Rachel Fox flanked by mom Lisa and dad Lawrence. Bermuda Head Coach Troy Douglas (far left) and Bermuda Pacers head coach Cal Simons are among those in the back row looking on. *Photo by Kageaki Smith.
Rachel Fox flanked by mom Lisa and dad Lawrence. Bermuda Head Coach Troy Douglas (far left) and Bermuda Pacers head coach Cal Simons are among those in the back row looking on. *Photo by Kageaki Smith.

Fox, 17, from St David’s, graduates this year from Mount St Agnes and will then head to North Carolina to take up an 80-per-cent scholarship.

Running at the Bermuda Pacers since the age of seven, Fox – who will represent Bermuda at the CARIFTA Games in a couple of weeks — caught the eye of the University’s coach Inez Turner when winning the 800m at the East Coast Invitational last July.

Turner immediately set about signing Fox and the youngster’s dream has now officially come true.

Fox said: “I’m very excited. One of my goals was to receive a scholarship and it’s very exciting for this to come true.

“There’s a lot at stake but I know that with hard work, focus and dedication I can push myself to do the best I can.”

Fox said having to juggle competing at different distances for the University is something she will have to deal with.

She added: “When I was younger I used to run 800m and 1,500m so I’m used to the distances but I see myself focusing more on the 400 and for that I need the endurance for 800 so I don’t feel a big transition.

“[Doubling up] does phase me but I have to contribute to the team so the event I’m doing, even if it is not my strongest, I have to put forward my best foot and give 100 per cent.”

Bermuda national coach Troy Douglas said: “The sky’s the limit — it’s up to her.  If you’re talking Carifta, I have a goal – she’s going to run a PB. It’s our responsibility to keep the momentum going and I know very well she is going to run a PB. I’m not putting pressure on her — but pressure anyway is only extra energy.”

He added: “I know Inez very well, she was also a successful athlete herself and also had a wide range like Rachel has, so I think Inez sees a lot of herself in Rachel. So it’s going to be a wonderful experience — I’m jealous!”

Fox’s new coach at Winston-Salem, Turner, said: “When I first met Rachel at the Russell Blunt meet in North Carolina, and again when she took a visit to our campus with her parents, the first thing I saw was a well brought-up young lady.

“One of the most important things I look for in a student athlete is how structured they are when it comes on to discipline.

“By talking to mom and dad I could tell that Rachel is coachable. I am very happy and excited that she makes her decision to be a Lady Ram at Winston-Salem State University. The team is very excited and is awaiting her arrival in August.”