As a potential future astronaut, Tatum Dalgleish has already got a bit of the above-ground thing in her repertoire.
At track and field meets, the Mount Si High senior can be found in the section of the stadium that houses the long and triple jumps. She’s been flying though the air with those events since junior high, and this season she’s at the top of the 4A KingCo and District 2 rankings in the long jump with a 16-4. Her personal record is 16-5.5, which she attained as a freshman when she qualified for state.
She’s made it to KingCo and district every year and notched a PR of 34-6 in the triple jump during her freshman year. This season, she’s wedged in fifth place in 4A KingCo and District 2 with a 32-10.5.
“I liked running, but something about races, I just get nervous, but with jumping you don’t have to go against someone right next to you. You’re just going against yourself and then trying to improve yourself,” Dalgleish said.
Dalgleish used to swim year round, but after diving into track and field, she’s limited her aquatics activities to the high school squad.
On dry land, she exudes all her power into the jumps, and experiences a “crazy” feeling when she sticks the landing.
“It takes a lot of work to get there, but it’s rewarding: The build up, going from slow to really fast and then just jumping. It’s just fun to put all your power from running into just jumping as far as you can,” she said.
Dalgleish also excels in the classroom with advanced placement chemistry, physics and other courses. She notched a 3.9 grade-point average last quarter and plans on studying aerospace engineering in college — either at the University of Washington or the Air Force Academy. She’s been accepted to both schools and will make her final decision soon.
The Record asked Dalgleish a series of questions to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into her life:
What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve ever been given?
Recently, don’t spend your life planning for the future, you gotta think of what’s happening now sometimes, and do what’s best for you now.
What’s your favorite movie of all time?
“Interstellar.” I really like space.
What’s your favorite kind of music?
I like a lot of different types of music. I like modern music, but I also like listening to Queen and Michael Jackson sometimes.
What inspires you each day to go out and do your thing?
Just my future and looking forward to it. A goal of mine is to become an astronaut, so I just wanna do well in school, so I could eventually get there maybe. Doing sports and doing well in them, even if not going on to play them in college, it’s a good feeling to make it to state and districts.
What drew you toward the astronaut field?
Space is just super cool. I remember in fifth and sixth grade, we’d just have discussions about space and it just really fascinated me, and then I took physics and we talked about the gravitational pulls and everything. It’s magic. It’s just crazy to think about there’s this whole universe out there.
What super power would you like to have?
Teleportation, I could get anywhere I wanted super fast.
What’s something unique about yourself that maybe somebody wouldn’t know?
I’m actually a pretty musical person. I play piano and I like to sing. Probably if I wasn’t doing engineering, I’d do something with that, a producer or something.
What are you most thankful about in life?
My family. They’re just very supportive. My astronaut dream, I used to think it was just unattainable. My dad and my mom were like, “OK, let’s research programs to help you get there.” I’ve done a lot of engineering programs, they helped me with summer camps, they introduced me to the academies, which would help me. The made sure that I knew that school was important and everything, but also to have fun while I’m in school.
If you could go to dinner with one person, who would that be?
Freddie Mercury. I love Queen, I just think he’s a musical genius. And after I saw the movie (“Bohemian Rhapsody”), his story is so crazy.