‘I will never forget this’: Nia Mosby signs letter of intent to run Division I track and field


Photo credit: Julia Wanger

Senior Nia Mosby signs her National Letter of Intent to play Division 1 track and field at Princeton University. Mosby signed her letter alongside Archer varsity track and field coach Phil Smith and her parents, Potesia Perry and Anthony Mosby.

By Celeste Ramirez, Multimedia Editor

Senior Nia Mosby, sporting black and orange Nike Jordan 1 sneakers, signed her National Letter of Intent alongside her family on Wednesday, Feb. 5. The amphitheater courtyard was filled to capacity to watch Mosby commit to Division 1 track and field at Princeton University, leaving some to sit on nearby stairs or watch from the lantern room balcony. “Eye of the Tiger” played in the background in honor of Princeton’s mascot, as Associate Head of School Karen Pavliscak led multiple crowd waves. 

Athletic Director Kim Smith hosted the event, and student body president Grace Wilson interviewed Mosby. Mosby said she would “never forget this [moment]” and she felt “fortunate” to be accompanied by the people who “encouraged” her and “got her” to where she is.

“It means that everything that I’ve worked for is paying off and my journey, my hard work and the combination of things that I have to do, all my sacrifices, all happened for a reason,” Mosby said. “This is making it official.” 

Mosby, who has been running since she was about 7 or 8 years old, said that she never questioned whether she would run in college. Director of College Guidance Gabrielle Dorsey gave more insight into what the college process looks like in Division I athletics. 

“Students tend to start pretty early. Coaches will already be looking at them during junior year–or sometimes even earlier, depending on the sport–so students have to have their testing done earlier. They are in contact with coaches. There is a lot of additional planning that goes into that,” Dorsey said. “Coaches are pretty clear, like ‘We don’t want to see any B’s or ‘You have to bring up your grades up in this’ or ‘You need this level of testing for us to be able to advocate for you.’ Students will have to meet the requirements in order to get the official offer.”

Throughout the signing, Mosby expressed her gratitude for the role Archer played in her journey. 

“It has taught me to be the strong person I am today. It has taught me to fight for myself, and to advocate for myself, and even the people around me…[It taught me] the importance of being selfless, and making sure that you put yourself first as well, and to put your priorities first,” Mosby said. “I literally wouldn’t be the person I am today. I wouldn’t value education as much, I wouldn’t have probably gotten into track as much. My teammates helped me become who I am today and Archer brought them to me. I’m very thankful.” 

Mosby also shared that God and her religion played a huge role in her college process, track process, and high school experience. Potesia Perry, Mosby’s mother, reiterated this when trying to find a single word to describe her daughter.

“Ambitious, competitive but then she’s also her faith,” Perry said. “Her faith is huge and it’s important to her so [as I try] to think of a word that encompasses all those characteristics, I think of her name, Nia, which means ‘purpose,’ [and] her middle name Imani means ‘faith.’ I think she’s carrying the meaning of her names well.”

Archer track and field coach Phil Smith, who has been coaching Mosby for four years, said that he believes the two things athletes can control are their “effort” and “attitude.” He said these qualities in Nia are some of the best he has seen. He said he has never seen Mosby with a bad attitude, and she is always smiling and willing to work and help. 

“Nia has her eye on greatness, and I truly believe that Nia wants to make her mark on the world–not just at track, but in anything she encounters and puts her mind to,” Phil Smith said. “This year, you’re going to see her challenge the top girls in the state in the 200 and 400 and with that, if she puts her mind to it, I’m here to tell you that you may see her in 2024 in Paris, in the Olympics.”

Mosby also shared how she thinks she reached her goal, giving advice to her fellow peers. 

“Honestly, it was dedication and working after hours, determination–and I feel like if you’re not passionate about something, you’re not going to put in the work that you need to,” Mosby said. “[I was] just working on achieving a goal, and focusing on every part of my journey, and understanding to have patience…Don’t lose sight of the end goal, but be present within the journey as well.” 

Watch the full signing ceremony below.