The Track World Comes Together to Support Our Own


You would expect one of the best all-around athletes in New England to be heading to college on an athletic scholarship right?  Not when you commit to an Ivy League school. 

Hillary Holmes of Exeter (NH) is currently ranked in the New England top ten for three events and will attend Cornell in the fall.  Her athletic accolades are only outdone by her work in the classroom, commitment to her community, and devotion to her team.

Ivy League schools do not give athletic scholarships, but the top-notch education is considered more than ample compensation by most.  The policy leaves student-athletes with the daunting task of finding a way to cover the more than $40,000 annual tuition expenses with little free time outside of practice and studying to work a part-time job.  But the best and the brightest at the nation’s top universities did not get to that point without a little ingenuity.

Holmes has applied for Hood Sportsmanship Scholarship, a program that rewards eighteen deserving high school students with $5,000 towards furthering their education at a two- or four-year accredited college or university.  She was selected to participate based on the following essay submission:

We did it. I placed first, and my teammate, Tori, placed second in the triple jump at the New Hampshire State Meet. We were both ecstatic; two Exeter girls placing back to back at states! Held together by glue, we would sneak up on each other and whisper, “Psst...first and second!” The following week was the New England competition. Together we worked so hard; lifting, running, jumping, and motivating ourselves with our past victory. Together again, we placed 6th and 7th in New England. Yet, when the top six competitors were called to the podium, something dawned on me; as I received my medal I heard a large “WOO!” from Tori in the crowd, who just missed the last podium spot. Our jumps were only separated by mere inches! I had two more years to compete in high school, but for Tori, this was her last high school meet before she went to compete at St.Lawrence University. I knew she deserved much more recognition. After the meet, I took my medal from the case. On the back side where “6th” was inscribed, I wrote below in permanent marker, “and 7th,” and gave her the medal at her graduation. Sometimes medals mark individual performances, but this one represents more; our combined performances and friendship. Through that medal, we have stayed connected. Next year, when I run at Cornell University, I’ll know that even when we compete on our separate teams, we still compete together; 6th and 7th, 1st and 2nd.


Here is how the track community can help…….


From the Hood Milk Website – We invite you to help select the finalists! Vote once a day, now through March 15, 2012, at 3 PM EST, for the student whose essay you think deserves to be a finalist for the Hood Sportsmanship Scholarship.

The ten students from each New England state who receive the most votes will be selected as finalists. The finalists will be interviewed by a panel of judges and three students from each state will be selected as winners. The winners will be honored at an awards ceremony and entered into the Hood Sportsmanship Scholarship Hall of Fame.

Hood Milk has helped kids grow healthy and strong for more than 160 years. For the third consecutive year, we're proud to offer $90,000 in scholarship funds to celebrate the integrity and sportsmanship of New England students as they continue their education. Support them with your vote!


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