has signed a letter of intent to continue her education and athletic
career at Marshall University. She is a two-time regional qualifier in the discus.
Barnhart, a standout track and field athlete at Westland High School, has signed a letter of intent to continue her education and athletic career at Marshall University.
Barnhart will receive academic and athletic scholarships.
She is a two-time regional qualifier in the discus and is a member of the National Honor Society.
“My schoolwork and my grades always come first because I know if I don’t get the work done in the classroom that it doesn’t matter, I’m not going to get to compete,” Barnhart said. “In order to be able to compete, I know I’ve got to keep my grades up.”
Her loyalty to Marshall began at an early age since her mother, Jane, was raised in Huntington, West Va., home of the Thundering Herd; and her father, Bob, grew up across the river in Ironton, Ohio.
“Beth grew up rooting for Marshall,” Westland coach Tim Eckard said. “She wore Marshall clothes from the time she could wear clothes. The fact that she’s going there to throw and continue on her academics is pretty special for her and her family.”
Barnhart also considered Lake Erie College, Detroit Mercy University and Marietta College, but Marshall was always her first choice.
“We go back there quite a bit to visit family,” Barnhart said. “I love Columbus, but when I’m in Huntington with all my family it’s just like being home for me. I figure if I’m going to keep doing this I want to do it some place where I know I’m going want to spend the next four years because I’m not going to be an athlete who transfers. I want to stay some place and get my degree.
“If I’m going to do this I should do it at some place I’m going to love and Marshall has been my love. I’m ready to take on the next challenge.”
Former Westland standout, Kyle Nichols, is also attending Marshall where he competes in football and track and field.
Barnhart has enjoyed success this season, but is still seeking her personal-best mark in the discus.
Barnhart, who has a personal-best of 116 feet, six inches in the event, has a season-best of 111-5. She has recorded a personal-best in the shot put of 32-1.
“I’ve had some down meets and some down throws, but I don’t let it get to me,” she said. “I’m just going to keep going after it and try and do my best. To me the end of the year is what counts the most, so that’s what I’m looking forward to.”
Eckard realized he had a special athlete when she was attending Norton Middle School.
“She just had a different drive about her,” he said. “She had a dedication. She loved the event. She could talk discus 24/7. It’s her event. She loves, she studies it, she watches it. This is her thing.”
Barnhart will focus on the discus at Marshall and also be introduced to the javelin and hammer throw.
She plans on majoring in middle childhood education and also earn a certificate in special education.
“She’s a quintessential leader,” Eckard said. “She’s a great kid, she has her head screwed on straight. It’s academics first. She has her priorities straight. Marshall looked at her first and foremost because of academics and secondly they looked at her because she’s a good person. She’s an honest person; she’s a caring person. She’s just an all-around great kid. The fact that she’s a great thrower is icing on the cake.”
“Her signing is a big thing for us because she is a female and it is in track – not an area where we generally would have that opportunity,” Westland Athletic Director Greg Burke said. “It shows other kids here that if you are committed enough and focused enough those types of things are possible. Beth is also an outgoing, hard working student/athlete. She has always been willing to help out where needed and all of those things put together makes her a role model here. A prime example of ‘good things happen to good people.’”