As a young track athlete in Minnesota, it was always a dream to wear the jersey of my home state. With the numerous communities and individuals supporting me, it only felt natural to strive to represent them at the highest level. Without a track team at Minnesota, what happens to the dreams of the thousands of young athletes within our state?

When I began wearing the maroon and gold, I quickly learned that I didn't join a team--I became a member of a family. And like many families, they taught me a lot about life. How to work towards goals, how to handle disappointment, how to come together from different backgrounds...the list goes on. It is one thing to read about these life lessons, but my time with the track program gave me an unparalleled learning experience. The team pushed me to excel in the classroom, on the track, and as an individual. I became a better athlete by competing for the Gophers, but there is no doubt I became an ever better person. During my stint in the locker room, I crossed paths with dozens of individuals, and dozens passed through the locker room before me. Many engineers, doctors, lawyers, teachers, and entrepreneurs have worn Minnesota track jerseys. The state of Minnesota is enhanced by the quality of individuals the track team hones."