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Sunday, July 12, 2020

Sports

Harvard-bound Taylor Bennett brings ‘knowledge, inspiration’ to track


Graduate student Taylor Bennett (left), bound for Harvard Law School after UH, has garnered praise from her coaches for her athletic and academic achievement. | Courtesy of UH athletics

Graduate student Taylor Bennett (left), bound for Harvard Law School after UH, has garnered praise from her coaches for her athletic and academic achievement. | Courtesy of UH athletics

From the track to the textbooks, graduate sprinter Taylor Bennett ambitiously sets her sights on her goals and what she knows is possible to achieve.

Bennett, who graduated early from Baylor with a bachelor’s degree in science and education, and transferred to UH in fall 2018 to pursue a master’s degree in human resource development, has seen success on the track. Her next endeavor will see her take on one of the most prestigious colleges in the world — Harvard Law School. 

“I believe that her scholastic achievements bring knowledge and inspiration to the team for those who would like to thrive in both athletics and academics,” said associate head coach Will Blackburn.

The sprinter applied and got accepted into other well-known law schools, including Georgetown, Yale, Cornell and USC. In the end, Bennett, a 2019 American Athletic Conference All-Academic Team member, decided she would attend Harvard starting Fall 2020.

The sprinter hopes it will set her up to gain connections and get internships that will ultimately help her get her dream job in the White House.

“My end all be all goal is by the time I’m 27, I want to be working in foreign exchange in the White House,” Bennett said. “I’ve got my bachelor’s degree early, will get my master’s degree early, so I’m going to get my law degree early.”

Bennett’s long-term goal is to get an internship at the White House and work her way up. But for now, in her final year as a collegiate athlete, she has high hopes for herself and the team.

“I would love to be an individual and team national champion since that’s what I’ve been striving for since I got into college,” Bennett said. “I think we have great potential to win the 4×100 and 4×400 as a team. I really want to give UH all I have left.”

Bennett, who started sprinting for Baylor in 2016, will continue to compete in the 100-meter, 200-meter, and the 4×100 and 4×400 relays this season for the Cougars after sitting all of last year as a redshirt.

Among her athletic achievements are the 2016 Big 12 Freshman of the Year award, gold with Team USA 4×100-meter relay at IAAF World U20 Championships and multiple Big 12 indoor and outdoor championships.

During her time with the Bears, Bennett was named an Indoor All-American in 2017 and an Outdoor All-American in 2018 in the 4×400 relay and was also selected to the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll four times.

Bennett, who wants to have a career in politics, does not know if she will continue her track career but does know her education will not stop when she finishes graduate school in May. 

She decided she wanted to go to law school after completing her master’s degree because of the opportunities that would open up from combining her master’s in human resource development with a law degree.

“There’s a lot of opportunity in the HR program,” Bennett said. “Especially when you combine it with a (Juris Doctor degree) there’s a lot of opportunities with HR in law.”

Although Bennett recognizes the challenges and work that’ll come with attending Harvard Law, she also knows the future benefits that come from attending such a respected law school.

“I know the workload is going to be a lot,” Bennett said. “But I’m excited to learn and to see the networking. It’s Harvard, so there’s no telling who I’m going to get to meet and the connections I’ll have.”

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