Nearing the Finish Line

Track and Field Legend Darroneshia Lott is the First Cross Country All-American in Coker College History

Women's track and field/ cross country runner, Darroneshia Lott (December ‘18, Interdisciplinary Studies major), also fondly known as ‘Slim,’ has been setting personal and school records since she transferred from South Plains College as a sophomore in 2015. “If you’re doing something, you might as well go for the win,” she says. “All or nothing.”

“If you’re doing something, you might as well go for the win."

This past academic year, Darroneshia placed fourth at the NCAA Division II Indoor Championships in the 800-meter, setting a new personal and Coker record. At the Charleston Southern University Spring Break Invitational, she set another school and personal record in the 1500-meter for an individual title, while becoming a preliminary qualifier for the NCAA Division II Outdoor Championships. At the University of South Carolina in the Weems Baskin Invitational, Lott claimed an individual title in the 800-meter. At the Raleigh Relays, she broke a school and personal record in the 1500-meter yet again, while adding an individual title, personal, and Coker record in the 800-meter. (The time is another Coker and personal record and the fourth-fastest mark in the country.)

Her 800-meter time automatically qualified her for the National Outdoor Championships in May in Charlotte, N.C. Darroneshia also has earned the SPC Credit Union’s Student-Athlete of the Month four times and the South Atlantic Conference outdoor track athlete of the week two times. At the Coker athletic department’s fourth annual FANG awards, Darroneshia took home the C.G. Timberlake Female Athlete of the Year Award.

"She wants to be the absolute best and will do whatever it takes to reach her potential." 

“I absolutely love Darroneshia,” says Thomas Scott, head track and field/cross country coach. “She wants to be the absolute best and will do whatever it takes to reach her potential. She is a competitor and she isn’t going to let people beat her."

When Coker found Darroneshia, she was in the midst of taking a step back from college and running, and wasn’t particularly in a hurry to get involved again with either. But after taking some time, she realized just how important running and college were to her. “Seeing how big a part track was to never realize until it’s actually gone. After leaving junior college, I realized I love track...I came to Coker, and I was like, yeah, I love it.”

Running wasn’t exactly love at first step for Darroneshia. “My mom forced me to start running my ninth grade year,” she remembers. “I honestly didn’t see the potential my mom and the coaches saw...I was just running because my mom told me to run. It actually brought me farther, and I thank her for that.” 

For Darroneshia, coming to Coker meant getting her life on track, no pun intended. She says, “[At] the junior college,...the thing that messed me up is the coaches didn’t really focus on academics...When I transferred to Coker,...dealing with the advisors, that put me on the right path. Being able to switch to Interdisciplinary Studies actually showed me that, although I wasn’t on the right track at the junior college, with all the classes I did take at [South Plains], I can actually use all those and be creative with it. I can honestly say Coker College has given me confidence with my future. Academics-wise, I was lost until I came here.”

"I can honestly say Coker College has given me confidence with my future." 

Darroneshia, a Pensacola, Fla., native, wants to be a personal trainer and owner of a fitness center. “Personally, when I’m stressing, the first thing I turn to is doing something active,” she says. “I’ve noticed that being active actually takes your mind off things...It has great benefits.”

But before she heads home after graduating in December, Darroneshia will be working to qualify for U.S.A. Track and Field National Championships. “She has an opportunity to do something special this outdoor season and I can’t wait to see what she can do,” says Coach Scott.

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