Rashid off to fast startPublished 9:29pm Thursday, June 6, 2013
NRHS alum makes college impact
Opportunities can be limited for younger athletes on the stellar Indiana Institute of Technology track and field team, but freshman and former Nansemond River High School standout Malika Rashid has taken advantage of the ones she had, and her team has benefited from her hard work.
The Indiana Tech women’s and men’s teams won the 2013 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics outdoor track and field national championships. They also placed second and third, respectively, in the indoor national championships.
Rashid distinguished herself among the team’s freshmen and latest additions to win its Newcomer of the Year award.
“I felt honored and that I was really proud of myself and glad that I got the award, and that I even was up for the running to get the award, because I never thought that I would do that good my first year of college for track,” Rashid said.
Her high school experience came primarily through indoor track, and that was where she made the biggest impact at Indiana Tech.
“Indoor, she did make nationals in the (60-meter) dash, and she was actually the highest-finishing freshman at nationals in the 60 dash for any school,” Indiana Tech head coach Doug Edgar said.
During the year, she achieved a finishing time of 7.71 seconds in the 60-meter dash.
“Her indoor 60 time, I think, is our second-fastest ever by a freshman,” Edgar said.
She ran in the 100- and 200-meter dashes for both indoor and outdoor. Additionally, at the 2013 Wolverine Hoosier Athletic Conference outdoor championships, she was part of the 4×100-meter relay team that won with a time of 47.14 seconds.
The recipient of the Newcomer of the Year honor was determined by votes from the coaching staff.
“Based on everything that she did throughout the indoor season and the outdoor season, we felt like she had the biggest contribution for any of our female freshmen in the running events,” Edgar said.
He noted that she had a very good year in the classroom, as well, which significantly influenced the coaches’ decision. Rashid made the academic honors list in the fall term with a 3.6 grade point average and finished the year with a 3.4.
She is majoring in recreational therapy and has hopes to be an athletic trainer in the NBA or the NFL.
Rashid gave her appraisal of her freshman year in track.
“I felt like it had a rough start, and it eventually got better in the middle of my indoor season,” she said. “After that, I just started improving at every track meet.”
She said the slow start was due to a hamstring injury suffered during her inaugural outdoor track season in her senior year at Nansemond River. To deal with the issue in college, she began going to a chiropractor.
“After I started going to the chiropractor, all my times started dropping, and I started doing better,” she said.
Edgar said Rashid had a good freshman year. He noted that she will need to work on her endurance to be competitive in the outdoor 100- and 200-meter dashes, “but that 60 dash really gives us a lot of hope that she’s going to be a really big contributor here for the next three years.”