A WALK WITH A HAWK ... FEATURING: DILLON SIMON
Dec. 18, 2012
PRINCESS ANNE, Md. – Ever since the day sophomore Dillon Simon joined the University of Maryland Eastern Shore track and field team, he has let his presence be known. The dual sport athlete has dazzled Hawk fans with his throws in the shotput, but has also shown to be a mature figure around the William P. Hytche Athletic Center. He is well-liked and has showed an ambition to achieve big things.
The improvements that he has made over his first three semesters have shown just that.
In his first meet this year, Simon qualified for the IC4A meet with a 16.10m throw to place first at the Navy Invitational. His throw was 1.3m farther than the closest competitor. The milestone was a culmination of the hard work he has put in, where he has shown continuous improvement over the past two seasons.
Simon has been on a tear since he began wearing the maroon and gray last season. The Roseau, Dominica native began his collegiate career by being honored as a 2012 All-Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference second team selection in outdoor track last year. He was the only UMES freshman named to any of the three MEAC teams.
His distinction was benefitted by a trio of solid performances last spring. He posted two second-place finishes at the Penn Invitational on April 7 when he threw the shotput 15m and heaved the discus 46.34m. Simon went on to throw the shotput 15.89m and the discus 45.62m at the Morgan State Legacy meet on April 21. It was his performances in the MEAC Championships that were his best of the year, where he registered a second-place heave of 16.12m in the shotput and backed it up with a fifth-place discus toss of 45.54.
But why did he choose UMES?
“I chose UMES because of the diversity of the student-athletes on the track team,” said Simon. “I had a good relationship with throws coach, Curtley Bynoe as well.”
His time at UMES has provided him with positive results in the meets, but it has not been easy. Simon has had to overcome several nagging injuries.
“I have been struggling with injuries that have kept me out of crucial competitions,” said Simon. “It has had a negative impact on my morale but I have learned that the key to success is achieving your goals while staring in the face of failure.”
The success he has attained as a Hawk has spawned from the strong work ethic and habits he developed as youngster.
As a youth, he qualified to represent Dominica at the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) World Youth Championships in 2007 and then again in 2010. He also placed 10th in the finals for the shotput in 2007. He was named Sportsman of the Year in 2008 and won the U-17 shotput that same year. Academically, he graduated with a 3.2 GPA in Business Administration from Dominica State College.
Simon is a big family man and he uses them as motivation.
“They made a significant contribution to me,” said Simon. “When I came here to attend school, they supported me in track. They have supported me for as long as I can remember.”
The Dominica native prides himself on his friendly personality as well. He emphasizes that he is a very calm person and it takes a lot to get him angry. In his spare time, he enjoys fishing and hiking with friends from his home country. He is also an avid domino player.
In the future, Simon plans on representing his country at the World Championships and at the Olympics. He would like to throw the shotput over 17m and toss the discus at least 50m. He also plans on getting his Masters in Business Administration during that period.
Whether it is his size, attitude or work ethic, Simon has made a name for himself so far at UMES. He may not be the loudest, but his work on the track field makes him standout. He credits his success to not losing focus and in setting appropriate goals to achieve.
“I have learned to set aside pleasurable activities to get important work done,” said Simon. “I do this to make sure I get it done as best as I can.”
Keep doing it up Dillon.
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