The Life U Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track & Field teams recently traveled to South Dakota for the NAIA Championships. While the Men’s team came up just short of back-to-back team titles, they finished an impressive 2nd overall, with three runners earning individual titles and 10 receiving All-American honors. The Women’s team also fared very well, placing 4th overall in the team standings and having two runners receive two individual titles each. However, perhaps the most impressive result of the trip took place off the track, as the teams were staying at their hotel in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Take a look at this excerpt from a fellow guest at the hotel commenting about his brief encounter with the Running Eagles Track & Field teams:

“I was reading in the lobby area when two young women walked by. Glancing up, I thought they looked like athletes. Shortly after, a large group of young women and men walked through (all clearly athletes), and I loudly proclaimed ‘Which sport?’ One called back ‘track and field.’ Sometime later, they started filtering through the lobby, and I started a guessing game as to which events I thought they participated in. For me this became great fun. That was my sport long ago. I was fairly proud, as too often I guessed the right event. I even heard one of them go down the hallway and suggest others should approach me for the guessing game. The bottom line is this: All of these young people could not have been more kind and fun. I am a 68-year-old white guy who lives in the woods of central Minnesota. Your athletes could easily have walked away with having no interest in cajoling this old man. They were quite the opposite. I wish I could have gone to the meet. I would have been cheering loudly for them. Living in a fractured world where we hear so much about hate and derision, maybe we should all step back and recognize more of the positive aspects of life. You and your staff deserve much credit for assembling such a fine group of young people. This was just a simple evening that will have a lasting effect on me. I wish your university weren’t so far away, as I could do with some more interaction as a new fan. Thank all of you.  

-Patrick Flanders

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