With outdoor track season approaching quickly (first meet is March 17 @ Georgia Tech) I have been thinking a lot about where I am now and where I was a year ago. This time last year I was preparing for outdoor season for my second year at WKU. Little did I know things would change a lot over the span of one season.
As many people may already know, I am a transfer student at UofL. I am in my second semester here and in ways its hard to imagine that next year is my last because I feel like I just got started.
So why did I transfer? Unlike many other students who transfer from one D1 school to another, I had a great experience at WKU. I absolutely loved my school, my teammates, and coaches so it was bittersweet for me to leave.
On April 19 last spring my coaches called a late notice team meeting. None of us could figure out why. We speculated of course, but none of us were able to predict what we heard. That was one of the most emotional team meetings I have ever gone to. We found out that the track team’s budget would be cut in half. We were free to leave if we wanted, but that didn’t seem to be the right path to me.
After that meeting my event coach called all of the throwers down to the football field for a private meeting. Because of the cuts he would be leaving. Here we were thinking we would be fine, budget cuts wouldn’t hurt us, but losing a coach changed everything.
I left that meeting and called my mom telling her I was planning to transfer. I remember saying “I don’t know where but I know I’m going.” Making the decision to transfer wasn’t hard but it was scary.
That weekend my team had a meet at UofL. We knew we couldn’t let the news affect our performance and funny enough I had my best throw of the year… at the school I now attend.
Fast forward to C-USA Championships. About an hour into the drive back I emailed my head coach and asked to set up a meeting. The next day I went in to his office with my nerves through the roof. I sat down across from him and couldn’t help but cry. I had given two years of my life to WKU and I was leaving it behind.
I couldn’t be more thankful to Coach Jenkins for handling that meeting the way he did. He had my release paper ready and helped me narrow down the schools I wanted to talk to. He even went so far as to call Coach Cowper here at UofL to inform him of my release.
As all collegiate athletes know, the recruiting process is stressful. I was going through it for a second time. At this point it was late in May and I didn’t even know what school I was going to at the end of the summer. After phone calls, emails, and hours of driving for recruiting visits, I finally made my decision to come to UofL in June. It was like one weight was lifted off of my shoulders just as another was thrown on.
Now I was stressing out about what apartment to move into, creating a decent class schedule, and adjusting to a new atmosphere and different surroundings. I have to say that weight was lifted off of my shoulders pretty quickly. Coach Cowper was very welcoming as well as my new teammates.
I don’t regret leaving WKU or coming to UofL for a second. There are so many things that I miss about life on The Hill but so many things that I love about life in The Ville.
I miss that crazy small town Hilltopper spirit. Saying “roll tops” any chance you get and shouting the fight song at the top of your lungs. But I love the feeling you get when you hear the slow clap starting at football games for the CARDS chant. I love the hatred we all share for UK. I love being surrounded by thousands on thousands of fans when you go to sporting events. I love that our mascot is so sacred you wouldn’t dare walk across the cardinal outside of the SAC.
While I miss waving the red towel like a maniac at any sporting event, I’ve traded that in for throwing up an “L” any time I get the chance. I can’t wait for the end of spring break when I get the chance to put on a red and black uniform in Atlanta.
I believe things work out the way they are supposed to. I feel like WKU is where I was supposed to be for my first two years of college but now that I’m at UofL I know I made the right decision. I’ve formed friendships that will last a lifetime.
I may still have that Hilltopper spirit, but I’m a Cardinal at heart. While Louisville technically wasn’t first, cards will always be forever.