Taylor Washington -  - Arkansas Razorbacks

Taylor Washington

Razorback alum and 2016 Olympic gold medalist Taylor Washington (née Ellis-Watson) returned to the Arkansas women’s program in January of 2024 as director of operations.

During her time as a Razorback sprinter from 2013-2016 she collected six silver medals at NCAA Championships and claimed four SEC titles. An Arkansas team captain, Washington was an integral member of two Razorback national championship teams with the 2015 NCAA Indoor and 2016 NCAA Outdoor team titles, the first ever women’s national championship teams in Arkansas history.

Washington totaled nine first-team All-America honors, and 11 accolades overall, in her collegiate career, which included four individual first-team honors in the 400m and five as a member of Razorback 4 x 400m relays.

In conference competition, Washington totaled four golds in the 400m, a pair of silver medals in the 200m, and a relay bronze in the SEC. She also earned an indoor Big East 400m gold with Pittsburgh in 2012.

During the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials, placed fourth in the 400m with an Arkansas school record of 50.25 seconds, following prelim and semifinal times of 51.54 and 50.60. Washington entered the meet with a previous best of 50.78.

Earning a position in the Team USA relay pool for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, Washington supplied a 50.5 second-leg split on the 4 x 400m relay in the Olympic semifinal as the United States posted the top time in qualifying with a 3:21.42. Washington’s split was third fastest second-leg splits among the 16 countries competing in the two semifinal races.

The Americans claimed victory in the final with a time of 3:19.06, earning Washington an Olympic gold medal. Washington became the fourth Razorback in program history to win an Olympic gold medal, and the first to do so in the 4 x 400m relay.

During the 2016 collegiate season Washington split 50.04 as she anchored the Razorbacks 4 x 400m relay to a then school record of 3:25.48 during the NCAA West Preliminary rounds held in Lawrence, Kansas.

Heading into the 2024 season, Washington remains among the Razorback top 10 lists in seven events. Indoors her collegiate bests times of 22.99 (200m) and 51.51 (400m) as well as a 3:28.70 (4 x 400m relay) remain among the all-time top 10. Outdoors her marks of 11.33 (100m), 22.48 (200m), and 50.25 (400m) are among the top 10 as well as the 3:25.48 relay.

A 2015 Arkansas graduate with a B.S. in Psychology, Washington was a 2016 NCAA Women of the Year nominee. In 2017, she was honored at the NCAA Convention as one of 10 exceptional student-athletes selected as Today’s Top 10 Award winners. Washington also earned Arkansas Student-Athlete of the Year.

While competing professionally with adidas for two years, Washington attended Saint Leo University in Florida, attaining her MBA in sports administration in 2018. After graduating with her MBA, she worked for one year as a NASA on the Test Operations Support contract as a NASA support specialist where she managed design and development projects. In July of 2019, Washington joined the University of Central Florida athletic staff as coordinator of executive operations.

In 2021, Washington worked as a People Advisory Services Consultant at Ernst & Young where she specialized in Program Management, Organizational Change Management, and Training. While embarking on her professional career after being an athlete, she stayed plugged in her local high schools as a coach for cross country and track & field at Windermere High School and Montverde Academy.

Taylor is married to Wesley Washington. Together they have a son and daughter, Tauren & Arlie.