sure helped me out out a lot on and off the track. I’m just thankful for all the support from all my coaches and teammates. I’m looking forward to running at the college level.”
North Point High School senior Tatiana Ogundeko signed her national letter of intent on April 21 to NCAA Division I outfit Coppin State University in Baltimore for track and field and cross country. Seated, from left, are Angela Williams, Ogundeko’s sister-in law, Donta Henson, Ogundeko’s brother, Tatiana Ogundeko and Latonia Henson, Ogundeko’s mother.