Dutch Fork's Whisman chooses NGU

What made you decide to commit to North Greenville?
It is no surprise that I chose North Greenville University for "The Love of the Run."  Every direction I turned something kept pushing me to look back at NGU. The school is quite and comfortable. It sits on the edge of the mountains and I can pick a different trail every day to run. I can run at all the state parks up and down S.C. 11 and camp whenever I want. Its family like atmosphere was very welcoming. Standing on campus I felt as if I were home. Every time I went there I found one more reason to choose them. The athletic department was really nice and the staff at NGU was great. The coaches both for cross country and track made me feel a part. It was a place where I could openly talk to them and they would listen to what I was feeling in regard to my run. I think the final decision came after going up and staying the night with some of the girls on the team. For one of the first times in my life I felt a part of something. I would have thought that I had known them for a lifetime.  I thank all the team and the coaches for supporting me while I made my decision.

What were your other top choices?
I spent a lot of time talking to coaches from all parts of the U.S. in both Division 1 and Division 2. After researching the schools to make sure they had my field of study I would just cross them off if they did not have the courses I wanted to take. I really was looking to run in the mountain area so any coastal or nonmountainous area I crossed off. Finally I went with how I felt about the team and how the coaches worked with their runners. It was not a hard decision.

What do you hope to achieve in academics and athletics?
Academically, I hope to achieve my bachelor's degree. I want to work somewhere within the sports medical field. I would love to be a coach for a cross country team or to be involved in physical therapy.

As far as athletically, I want to continue to push myself to my next level. I don't think I have run my best race. But if I have then I am ok with that. I don't regret staying true to myself and to my team as an athlete.
  I want to be a great teammate at NGU and grow with the team.  The team made me feel like I had a place with them. I hope to build friendships that will last a lifetime. My main goal is to always love running and to never lose that.

What did you experience each visit?
Each visit was different in its own way. But with every visit I knew that NGU was my choice. During my first visit I immediately felt a part of the school. The coaches and another runner on the team had been so welcoming to me and my family. We just couldn't believe how awesome they were. After that visit I just couldn't stay away and ended up going to NGU a few more times. I was able to meet the team and be there for practice. I also was able to sit in one of the health and wellness classes with one of the girls on the team. It was like I was already going to the school and I loved it. I met a lot of amazing girls that accepted me for who I was. It was the best feeling and I thank the Lord for giving me the opportunity to meet them. I plan to go on even more upcoming visits. I can't wait to be a student at NGU.

What would you recommend to others when choosing a college?
Don't let yourself down. It is your choice and not that of your piers. Follow your heart and it will not lead you the wrong way.

What does it feel like to have the decision made?
Good, I feel like people were expecting something from me that I could not give or did not want to give. That maybe I should of ran for some high ranked college with all the bells and whistles, one with a large reputation in the running community. But the reality of it was that is not what I wanted. I want to run because I love it. Fortunately, I found my place at NGU!! They have a great program and an amazing new facility. They are growing and I want to grow with them.

What do you hope to achieve this spring?
Wow, my senior year comes to an end January 14, 2016. I will be graduating early to work on my running at a new level. I want to run some longer races and maybe a half marathon. I plan on restoring my Iron levels and taking care of my body. It has a tendency to tell me what I should do. With that I have learned not to ignore its signs.  During that time I will prepare to start the next season of my life.

Looking at Dutch Fork, what will you remember most?
The beginning and the end! In the beginning I was just a seventh grade girl running for the "Love of the Run." I had no clue as to what I was even doing. In the end I was just a 12th grade girl running for the "Love of the Run." I got lost somewhere in the middle. Glad that I found my way back to where it all started. Running on the Dutch Fork team made me the runner I am today. I will miss being a part of such a great program. Six years on one team is a long time. I try not to think about it being over but instead that it will become a part of me.

What individuals in your life were involved in helping you make the decision?
My family would have supported anything that I had done as long as I was true to myself. The Lord gets all the credit for my choice. It was by him that I decided.  I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able.....