Halmon competing in a cross country meet this fall

Nov. 12, 2013

PRINCESS ANNE, Md.--Anyone who has gone thru college can tell those who are preparing for college that the first few months, or even the whole freshman year, can be full of obstacles and challenges.

But for Hawk Freshman Rachel Halmon, she takes it all in stride.

While the adjustment has had its tough times, Rachel is enjoying the first few months here at UMES. Her accomplishments as a cross country runner could be a good reason why. Rachel has been the best runner in terms of time for every woman's race this season, including four top ten finishes. Even more fascinating, cross country is not the reason she joined the track team. Rachel is currently getting ready for the indoor season so she can run the 400 and 800 meter races. "I chose UMES because I wanted to run the 400 and 800, and Coach Barrett is very good at coaching the 800 meter race."

However, for Rachel, she considers that to be the icing on the proverbial college cake. UMES also has a criminal justice major with a chance to go into a pre-law concentration. If Rachel goes into law school as she is planning now, she hopes to become a prosecutor or go into the field of sports and entertainment law. "Everything at the school just fit."

For Rachel, the academics come first, and while she enjoys running track and is proud of her accomplishments, she almost never started running in the first place. Her growth as a track and field athlete began at Dr. Samuel Mudd Elementary School in Waldorf. Admittedly, Rachel was a tomboy who competed with the boys in football and basketball, when she was encouraged by a "Coach Murray" because of what she called "natural abilities." Rachel stuck with the sport thru her time at Thomas Stone High School, and with her, the program soared to new heights. The track team won states in the 4x4 relays, then won the team title for the first time in school history her senior year. Rachel even got to present the trophy to the school at her graduation ceremony. Rachel attributes her success to staying motivated, setting goals that go "above and beyond" and reaching them. She also hopes to not only make herself proud, but is also motivated to making others proud, too, particularly her parents.



Despite some reluctance at the start, Rachel is excited to continue her track career at UMES. One of her main goals is to qualify for the World Juniors in Eugene, Oregon this coming July. "It is the last year I am able to qualify, so I really hope I can make it this year." Rachel also dreams of qualifying for the Olympic team one day as well.

Judging by the results of her first few months at school, both academically and athletically, she is off to a good start, and those dreams may very well end up being reality.  

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