I chose to attend the University of Minnesota primarily because I wanted the experience of competing in the Big Ten for track. I grew up as a WI Badgers fan in the “Badger state” across the boarder, but the track program under Coach Bingle at MN compelled me to go against most of my family and friends’ preference that I represent WI in the Big Ten. Instead I became a Golden Gopher. The track team had a standard of excellence in character and their approach to the endeavor of being your best self both on and off the track is exactly what I wanted. I can honestly say my 5 years as an athlete at the U were a highlight of my life and the program taught me even more than I could have anticipated. I happily stayed on campus for 5 years and extended my time in school for the sake of being on the track team and I would do it all again and make the same choice in an instant. Please keep the men’s program alive and well. I was on the team when olympians Hassan Mead and Ben Blankenship competed for the men’s team and it saddens me to imagine my coveted days at the U without the men’s team and many talented athletes representing the U along side us. They were highly successful and admired and that will always be the case, so long as the program is simply allowed to exist.