Throughout the remainder of the Spring Semester, The Summit League is going to feature senior student-athletes that had their seasons cut short by the coronavirus pandemic. Various student-athletes from each of the league's member institutions from the sports of baseball, golf, softball, tennis and track and field will be featured during this campaign.
1. What is the earliest childhood memory you have of the sport you participated in during college? Who do you credit for introducing you to the sport? Who sparked that passion for you?
"I never gave any thought to cross country or track as it was not popular in my town. During my freshman year of high school, I would run around our campus after school. The cross-country coach spotted me during one of his practices and called me over. I turned down his gracious offer to allow me to join his team. He tried to persuade me every time I saw him on our small campus. Coach Witt's persistence finally convinced me to join the track team during the spring, and the rest is history. Coach Witt saw potential in me, and he did not give up until I believed it myself. His kindness and passion sparked something that changed my life forever."
2. What was your favorite on-field/on-court/on-track/on-course memory during your time as a Summit League student-athlete? What made it special?
"My favorite moment would be winning the first home track meet at ORU. My previous schools did not have a track, so it was my first experience at a home meet. It felt great to have my family there in support of something that will never happen again. There will never be another first meet on that track again, and I am now part of its history."
3. What is the strangest superstition yourself or one of your collegiate teammates has?
"One of my former teammates would only eat Chipotle before her race, anything else would upset her stomach. She would stock up with enough Chipotle for the trip before we left."
4. Tell us about one person that has come into your life since beginning your collegiate athletics career and how they impacted your life? This could be a coach, teammate, administrator, trainer, etc… Take this opportunity to give them a shout out for what they've done for you.
"Coach Herbert was originally my coach at Tennessee Wesleyan University. When he took his position at ORU, he came to my apartment to tell me personally. I was sick, so he brought me soup and tea while we talked. That moment exemplifies his nature and our bond. He has been more than a coach to me and transferring to ORU allowed us to continue working together. Through all the ups and downs of my collegiate career, both on and off the track, Coach Herbert was one of the few constants. No matter what I have gone through, I could always count on him. He kept me going when I wanted quit and focused when everything was falling apart. Through chest surgery and multiple injuries, he reminded me I was strong enough to continue. I would not be who I am and where I am, quite literally, if it was not for him."
5. What will be your biggest takeaway from this current situation that you hope can better yourself and those around you?
"I hope this situation teaches student-athletes everywhere that their purpose is bigger than their sport. So many of us place our identity in our sport, and it confines who we are to one corner. I know that I am blessed to be able to run track. However, track is not who I am. We all need to reflect on our identity and place it in something stable. Times like these show us how quickly things can be stripped away. If we are not careful, our identity can be shattered when those things disappear. I have learned how to confidently place my identity in Christ while at ORU, and I know that my value is within. My value does not come from any accomplishment I can achieve on the track."
Rapid Fire Responses
1. If you were an animal, what would youlike to be? Panther.
2. If you had one superpower, what would it be? Invisibility.
3. What's your favorite movie ever? The Lion King.
4. If you could have lunch with one person alive or dead, who would it be? Morgan Freeman.
5. What is one rule you would change in the sport that you play? The standards for disqualification for line infractions, especially in distance races should be restructured.
6. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? Chicken Casserole.
7. What's your silliest fear? Fear of Rejection.
8. Beach or Mountains? Mountains.
9. Nickname given to you by teammates? Mr. President.
10. If you had to be one cartoon character, which would you choose? Bugs Bunny.