I hadn’t even applied to the U of MN despite the fact that my father was a professor there and both of my older brothers also had affiliations with the school. It simply felt too big and impersonal and too close to home to give me the college experience I thought I wanted. During the summer after I graduated high school, and with my bags already partially packed to head off to a different Big 10 school, I had the opportunity to meet with Mike Lawless who was the women’s track and field coach at the time. His enthusiasm “sold” me on applying to the U of MN and walking on to the team. That conversation changed the entire trajectory of my life and was one of the best decisions I ever made. Four years later I found myself as one of the captains of the team helping welcome Coach Wilson to the U of MN and the Gopher track family.

Track and field taught me so many things outside of the classroom and enriched my college experience immensely. After graduation I easily found a job at 3M in part due to being able to list my track and field honors on my resume. I returned to the U of MN for graduate school and to work for the University for 16 years before heading out into industry. I married a U of MN men’s tennis alum and our son grew up attending many events on campus including track and field camps. He enjoyed seeing pictures of his father in the Baseline Center and hearing stories about the people in the many pictures of track and field greats that adorn the walls of the fieldhouse entryway. He told us "I want that athletic family too." The U of MN campus felt like home to all of us and our teammates, coaches and current student athletes are part of our extended family. For me, none of that would have happened at the U of MN without the track and field program. I find it devastating that a program that connects it’s members to the U of MN and Twin Cities community for a lifetime may no longer exist.