Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Knight Pride

I don't think I can truly convey the love I have for my alma mater, Bellarmine University. It seems that on a regular basis something else is making me proud to remind those around me that THAT is MY school.

I look forward to every quarter when my Alumni Magazine arrives in the mail. Jon and I--both alums-- sat in silence for a good 30 minutes last time one arrived. Not only is the quality wonderful, but I love seeing features on professors I loved or changes being made to the grounds or the cool opportunities students are taking advantage of now.

I love when I get the chance to attend an alumni event. I did it much more regularly when I lived in Louisville. I was highly disappointed to miss homecoming this past year and the chance to see so many great faces.

Just like any Knight should be, I've been extremely proud of our men's basketball team the past two seasons. An NCAA championship is something I don't think I even considered during my time at BU...and now the team is shooting for back to back titles?

I love seeing the school become a more nationally recognized institution, especially since we are, by far, more than just a school for athletics. Actually, we're really anything but that. I'd say we're the biggest bunch of nerds ever. You'll find the library jam packed on any given night of the week. The best part is you'll find those same study nuts up having a heck of a good time til 4am as soon as that big project is done.

The recently released fan-made (ie, student/alum-made) video, "We're Back" has gotten a ton of attention from many media sources including NBC Sports (so much so Louisville's WLKY brought them in for an interview). The three stars of the video were track freshman my senior year and seeing them pull this off does not surprise me at all. The man behind the music I've also known through many Bellarmine involvements and having many mutual BU musician friends. What I love most about the video is it reflects the quality of those associated with Bellarmine. Not only are we original and creative, but seeing that they asked President J-J McG to make an appearance reflects the student-administration relationship as well.

We might be a bunch of nerds...but we know how to have fun!

Equally if not more exciting (for me at least) is the women's track team claiming the GLVC indoor title! Through my years on the team it was always a dream to one day win the conference. It's crazy to me where the team has gone in the past 4 years since graduating, even more so in the past 8 years since I was a freshman.

We probably had about 20 girls or so on the team TOTAL... mainly distance runners...maybe 3 or 4 jumpers... a couple of us were strictly sprint/mid-distance runners... a few throwers... a couple of pole vaulters.  We rode the "Bellar-Vans," as we called them, to meets rather than charter buses. We didn't have a track to practice on. (Our coaches were experts at impromptu work outs using hills, stairs, parking lots and parks.) We had a few stand-out athletes.
Spring 2006 (Sophomore year) - Centre College Invitation Champs
 By my junior and senior years we'd moved up in ranks and were shooting to finish at the top of the conference each year but we always ended up in a tight mix of teams competing for places 4-8. My senior year in outdoor we managed to place 5th... 8 points behind 4th and 2 points ahead of 6th. (For anyone unfamiliar with track scoring, a team can pick up anywhere from 1 to 10 points on any given event. With 15-20 events in all and teams putting multiple contenders in a single event, points can add up quickly. To have 5 teams within 20 points of each other is tight competition.)
Spring 2007 (Junior Year) - At the end of the outdoor GLVC conference meet.
Our team grew tremendously this year with a very large freshman class.
It was clear my senior year that major improvements were on the horizon for our team: another very large freshman crew with diverse skills that was extremely athletic and competitive along with a brand-spankin'-new stadium! (I admit, practicing on the track EVERY DAY was foreign to me at that point! I kind of missed the hills and parking lots!)

GLVC Indoor Champs 2012!
I've kept up with the team via Facebook since graduating as well as followed a former Casey County High School teammate who became a running Knight herself the year after my departure. Despite whether I was a stand-out on Bellarmine's team or if the team during my years was even that good, there is still a sense of pride in seeing the team's success now. We were a part of today's team's foundation. If those of us from eight years ago hadn't woken up early to ride in those stinkin' vans and done countless hill workouts in Joe Creason Park or on the (old) golf course...where would they be now?

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