A WALK WITH A HAWK ... FEATURING: IMANI COX
Jan. 11, 2013
PRINCESS ANNE, Md. – It is not too often that you see a woman bench press 230 pounds.
Then again, it is not too often you meet people like University of Maryland Eastern Shore junior thrower, Imani Cox.
Cox is one of the hardest workers on the UMES track team. Whether it is in the weight room or at practice, her efforts do not gone unseen. She is a mainstay in the gym; a place where she throws weights around at ease. She pushes herself to the limit at practice as her regimen is hard, long and tiresome.
Despite her intimidating frame, her personality is anything but that.
She is soft-spoken and enjoys the small things in life. Cox is not the party type and does not need to boast about her credentials to make herself feel better.
“Many people would be surprised to know that I am quiet,” said Cox. “I would rather stay home and watch a movie instead of going to a party.”
She focuses her attention on school, sports and the community. The time she has spent with the trio have proven to pay off well.
She opened up 2013 with a personal-record throw of 14.22m shot put throw at the Delaware Invitational. Her throw was over three feet farther than the closest competitor at the event. The career-best throw helped her attain two top-3 finishes at the event, a feat that no other Hawk achieved.
She has grown continuously since coming to UMES in 2009. Last season in outdoor, she placed second in the shot put with a throw of 12.76m at the George Mason Invitational. She collected a second-place finish at the Penn Invitational with an 11.87m heave in the shot put. Her best effort of the year was when she won the discus throw at the Penn Invitational (39.71m).
In 2011, she placed first at the Morgan State Legacy meet with a 41.21m discus throw and earned a third-place discus throw of 41.22m at the MEAC Outdoor Track Championships. It was a building block off of the six events she competed in earlier that season in indoor. As a freshman, Cox received Most Improved Player for the team and threw a high of 10.75m in the shot put at the Albany Great Dane Classic.
She has certainly grown as an athlete, but being a good samaritan is in her roots. Every Thanksgiving and Christmas, Cox joins her dad and gives food to people at the local homeless shelter.
“I want people to know me as a hardworking and understanding person,” said Cox. “I have a big heart and would give my shirt to someone who is less fortunate than I am.”
Her ability to prevail is a direct result of the way she was raised. She lists her mother and father as her biggest motivations and uses their words as positive encouragement. When she was younger, her mom would reiterate to her that “if you can believe, you can achieve”, a phrase that Cox lives by.
Her journey to Princess Anne was sparked by a solid prep career at Plainfield High School (N.J.). She was the only person at Plainfield to make the state tournament as a sophomore. The feat marked the first time in 13 years that someone from the field team had qualified for the state meet. While in high school, she was also named the champion of the discus for Union County, Watchung Conference and the NJSIAA Section. She was named to the All-Union County team after she won the discus and placed second in the shot put.
Despite the attention from other universities, she chose to walk on at UMES.
It was a decision that the thrower does not regret.
“I chose UMES because it was a small school and I like the idea of smaller classrooms,” said Cox. “The atmosphere at the school appeared to be quiet and relaxing. That is the way I like it. It wasn’t too far from home and my parents can visit me.”
In the future, Cox envisions herself finishing a degree in business administration. She would like to work in physical therapy and has aspirations to own her own sports rehabilitation center. It is a combination that she feels would be perfectly suited for her.
The strong bodied and strong willed Cox exemplifies the importance of staying true to yourself. It is a mindset that many have a hard time grasping, but not for Cox.
“I am different because I don’t conform to what society tells me what I should do,” said Cox. “I also believe in determination. I am not going to let anyone deter me from my dreams.”
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