FRUITLAND — Emma Hillam, a senior at Fruitland High School, FHS, was surrounded by her family, friends, teammates, and coach as she signed her letter of intent to run for Utah State University’s cross-country and track and field teams.

Hillam has a notable reputation in the Snake River Valley, SRV, conference as being one of the toughest cross-country and track runners. Hilliam qualified and won the cross-country state meet as a freshman in 2018, setting her tone for the next four years. Since then, she has competed in dozens of races, along with earning several medals and state titles.

Hillam is a three-time SRV cross-country individual champion. She is also a 2021 state runner-up and 2018 state champion. Hillam also holds the FHS girl’s cross-country record with a time of 18:08.

Additionally, Hillam is an accomplished track athlete. She is a two-time SRV track and field individual champion in the 800, 1600, and 3200. She is also a 2021 state individual champion in the 1600 and 3200, and was runner-up in the 800. Hilliam currently holds three FHS girl’s track records, including the 800—2:22, 1600—5:18, and 3200—11:28.

While Hillam has had a successful high school career, consisting of many championships and records, it has not always been easy. During her junior cross-country season, at the SRV district meet, Hillam became sick and low on iron. Hilliam went from being ranked first going into the state, to not even qualifying. While this is a trial she couldn’t have imagined, she bounced back.

Hilliam mentioned that while it was a hard experience, “she truly saw her passion for running and wanted to continue doing the sport she loves.”

Hillam can be described by her peers as being the hardest working person in the room, whereas her Cross-Country/Track and Field head coach Derek Howard describes her as smart, determined, and dedicated.

“I think all those characteristics will make her a fierce competitor at Utah State. She will flourish, being able to run and compete alongside girls with her same work ethic,” mentioned Coach Howard.

While dedicating much of her time to running long distance, Hillam has also been a very involved and successful student at Fruitland High School, in addition to being a member of the Fruitland Community. She has participated in Future Farmers of America—FFA, Business Professionals of America—BPA, National Honors Society, Student Government, Musical Theater, Heart n’ Home Cicely Ambassador Program, and her Church Youth Group, along with holding leadership positions in some of these programs. For example, Hillam served as the FFA Secretary and ASB Ad Manager.

Hillam will be attending Utah State University, located in Logan, Utah, in the fall of 2022. She plans on majoring in marketing while running for both the cross-country and track and field team.

“My goals over the next four years are to learn how to race against amazing competition and be an asset to helping USU achieve their goals, such as qualifying for Nationals,” mentioned Hillam.

We wish Emma luck as she continues her athletic and academic career, as Emma would say, “Go Aggies!”

Audrey Saba, who wrote the article, is a local student that attends Fruitland High School, and is currently in the journalism program.

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