OLIVET, Mich (WLNS) – Payton Otto has grown up loving being athletic and her talents in throwing the discus and shot put have been record-breaking this past year. The Olivet senior finished 2nd in the discus at the Division 2 Michigan High School Atheltic Association (MHSAA) Track & Field State Finals in June. Her 134’3″ discus throw also set a new school record but she never really thought that competing at a Division-I school like Michigan State was ever going to be part of her future.
“Well, that was definitely a surprise,” said Payton. “I was sitting on my couch one day and I got a DM (direct message) from Coach (Zachery) Ball at MSU and I was kind of thinking he got the wrong name. My mom accidentally signed me up for recruiting website, so I’d gotten like some random messages from different schools and stuff. So I reached out to Coach Ball and we made a date and we went on an unofficial visit in the summer and it reminded me a lot of, here, it’s a big school, but it’s a small community of athletes and they just reminded me a lot of the family that I found.”
After four years competing at Olive High School, Payton has gotten accustomed to rocking the green and white colors, but when it comes to universities, the Otto household hasn’t always liked the green and white.
“We actually grew up being Michigan fans, so it was kind of hard for our household to adjust, but that’ll be okay,” said Payton. “They said they’ll root for me for as long as I’m on track and field. You watch ’em on TV and you never really think that you could be there and now you’re wearing their colors. To put that jersey on for the first time was definitely an eye open. I didn’t really think that I would be going to anything big enough, especially let alone a Big Ten rival the school that you’ve just grown up buying their colors. But I gotta make adjustments, gotta learn their basketball lineup now, but it’ll be okay.”