Oct. 21, 2003
by Melissa Barnett, FSU Sports Information
Rachel Marsh is a very unique Florida State student. She is a newlywed wife, a cross country and track and field athlete, an army ROTC participant and then a student - majoring in sport management. Marsh got married in the off-season to second lieutenant Matthew Springer who is stationed at Fort Bragg, NC. With her new role, Marsh feels her perspective on life, not just college, has changed for the better.
"I am more focused now and more at peace with who I am. This has definitely made me grow up. This has helped a lot with my training as well because I have found my other half and can focus now on other things."
With the support of her husband and the groundings that wedding bells can bring, Marsh has been able to focus on her other responsibilities, mainly joining the top 7 scorers for the Garnet and Gold cross country team. The Kissimmee, Fla. native placed 13th at the FSU Invite, 17th at the Mountaineer Open and 45th at the highly competitive Great American Cross Country Festival. Marsh finds her goals easier to accomplish now that her personal life has settle down and has continued to grow into her last season with the Noles.
"In my final season as a Seminole, I would really like to go to nationals with the team so that I can have that unique experience of representing FSU at a national level before I graduate."
Throughout her life, Marsh has been supported by her grandparents, two of the most important people in her life.
"For the longest time it was my grandmother who motivated me to do my best because she has always been there for me and, while her opinion still means the world to me, I can now focus in on my husband, his encouraging words and my need to make him proud."
Head cross country and track and field coach Bob Braman also takes part in the former Osceola High School standout's FSU cross country achievements. Braman, who was also in his first season when he coached Marsh, was heavily involved in recruiting marsh and a major factor in her staying Tallahassee for the past three years.
"The recruiting brought me here, but the coaches and the very personable people kept me here. I have never had another coach on the collegiate level other than him. If you look back at how much the program has turned around it is just amazing to see all that he has done. I think he is a very good coach and sometimes I do try and guess what he is thinking for some of the things that we do but it all plays into our training. I really look up to him."
On the days that Coach Braman pushes Marsh to her limit she remembers what her goals she has set and how he factors into her achieving them.
"When you are at a meet and you achieve your collegiate best it is the best feeling in the world because all the training that you have done has paid off. Every time you feel like you can't understand why you keep doing this you remember that day and that feeling."
So far this season, Marsh has maintained her position in the top seven varsity group scoring points for the Garnet and Gold in four meets this season. Marsh posted her best time at the Florida State Invitational with a 18:53.51 for a 13th place finish. She also finished in a time of 23:12.3 for the Noles at the NCAA Pre-Nationals meet this past Saturday in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
A four-year varsity soccer player for the Osceola Kowboys in Kissimmee, Marsh ended up at FSU when she decided to quit soccer and focus on running. After a visit to Seminole territory, Marsh felt she could grow as an athlete and a student. Marsh had plans to coach after college but has decided to join the army instead. Her FSU ROTC enlistment has her headed to serve for four years after she graduates in the spring. When she considered her options after college joining the army made more sense to her than trying to get a job.
"The army offered me the ability to continue with physical training and the opportunity to develop my leadership qualities. Those are two things which I was looking for."
So in the long run, Mrs. Rachel Springer will take her hard work and dedication that she has developed here at FSU, the support system that has grown during that time and use it to be all that she can be.