Being a student-athlete here at Loras College is an amazing opportunity at the DIII level. Most people you come across when competing, are purely doing so for the love of the sport. This past weekend that was more evident than ever. Loras had Duhawks all over the country just doing what they love in their perspective sports. It is magical how much of a support system we have at our small liberal arts school for our fellow Duhawks. At this level of competition, nobody is receiving scholarships to play on teams or anything, we are just playing for the fun of the game. As far as my story goes, I was not always a track and field athlete growing up. In elementary and middle school, I had my heart set on going to college to play softball and making it to the College World Series of Softball. My plans really started to change once I was exposed to what track and field had to offer. A few years down the road, and I am being recruited by different schools to go on and continue throwing. I ended up choosing Loras because of the family feel of the campus. When I came to campus and did an overnight with some of the former throwers on the team, I felt like I fit right into this Duhawk track and field family. Those who know me personally know that these previous three and a half years have not been my healthiest with being in and out of multiple different doctor’s offices, but being an athlete here has really helped get me through my illnesses. My teammates and coaches have been extremely supportive in my recovery from all of my surgeries as well as helping me to be successful in the classroom. This support is vital at any division of athletics. With our school being on the smaller side, you are able to form a closer bond with the coaches and professors here on campus. This is crucial in your success both in and out of the classroom because there will be days you’ll have to miss class due to competition. Most professors are super understanding in this aspect of your college career because it helps to make you a more well-rounded individual. They welcome you into their office hours to help you understand everything you missed and help you understand what you need to become to be a successful student. On top of that, they will ask you how your season is going because they genuinely care how you are doing both in and out of the classroom. You are able to meet all different kinds of people along this journey and make life-long friendships as well.