Wildcat of the week: Isaiah Roybal


Isaiah Roybal warms up on with the rest of the track team. He is getting ready for their track meet this weekend, Monday, Apr. 1, 2019, in Chico, CA. Photo credit: Melissa Herrera

Track star Isaiah Roybal is in the middle of a very impressive season and is working hard with his teammates to get the Wildcats to the 2019 National Championship tournament.

Roybel is a transfer student from Santa Rosa Junior College who came to Chico State to study criminal justice in 2017. He originally joined the team as a sprinter, but has found recent success in the long jump and now competes in both events. His current streak of wins also recently earned him California Collegiate Athletics Association Athlete of the Week honors.


When did you start running track for Chico State?

I transferred to Chico State in 2017 and also started running track in 2017.


What attracted you to Chico State?

It’s different. I like the trees a lot and the team is really close-knit and that’s what really attracted me here. When your teammates actually care for you, it makes you want to perform more because you don’t want to let anyone down. It’s a good environment here.


What experiences has Chico State given you on a competitive level?

My teammates push me really hard here. I have really good teammates, and Coach O did a really good job recruiting. If you have people that you run fast within practice, you’ll go to a meet and run faster or jump farther. Having good teammates really makes things better.


What were some of the goals for the team this season?

The team goal is to win conference. We always say that it’s two weekends in May, so we just want to make sure we go out there and do good. Most of all it’s just that everyone has a good season, stays healthy and keeps getting better while competing the whole season.

Look of determination
Isaiah Roybal concentrates on his sprints. He is motivated and determined to win this weekend’s track meet, Monday, Apr. 1, 2019, in Chico, CA. Photo credit: Melissa Herrera

How do you prepare for a meet?

I eat a lot of pasta and I meditate. I tend to lay down in bed and just think about my race and my jumps. It’s really just a process and I think about the meet for a whole week leading up to it so that when I get there I’m not surprised by anything.


Do you have a favorite meet that you’ve competed in this season?

Stanford’s by far, but the home meets are a lot of fun because you get all of the support from the school, students and locals. That’s always fun because you get to see all of the support that Chico State gets.

What events do you compete in?

I competed in the 100 meters, the 200 meters and the long jump.

Do you have a favorite out of those?

Right now the long jump is definitely my favorite. Just being able to run down that runway and jump off that board at the end feels like you’re flying, but I am a sprinter at heart and I love sprinting.

Isaiah Roybal warms up with sprint runs
Isaiah Roybal is positioning himself up for his warm up sprints. He has a track meet this weekend, Monday, Apr. 1, 2019, in Chico, CA. Photo credit: Melissa Herrera

What was the first event that you ever competed in?

My first ever event was the 100-meter dash.

Do you have any inspirations or people that have helped you get where you are today?

Definitely. My grandparents have been very influential to me throughout this whole process and helped me get here.

What message would you give to someone who wants to one day compete in track at the collegiate level?

Just keep working hard and don’t lose focus of your goals. It’s easy to lose touch with your goals because track is such an up and down sport, but if you just stick with it and trust your coach and the process, you’re going to get somewhere.

Did you play any other sports growing up?

I did, I played football in high school.

Matthew Ferreira can be reached at [email protected] or @MattFerreira__ on Twitter.