Junior Lamisha Simmons from Hollywood, Florida, has made her mark since her transfer to ETSU track and field.
Despite Simmon’s success in the sport, it wasn’t always her dream or even her interest to pursue the sport.
“I really wasn’t attracted to track and field, but it was my coach that got me into it,” said Simmons. “At first it was something that I just thought would keep me out of the streets and stay distracted, but then I started actually enjoying it.”
Simmons finished her high school career as a state champion in 2015 in the 2A Florida state track meet, while individually scoring in three separate events.
She went on to compete for the University of Nebraska but had no idea what she was signing up for.
“I never knew what college was, because my mom and my dad didn’t graduate,” said Simmons. “I’ll be the first to graduate, but no one ever pushed that upon me.”
After barely one year at the University of Nebraska, Simmons transferred and came to ETSU to continue her college and track career.
“I was depressed, overweight and just sad all the time,” said Simmons. “I came out of high school running 13:80 in hurdles, and I couldn’t run any faster than 14:03, 14:04 at Nebraska.”
After her transfer, Simmons improved both in and out of sports, but there are still things that are unsatisfactory.
“My college experience is not what I expected at all, from both schools, and I feel for here at ETSU there’s not as much diversity,” said Simmons.
In her first season in 2017, Simmons competed in five indoor and six outdoor events, finishing with seven individual top-three finished events including the 60mH, 100mH, 400mH and the 400m. She also helped contribute in first place finishes in the 2017 Beynon Sports Surface Catamount Classic and the Southern Conference Indoor.
In 2018, Simmons competed in another five indoor and six outdoor meets where she recorded seven top-five finishes and one first-place finish in individual events. She also had four first-place finishes and a third-place finish in 4×4 events.
Simmons guided ETSU to two gold medals in 10 point wins in both the 4×100 and 4×400, helping break the school record last set in 2009, and has gone on to improve the impressive list of accomplishments throughout her senior year.
Simmons proves to be a star athlete, but is content with retiring her career at the college level.
“Track and field does a lot to your body, and I can feel myself already winding down,” said Simmons. “I think I’m ready to move on with my career.”
Majoring in criminology, with a minor in social work, Simmons aspires to own an all-girls or all-boys home where she can work with juveniles.
“I don’t want it to be like a detention center,” said Simmons. “I want to teach them things that the real world, parents and teacher are supposed to be teaching them but fail to.”