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Talents on and off the track

Portland State senior Jim Sattem decided he would stay in state to attend college upon his graduation from West Albany High School. Standing at 5-foot-9 and 165 pounds, Sattem played soccer for four years at West Albany. It was his senior year in high school when he finally decided to compete for the track team. That one year let him carry his talents to the next level at Portland State University.

In his senior year in high school he set a school record for the 100-meter dash in a hand-timed 10.6 second mark. To prove this was not a fluke, Sattem went on to take fourth at the 4A state meet in 1998. In his fourth year at PSU, Sattem has raised his skills even more. Going into the 2002 indoor championships, Sattem was ranked only 11th in the Big Sky for the 55-meter dash. But Sattem took second overall with a time of 6.41 seconds.

Sattem comes from a family of five, with two older siblings and proud parents Robert and Donna Sattem. He is a well-rounded student and stays involved on campus in more ways than just track and field. Sattem is involved in the Ambassador Program, which requires weekly meetings, giving campus tours and attending other miscellaneous events around the campus. He is an electrical engineering major with a GPA of 3.48. Sattem is an acting officer of the IEEE, an electrical engineering institution. He was just inducted into the Tau Beta Pi, the National Engineering Honor Society that recognizes the top fifth of his senior class.

“I’m not about just athletics – there’s more to it. I like to get involved in all aspects not just the one being track,” Sattem said.

Sattem is a believer in team camaraderie. He only has positive things to say about his teammates and coach.

“Coach (Tony) Veney is awesome. He’s a great asset to the program and he’s going to take it into the right direction. We have a great group on the team this year. This is the best year I’ve seen it. Everyone gets along, those who left last year are missing out,” Sattem said.

Veney had a smile while talking about his standout sprinter, who’s ranked sixth in the Big Sky for the 100.

“Jimmy was one of the first people I met when I got the job and he has probably been one of my biggest advocates. He’s bought into the system and has made the transition from a different coach, which is not easy. I’ve been extremely impressed, because while trying to learn he’s been supportive. He’s a good leader, hard worker, I almost have to stop him from training so hard,” Veney said.

As far as school and track are concerned, Sattem feels that this was the right choice for him. In his spare time, he likes to play some golf, wakeboard and do anything that has to do with the outdoors. Fittingly, Sattem has one year of eligibility left at PSU for outdoor track. He has completed his four years of indoor.

“I love campus. I love the fact that it’s small and you walk around and always see someone you know. I chose to come here for not only track, but the strong engineering program. PSU, in all aspects, is getting better, growing and being noticed,” Sattem said.