RIO GRANDE, Ohio --- The University of Rio Grande RedStorm women's track and field squad stayed close to home for its latest signing, Samantha Paige Barnes of Gallia Academy.
Barnes, a standout 800-meter runner, was an All-Southeast Ohio Athletic League and All-Southeast District performer all four years in high school, qualifying for the State Track Meet twice in both the 800 and 4 x 800. She was a regional qualifier all four years of high school.
Barnes is also an exceptional student as she is a member of the National Honor Society.
"I am very happy about signing with Rio Grande," Barnes said. "I would like to get into the Radiology program and also run track and field. I love running and I want to continue, I know many runners on the Rio team and they remind me of our high school team."
"Like being a family," she added.
Rio Grande head coach Bob Willey is excited about having Barnes in the program and believes she can come in contribute right away. "We're very excited to have her, she's going to be able to step right in as a freshman and help us out," Willey said. "She's got a lot of talent and a lot of desire to get better."
"Like I said, we're thrilled to have her and I think she's very excited to be joining us," Willey added. "She seemed to fit really well at Rio Grande."
"We expect big things from her in the upcoming years at Rio Grande."
Barnes talked her best assets as a runner and also where she feels to needs to improve. "I am a team player; I do the best I can in everything I do. I'm hard-working, determined and I love the sport," Barnes said. "I need to work on my lap time."
Having grown up in Gallia County she is very familiar with the school. "I know many athletes and classmates that attend Rio. Also, I've heard from family members about the classes, and about some of the classes that I will be taking," she said.
Barnes has set the bar very high for herself as she prepares to run for Rio Grande. "I want to win an event in conference and go to nationals," she said.
Samantha is the daughter of Derrick and Michelle Barnes of Gallipolis.
Barnes joins Kaitlyn Roberts of River Valley as the current members of the 2011-12 Rio Grande women's track and field recruiting class.
For more information on Rio Grande women's track and field or any of the other athletic programs please log onto www.rioredstorm.com.