Northwestern Press

Thursday, May 28, 2020
PHOTO COURTESY OF MORAVIAN COLLEGE ATHLETICSNorthwestern Lehigh graduate Rachel Mikols was a Dean’s List student and a championship athlete in college. PHOTO COURTESY OF MORAVIAN COLLEGE ATHLETICSNorthwestern Lehigh graduate Rachel Mikols was a Dean’s List student and a championship athlete in college.

Mikols’s senior track season ends abruptly

Thursday, May 7, 2020 by CJ HEMERLY Special to the Press in Sports

Moravian College senior cross country and track and field athlete Rachel Mikols is a competitor.

In her three-and-a-half years in the program, she has helped the women’s track and field team capture three Landmark Conference Indoor Championships and three Landmark Conference Outdoor titles, as well as three runner-up finishes at the Landmark Conference Cross Country Championships.

“My running career at Moravian was an experience I’ll never forget,” said Mikols. “I met some of the most incredible people there and got to compete at so many different places. I chose Moravian because of the opportunities that were available there. I knew I would be able to grow as a student and athlete. I learned a lot throughout my time there and I will carry that on with me throughout life.”

Mikols raced in distance events all four years on both the cross country and track and field teams for the Hounds. She is a three-time selection to the Landmark Conference Academic Honor Roll in each of the fall, winter and spring seasons, while being selected to Moravian’s Dean’s List four times and the Chi Alpha Sigma National College Athlete Honor Society.

Mikols suffered an injury last summer before her senior season, but battled back to be able to run in five meets in the fall and five meets during the indoor season this year.

Even though COVID-19 forced the cancellation of the spring season, Mikols and her teammates were able to go out on top.

“Coming back from an injury that had occurred in the summer, I was beginning to feel really strong and confident about my abilities as a runner again,” Mikols said. “I was disappointed when I found out that my indoor meet was my last meet because I was ready to go for outdoor track. My last indoor meet I remember just taking everything in while I was running and enjoying all of the people around me. I’m glad I did that because little did I know that would be my last race.

“Our team was fortunate enough to go out with winning the Landmark Conference title. That was such an amazing way to end my college career.”

Her head coach for both teams, Jesse Baumann shared his thoughts on his pupil.

“Rachel has battled through a number of nagging injuries throughout her career, including a stress fracture as we adapted our training to what worked best for her,” said Baumann. “She had a number of reasons to be discouraged as things didn’t go as easily as we’d hope, but like her teammates will say, she’s tough, devoted, and loyal to her team, the program, and her training.

“I still vividly recall an unseasonably warm day in cross country where she ran herself to exhaustion during some 400 repeats on the track and the entire team jumped in to help her out with water, Gatorade, and cool towels. She was revered by her team, and this was just one of many reflections of that. In addition to that she was a very strong student, routinely making the Dean’s List, extremely loyal to her family and overall was a passionate athlete in our program. She was one of the better steeplechasers we’ve had in recent years, very versatile and a constant strength for our team in cross country.”

Mikols is a 2016 graduate of Northwestern Lehigh High School. The Tigers program helped mold Mikols into becoming a successful student-athlete on the collegiate level.

“The Northwestern program truly shaped me into the athlete and student I am today,” said Mikols. “Coach [Chris] Stitzel and coach [Tim] Churetta were both incredible people. They taught me a lot of different values and morals that I carried on to my college career. It’s because of them that I decided to continue to run in college and the reason I have so much passion for the sport. They taught me to never give up, to stay true to yourself and to be humble along the way.”

Mikols will graduate in May with a degree in graphic design and a minor in marketing. She recently accepted a position as a junior graphic designer. Mikols plans on continuing to run and take part in local races to give back to the community.