Coal Ridge high jumper Marin Simons signs with Weber State
Coal Ridge senior Marin Simons comforts her younger sister, Samantha, moments after Marin signed her letter of intent to Weber State University on Thursday. Ray K. Erku / Post Independent
It’s hard to imagine Marin Simons didn’t think she was going to be good at sports her freshman year at Coal Ridge High School.
Thank goodness her mother, Ashlee Simons, talked her into taking up track and field. Three school record-breaking jumps later — Marin Simons currently holds the Titans girls high jump record at 5 feet, 3 inches — the Coal Ridge senior is now officially a collegiate athlete.
With her family by her side inside the Coal Ridge High School gym Thursday, Marin Simons signed her letter of intent to D1 program Weber State University, in Ogden, Utah.
“It feels pretty good,” Simons said moments after she signed. “It was a big decision, so I’m excited to go.”
Marin Simons, who ended her freshman year with a sixth-place finish in the 3A state championship and was also crowned 2019’s Western Slope champion, was tapped by both Colorado Mesa University and Weber State prior to becoming a Wildcat. She said, however, she finally leaned more toward competing in Utah because it’s been a dream of hers since she was young.
But before she takes the next step in her auspicious career, it’s fair for the Titans senior to look back at her most defining moments in high school sports. Truly the most notable moment according to not just Marin but her mother and her father was in fact breaking the school record back in 2019.
“I worked really hard for that,” Marin Simons said. “It took a lot of time because that same year I was coming back from a shoulder injury, so I hadn’t been working out that entire year. I came back and jumped two weeks before state, and I honestly thought I wasn’t going to qualify.”
Luckily, however, high jumping is sort of Marin Simons’ thing.
“It’s something I’m really good at. It’s something that I can do when I’m angry or stressed,” she said. “I really do like going out to the tack and working out now.”
Ashlee Simons had to hold back the tears when she was asked about that particular day in her daughter’s high school career.
“As a parent, it was actually one of the happiest days of my life because I saw all this work that nobody else had seen,” she said.
Marin’s mother underlined just how relentless and hardworking her daughter was following her shoulder surgery, an injury suffered through rigorous competition and training. She said Marin came back to the track and worked for an hour after every practice, doing run-ups, pop-ups and back-overs.
“The easiest thing for Marin is her dedication to work,” Steven Simons, Marin’s father, said. “If everybody had that, it would be a pretty amazing place because she really is a dedicated individual.”
Samantha Simons, Marin’s younger sister, was perhaps the most emotional when her sister signed the letter of intent. When asked about her tears, she said, “Because (Marin’s) going away.”
“I guess I can still call her but she won’t be there,” Samantha Simons said.
Ben Kirk, Coal Ridge dean of students and Marin’s track coach, acknowledged all the time, effort and energy Marin Simons has put in over the past four years.
“Watching Marin develop the last four years — just the passion she’s had for track, the time she’s spent out there — has been incredible,” he said. “Today represents all of that work, the god given talent she’s been given and what she’s done with it to become a college athlete.”
Marin Simons said she might be a little intimidated to compete at the next level, but if she continues to do what she’s doing, “It’ll all work out.”
Most of all, however, she’s going to miss her family.
“I’m just going to miss being here,” she said. “You grow up in a small town your whole life and then you move to a city that big… I like arguments between my family and how often they’d come to track meets and how often we’d go to sporting events for everyone else… I enjoyed that.”
Marin Simons plans on attaining her bachelors of science in nursing. She said she hopes to one day be a pediatrician.
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