When I think of the Minnesota Men’s Track & Fields team I see much more than a rubber oval in Minneapolis. I see my little boy (Chip), my wife (Bri), and my best friend four-legged friend (Goldy). I see the men that stood beside me when I said “I do,” and hear the sounds of my best friends singing the ‘Rouser’ that same night at our wedding reception. I think of the brotherhood, the loyalty, and the hard work that I share with my teammates, formed through thousands of workouts and hours in the locker-room.

This picture is a result of my opportunity to be a Gopher track athlete, because without it I don’t meet Bri (Gopher Gymnast & W Track 9’-13’), and we don’t have our precious little boy. Without it, I don’t receive a degree from an elite Big Ten school. I likely don’t leave North Dakota. I don’t expand my perceptions of the world beyond what I grew up knowing. I don’t get the opportunity to experience teaching in underserved Minneapolis & St. Paul schools before taking on a classroom of my own. I don’t get to bring these experiences and perspectives to hundreds of high school student athletes in an effort to make them the best possible version of themselves.

Without Minnesota Men’s Track this picture is very different, and frankly it’s not a picture I care to imagine. This picture is exactly where I am supposed to be, with exactly who I am supposed to be with, and this is a picture of Minnesota Men’s Track and Field.