March 7, 2013
"Make your own destiny." I remember teammate Ned Brady shouting those words at me with 300 meters to go in the last chance meet a year ago. Leading the race right from the gun, surging down the backstretch and holding off as many guys as I could down the homestretch, that's exactly what I had to do: make my own destiny. Those words came back to me as I saw Gina Valgoi hit the bell lap of her 5000m "last chance" this past Friday.
Gina put her head down, gritted her teeth, pumped her arms and crushed the last straightaway at the Alex Wilson meet. She had done everything right. She had won every race she had run so far this season. She was 4680 meters into the race and one more lap at the same pace would have put her right outside of the national meet. It's inspiring to see moments like that. When people make a decision to do something great and won't let anything get in the way of accomplishing that goal. It was exactly what Gina did, and it was exactly what makes track and field such an exciting sport. Her position in the race was solidified at second. She could have hoped for a few people to scratch out of the 5k and maybe slide into the national meet with a little luck. It wasn't to be left up to chance. The decision was made long before she stepped onto the track that day. She made her own destiny.
Getting into the NCAA Championship meet is the difficult part. Now it's time to compete and have fun. We have faith in our training, our coaches and our teammates, and know we have taken all of the necessary steps to be where we are. It's time to trust that we have made it this far for a reason and go out an represent Rambler Nation as best as we can. It's time to show that taking "NO DAYS OFF" was worth it.