Published: Friday, April 27, 2012
Updated: Friday, April 27, 2012 01:04
Unique is defined as being the only one of its kind; unlike anything else. This definition describes one of the most influential personalities on the UNC track and field team.
“She is unique, to the definition of the word, but in a way that makes people want to get to know her more because she presents herself in such a genuine way,” head track coach Amanda Schick said.
Schick speaks of freshman sprinter and hurdler Amoni Ashby, who finished 10th in the 60-meter high hurdles and 13th in the 200-meter dash at the Big Sky indoor championship Feb. 24-25 in Flagstaff, Ariz. Ashby has also already qualified for the 100- and 200-meter dash and 100-meter high hurdles at the outdoor championships May 10-12 in Bozeman, Mont.
Schick said Ashby comes from a family with seven siblings and has been raised with a sense of purpose and a tremendous work ethic.
“She comes from one of the most loving, caring, involved families that I know,” Schick said. “She has been raised to believe that she is here to do something great.”
In efforts to become great, Ashby has had some minor bumps on the track. After slightly tearing her medial collateral ligament, which is one of four major ligaments in the knee, earlier this season, Ashby had to overcome adversity. She continued to practice and run with the lingering injury, all while continuing to be the unique, vocal character her coaches and teammates know her to be.
“Amoni is a lot of the life of the team,” freshman sprinter Rachel Hinker said. “When Amoni gets to practice, you let go of some stuff, you’re like, ‘This is fun.’ She makes sure that everybody remembers that this is supposed to be fun. We work hard, but this is something that we enjoy.”
Hinker also said Ashby, who was homeschooled but competed at Cherokee Trail High School, can be a ball of energy at times.
“Outside of track, Amoni is crazy — she is completely crazy,” Hinker said. “She has the highest highs ever. When she is excited it’s like everyone better be excited because this is awesome.”
Along with the excitement also comes the dedication and perseverance of Ashby.
“The fact that she will not quit is why she is so competitive,” Hinker said. “She is always looking to get better, and that’s why she gets better. She has been a huge inspiration for me. She has a knee injury right now and she is running through that. Just seeing that, it helps me realize that she is not willing to quit so I should never be willing to quit.”
With a background in track, Ashby’s mother was her coach in high school. She was raised with a strong conviction and religious background along with work ethic. Enjoying pushing herself to the limits, Ashby said she hopes to reach her peak and see how far she can go.
“I care a lot about my example,” Ashby said. “There are no limitations with God. I have this little thing I do with crystals — I believe crystals take out negative energy, so I put it in my sports bra.”
No matter what the case may be, Ashby expects greatness and looks toward the future. With good health, Ashby believes the sky’s the limit.
“I have my eye on a couple of the records,” Ashby said.