"I am writing to express my extreme shock and displeasure about consideration being given to end the Men’s Track and Field Program. The program has been in existence for the past 130 years, has produced several Olympians, All Americans, and Big Ten Champions. But the importance of this program is much more than just about producing premiere athletes. Alumni and current athletes of the program love this program. It becomes a part of who you are as a person. The above picture is of me in a 4X800 relay in the U of M Field House back in 1985, when the floor was dirt, and dust was always floating in the air. The dust made your lungs burn as you ran your heart out, but no one ever complained. There was something special about running on a track that your childhood hero’s battled on. I learned more important life skills running for the U than in any classroom. Things like determination, being 100% dedicated to something, incredible discipline, and to push myself to my physical limit. I would not be the person I am today if not for the Track Team and there are countless others who feel the same about themselves. I entered the U in 1982 as a skinny 17 year old naive kid from Coon Rapids not really knowing what I was walking into. All I wanted was to run for the Gophers. If the school did not have a track team, I would have enrolled elsewhere. If the school I love ends this program, I will consider the U dead to me.

There have been so many who have poured their hearts and souls into this program, and many who have volunteered countless hours. My coach, Coach Griak dedicated over 50 years of his life to the Men’s Track program. Years after he retired as the head coach, he continued to show up at the Bierman Building daily to help the program.

Too much good has come from this program. It would be a travesty for there not to be a U of M team for future young men to have the opportunities that others have had. There has to be creative ways to come into compliance with Title IV, fix the financial situation and have the team continue on. Ski-U-Mah!"