Letter to the Editor: Save Clemson Cross Country and Track

These views are solely those of the writer. Have a letter to the editor to submit for consideration, email jolson@milesplit.com

Why do I run, and why are so many people trying to save the men's cross country and track program at Clemson?

Coming from a family of runners, I started running at a very young age. I grew up running and was very successful. I earned a scholarship to Clemson and ran cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track from 2005-2009. Could I have excelled in another sport? Probably. I am very competitive and determined. But, I choose running. Like thousands of other athletes.

Running taught me patience. You have to be consistent and dedicated. Running taught me to work with others, to encourage others and push each other to be better. Yet, it also taught me that you have to put in the work. Nobody else can do that for you. Running taught me to stay committed. There were days when everything seemed to go wrong, but you make it through those days and the days where everything goes right are that much better. Running taught me about life. It prepared me and continually helps me to be a better mother, wife, teacher, and all around person.

Others have their own reasons for choosing running, but I would imagine many of us have a lot of the same reasons. We enjoy pushing ourselves, seeing what we can accomplish. We enjoy building friendships. We enjoy the opportunity to see new places and enjoy nature.

Related: Letter to the Editor: The Cutting of Clemson Track and Field 

I come from a Clemson family. We have ten Clemson degrees among my parents, my three siblings, and myself. I have a young son. It is heartbreaking to think that if he chooses to become a runner and is able to run collegiately, that Clemson would not be an option for him.

The men's cross country and track program at Clemson has produced many successful athletes. It has also produced many successful men. Please reconsider cutting this program that is so important to thousands of past, present, and future Clemson families.