LENORA GUION-FIRMIN TO COMPETE FOR SPOT IN 2012 OLYMPIC GAMES
Lenora Guion-Firmin
Lenora Guion-Firmin

Princess Anne, Md. --Every four years the world's best athletes compete to represent their countries on the international stage. Rarely does such recognition hit so close to home, but the University of Maryland Eastern Shore's Lenora Guion-Firminwill compete to represent UMES and her native country of France in the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Guion-Firmin finished third in the 400-meter dash to qualify for a spot on the team with her time of 53.10 seconds.

"This is such a privilege for her [Guion-Firmin] to possibly represent her country," said head coach Ernest Barrett. "It's every track student-athletes dream to run in the Olympic Games."

With her third place finish, Guion-Firmin earned a spot in the 400-meter Relay pool of runners. If she runs an acceptable "A" standard time she could also run in the 400-meter dash event.

At the collegiate level, Guion-Firmin recently competed in the National Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships. She punched her ticket to the finals with a 52.23-second time in the 400-meter dash preliminary round in Jacksonville, Florida.

In the finals she posted a 52.65-second time. Her eighth place finish was enough to receive NCAA First-Team All-American honors. Guion-Firmin is the first female in UMES history to receive All-American honors in both indoor and outdoor track.

In her first year competing for the Hawks, Guion-Firmin holds two UMES records. She ran a 23.49-second time in the 200-meter dash and a 52.20-second time in the 400-meter dash.

Guion-Firmin finished either first or second in eight events in the 2012 season. She had four first-place finishes, two in the 400-meter dash, and one in the 100 and 200-meter dash events. She marked a 52.92 at George Mason in the 400 and a faster 52.74 at Morgan State. Her 23.49 sprint in the 200m dash at Morgan State was school-record setting, and her 12.07 finish in the 100m dash at Navy was the only time she ran in the event this season.

"Her points alone helped elevate UMES into the top 60 track and field programs in the country," said Barrett.

Guion-Firmin also ran in the 200-meter dash at George Mason, finishing second place with a 23.51-second time. At Towson she finished second place in the same event with a 23.78. She has been a consistent Peninsula Regional Medical Center Athlete of the Week, and received area news coverage earlier in the outdoor track and field season.

"Lenora is a young and talented student-athlete, and if she keeps the fire burning and stays focused she will have an even brighter future ahead of her," Barrett stated.

Somerset County recognized Guion-Firmin in May with a proclamation for receiving All-American status as an indoor track and field athlete.