At the Colonial Athletic Association Championship last May in Williamsburg, Virginia, Simone Harris broke a school record in the discus throw that had stood for 14 years. Her heave of 44.97 meters only beat the old one held by Lindsay Baber ’04 by a little over a quarter of a meter, but it eclipsed the oldest record in program history.
“We were there to see it, so that was great,” says her mom, Karen Harris ’91, who is an English teacher at Dr. Phinnize J. Fisher Middle School in Greenville, South Carolina. “We’re very proud of her and look forward to her next two years there. I’m excited that we have two more years to go visit and go see track meets and watch her become more and more accomplished.”
Harris’ athletic success may very well have helped her win an Otto B. German ’73 Endowed Alumni Scholarship in Athletics for this school year and next. Of course, it also helped that her mom is an alumna.
Although Harris was offered scholarships to other schools, she only gave them a cursory consideration. CofC was always her first choice – and not just because her mom went to the College.
“My grandparents live here, so I’m very familiar with the area,” says the public health major. “It feels like a second home. It’s important to feel comfortable when you’re going to college and getting a degree.”
And track provides as much of an athletic outlet as it does a social one.
“Being on the track team is a huge part of what I like about the College because that’s where most of my friends are,” says Harris, who was the South Carolina state discus champion her senior year of high school. “I’ve always liked athletics. Doing track allows me to meet new people and travel to new places. I really like the people I throw with, and our coach is pretty awesome.”
Her coach thinks Harris is pretty awesome, too.
“Her athletic achievements are only beginning to scratch the surface of what she’s capable of,” says Amy Seago, head coach for CofC’s track and field and cross country teams. “She is well-thought of by her peers and the coaching staff has named her a team co-captain this year. She’s a great teammate and will stand up for those who need help.”
Harris’ keys to throwing the discus and breaking the school record? “Great footwork, good technique and strength can take you a long way,” she says.
And that’s in more ways than one.