Smithfield: Sports

Rachel Strickland of Corinth Holders to run at Mars Hill

Rachel Strickland signs with Mars Hill University with her parents (seated) Cheryl and Chris Strickland, (standing, from left) Corinth Holders cross country coach Joe Johnston and track and field coach Peter Clark.
Rachel Strickland signs with Mars Hill University with her parents (seated) Cheryl and Chris Strickland, (standing, from left) Corinth Holders cross country coach Joe Johnston and track and field coach Peter Clark. cbest@newsobserver.com

Parents: Chris and Cheryl Strickland

High School: Corinth Holders

Also Considered: Francis Marion, Mount Olive, Montreat

Why Mars Hill? “I really loved the coach. I really connected there more than I did with any other coach or team. The team was very welcoming and I loved everybody I met.”

Major: Physical Therapy

Notable: Rachel’s competitive running career came out of gym class during her freshman year. “We were running the mile in gym class and my time just kept dropping and dropping and dropping,” she said. … She prefers cross country running, enjoying the longer distance more than straight track events. She finished second in the Two Rivers 3A Conference Cross Country Championships as a senior. … Her best time in the 1,600 meters is 5 minutes, 56 seconds and in the 3,200, it’s 13:29. … Rachel has also been a key part of the Pirates’ highly-successful 3,200 relay team. … She logs 30-35 miles a week during training and knows a key part of college running will be adjusting to even more miles of training each week.

Corinth Holders track coach Peter Clark: “Rachel has been a dominating force on our relay teams. Rachel outworks many talented runners. Every time she hits the track, she is breaking one of her own personal best records. Mars Hill is getting an extremely talented individual.”

Compiled by D. Clay Best

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