TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – Bryand Rincher, who helped lead the Florida State Men’s Track and Field Team to the 2021 ACC Outdoor Championship, has been selected as one of six recipients of the 2021 Wilma Rudolph Student-Athlete Achievement Award, by the National Association of Academic and Student-Athlete Development Professionals. The award honors student-athletes who have overcome great personal, academic and/or emotional odds to achieve academic success while participating in athletics.
Rincher will accompany the Seminoles to the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship meet in Eugene, Oregon (June 9-12) as an alternate member of the Seminoles’ 4X100 meter relay team.
Just after the conclusion of his freshman year in July 2019, Rincher was involved in a grease fire that left much of his body with severe burns and forced him to spend several months in a hospital. In the spring of 2020, he enrolled in classes again at Florida State (virtually) after facing many surgeries and constant rehab to help the healing process. In the spring of 2020, he returned to campus, where he has been admitted to the sports management program and is competing at a high level with teammates on the track and field team.
“I have been through a lot in my life, and, especially in the last couple of years,” said Rincher. “I have worked really hard to get back to the point where I can compete again. I am honored just to have been nominated, and am humbled to be a recipient of the Wilma Rudolph Award.
Prior to his accident, Rincher had emerged as the top freshman sprinter in Division I. He earned three First-Team All-American honors, swept ACC Freshman of the Year honors during both the indoor and outdoor seasons and set Haitian national records in the 60M and 200M indoors and 100M outdoors in the spring of 2019.
Rincher placed fifth in the 60-meter dash at the 2019 NCAA Indoor Championships for his first All-American honor. His performance helped Florida State to a tie for sixth place in the team standings. He finished in fifth place in the 100-meter final at the 2019 NCAA Outdoor Championships – the eighth fastest mark in Florida State history and a Haitian national record. Rincher also ran a brilliant leadoff leg in the 4×100 relay, helping the relay team to second-place finish in 38.08. The relay time of 38.08 established new ACC and Florida State records, and also broke the previous NCAA record.
Rincher, from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., is a junior majoring in Sport Management. He was named to the All-ACC Academic Men’s Track and Field Team and to the ACC Academic Honor Roll in 2019.
“Bryand has truly beaten the odds in order to get healthy, get back to school, and get back out on the track,” said Florida State Head Track and Field Coach Bob Braman. “Physically and mentally it is nearly a miracle to have him make it back this far. The exciting thing is what his future holds. Bryand made amazing progress this year to be a quality alternate for us (at Nationals). Next year he could be an All-American again.
“I’m so proud of him and his incredible perseverance. He’s that tough of a young man.”
“The N4A is honored to recognize six outstanding student-athletes with its annual Wilma Rudolph Award. These student-athletes have overcome many obstacles in their lives, and demonstrated grit, resilience, determination, and strength. They are outstanding examples of the power of the human spirit, and we are proud to honor them,” said Ursula Gurney, N4A President and Deputy Director of Athletics/SWA, University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC).
N4A, which has been in existence since 1975, is a diverse educational service and professional non-profit organization. Membership of N4A includes academic support and student services personnel who are committed to enhancing opportunities for academic, athletics and personal success for student-athletes. For more information on N4A, visit www.nfoura.org. N4A is administered by NACDA, which is in its 56th year. For more information on NACDA and the 17 professional associations that fall under its umbrella, please visit www.nacda.com.
“Bryand is an exceptional student-athlete, and more importantly, an exceptional human being,” said Austin Whitelaw, the Academic Advisor for Track and Field and Florida State. “Despite his circumstances, he doesn’t make excuses for himself – instead, his motivation and perseverance set a new standard of excellence. I am extremely proud of Bryand and he is beyond deserving to win this prestigious award.”
At the height of her track career, “the fastest woman in the world” used her platform to shed light on social issues. Rudolph competed in the 1956 Olympic Games and won a bronze medal in 4×100 relay. Four years later, she headed to the 1960 Summer Olympics, determined to earn gold. Her performance in Rome cemented her as one of the greatest athletes of the 20th Century. She won three gold medals and broke several world records. Rudolph became the first American woman to win three gold medals in track and field at the same Olympic Games.
Along with Rincher, the 2021 Wilma Rudolph recipients are: Kaia Harris, Purdue; Gia Hodges, University of Tennessee; Hunter Pinke, University of North Dakota; Charles (Tre) Tipton, University of Pittsburgh; and Gwendolyn Zeckowski, University of Maryland. These six student-athletes will be honored in conjunction with the 2021 N4A Virtual Convention on June 23.