A WALK WITH A HAWK ... FEATURING: CYNTHIA ANAIS
Anais is on track to recieve 12 varsity letters in her four-year career
Anais is on track to recieve 12 varsity letters in her four-year career

Feb. 24, 2012

PRINCESS ANNE, Md. – The University of Maryland Eastern Shore has always had a close relationship with music. Music has forever been rooted within the culture of the institution. It's something that students and faculty can identify themselves with.

Whether it be listening to DJs spin records outside of the Student Service Center or hearing the Hawks’ band at a home basketball contest, music is alive and well in Princess Anne.

It can even be seen in Lady Gaga’s recent hit song, “The Edge of Glory”, where UMES alum, Clarence Clemons, is seen on set jamming with his saxophone.

Music is one thing that senior middle distance runner, Cynthia Anais (Martinique, France), has learned to use; a technique that has helped her numerous times in her last kicks toward the finish line.

“I listen to all types of music but I love reggae, reggae, reggae!” said Anais. “When I want to warm up, I listen to Dance Hall and when I want to sleep, I listen to classical.”

The mix of music has been good for her athletic career.

With one month left in her final year of indoor track, Anais already has 11 varsity letters under her belt. The completion of an outdoor track season this spring will give her a total of 12.

She has recieved four with the cross country team and seven with the indoor and outdoor track & field squads. Upon the completion of the outdoor season, Anais will have received an award in every track season of her collegiate career.

If Anais’ life was a song, her running career would most definately be the chorus.

She has been named an All-American several times and has broken many UMES record along the way. Anais has held the outdoor track 800m record several times, the first being in 2009, where she ran a 2:09.58 at the Georgia Tech Invitational.

She went on to collect several personal-best finishes across the next two years for each track team. Her resume was expanded when she was named MEAC Player of the Week in cross country two times in 2010. The middle-distance runner went on to win six gold medals for indoor track in 2011, three of which were at the MEAC Championships.

Fast forward to the 2011-12 season and she recently led the women’s indoor team to a second-place finish at the MEAC Championships. The event saw her win three MEAC Championships in the 800m, 1,600m and 3,000m. Her effort was highlighted with a 4:59.33 finish in the one-mile, which proved to be a new MEAC Indoor Track & Field record.  

Although she has had success unlike few student-athletes in the history of UMES’ track program, Anais states that her biggest accomplishment has been off the field.

“I think my greatest accomplishment is getting to where I am in my life right now,” said Anais. “I have traveled many places and have had to leave my family and have come to a foreign country for four years. I’ve had to adapt and I’ve had to learn many new things along the way.”

It is often said that English is one of the most difficult languages to learn. Anais grew up speaking French and has had to overcome a language barrier; one that has given her a sense of perseverance. Upon her arrival to America, she was forced to learn English and has taken classes at UMES in the subject.

Whether it is the cultural diversity or successful track program, she knew from the beginning that UMES was the right place for her.

“There were a couple of places that I knew of at the time and UMES was one of them,” said Anais. “They had offered me a scholarship for track & field. I thought it was the best place for my career as I aspire to run for my country as a professional athlete.”

As she continues to grow as a person and athlete, the sky is the limit for this blessed super star. She has given Hawk nation and the track teams a person to follow by; one that teaches us to work hard and good things will come in return.

The NCAA Championships stand just two weeks away.

We can only imagine as to how powerful her encore will be.

For complete recaps, results and news of Hawk athletics, please visit www.umeshawks.com

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