One trip to Eastern Michigan University was all Rachel Brougher needed to know she wanted to continue her running career there.
The Columbus North senior committed to the Ypsilanti, Michigan school recently. She will run cross-country and track for the Eagles beginning this fall.
“I just love the team,” Brougher said. “The campus is really nice, and it’s kind of a mid-sized school. I didn’t want a school that was too big or too small. They have the major that I want (nursing), so everything just kind of worked out.”
Brougher will join one of friends that she ran with in the Mideast Cross Country Championships. Homestead’s Madison Distelrath also is headed to Eastern Michigan.
The Eagles’ women’s cross-country and track teams are coached by Sue Parks.
“The coach is an amazing person,” Brougher said. “I really like her, and I think she can make me a really good runner. Almost every one of her athletes goes in, and they’re decent runners and then she makes them All-Americans.”
Brougher also had taken a visit to Bradley, which offered a scholarship. UNC-Greensboro and Lee University also had offered.
In the end, it came down to Eastern Michigan and Bradley.
“I liked them a lot, too,” Brougher said. “It was a really hard decision between Bradley and Eastern Michigan. I finally decided because my gut told me to go to (Eastern Michigan). There were some other visits that I canceled because I decided Eastern Michigan was the one I wanted.”
A two-time All-State runner in cross-country, Brougher battled a sinus infection for the first half of her senior season. She came back to finish 36th at the state finals and earn her third consecutive The Republic Girls Cross-Country Runner of the Year honor.
This spring, Brougher hopes to qualify for state in track for the fourth consecutive year. She finished 24th in the 3,200 meters last spring.
Brougher is happy to have her college decision out of the way.
“It’s pretty great,” Brougher said. “I don’t have that stress on my shoulders anymore. I know where I’m going to be for the next four years of my life, and I can just do my best here to be ready for college.”
Name: Rachel Brougher
School: Columbus North
Sports: Cross-country, track
College choice: Eastern Michigan
Intended major: Nursing