A Look At Your Dinner from Your Dinner’s Point of View

Halloween has passed and the real horror story is approaching: Thanksgiving. We will enjoy Thanksgiving dinner, watch the Vikings beat the Lions and cut coupons for Black Friday sales. Meanwhile, behind the scenes on this holiday, 46 million turkeys will die. Thanksgiving is becoming a gluttonous day that stuffed and tortured flesh essentially becomes our own.

Most people I interact with admit that eating meat provokes at least slight cognitive dissonance. No one wants to watch the sad factory-farming documentary, because it makes them feel guilty. Sir Paul McCartney, vegetarian of 30 years said, “If slaughterhouses had glass walls, we would all be vegetarians.”

image-2.jpegPhoto via rtfitchauthor.com.

Our human nature wants to correct this cognitive dissonance by changing either thinking or behavior. Most will justify it in their minds with excuses (“I don’t have time to prepare all those vegetables.”) or humor (“I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t eat bacon!”) and consequently detach themselves and make no personal sacrifice. Vegetarians are simply those who have chosen to change their behavior based on this cognitive dissonance.

Instead of asking why someone would possibly be a vegetarian, ask yourself, “Why am I eating meat?”

It tastes good. I crave Cane’s chicken fingers, but there are other foods without a face that are just as deliciously deep-fried and battered. It’s no secret that you must stop a beating heart to produce a juicy steak. You also have to roast, boil, sauté, grill or season that chunk of flesh, and it’s still a chunk of flesh. I can’t rationally justify stopping a beating heart for a non-essential “indulgence.”

It helps me reach my daily protein quota. Consumers are positioned now more than ever to purchase meat-free, protein-rich foods. Plant-based products like quinoa, soy, chia or hempseed have all the essential amino acids one needs. Plant-based foods also have antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals, while animal proteins come with the baggage of hormones, antibiotics and saturated fat. Again the question arises: Is meat really necessary for our diet?

The government recommends eating meat. With friends in high places, America’s meat industry is one powerful political bear no one wants to poke. The industry has cozied up to the United States Department of Agriculture. Despite studies from Harvard, American Institution for Cancer Research and World Health Organization that prove the correlation between meat and chronic disease, the USDA still remains silent on the issue. The government has a track record for surrendering to the special interests of the meat industry.

The animals die quick and painlessly. A man working in a pig slaughterhouse once described his workday like this: As the pigs are tied up by their back legs, they screech out in pain before the life leaves their wiggling bodies. Outside, fainting pigs—afraid for their lives—thwart the flow of traffic. Aware of the inevitability of what is coming, they can’t stay conscious enough to take their last steps. This is their final memory before their throats are slit, which is the quickest, most “humane” way to kill.

One person won’t make that much of a difference. On average, a vegetarian diet saves 95 animals per year. Additionally, if every American participated in Meatless Monday, 1.4 billion animals would be saved from factory farming in one day. Over a lifetime, one vegetarian makes a huge difference for the environment and animal life.

There is no moral or ethical case. Sure, humans and animals are on a different cognitive capacity or moral standard. But if you physically abuse a dog in America, you will be shamed or jailed. There is no cognitive or moral difference in a dog or turkey. There is no reason to dress one in a sweater and dress the other with stuffing; there is no reason to love one and exploit the other.

God gave us dominion over animals. Perhaps you see no ethical or religious argument for vegetarianism. God granting humans dominion over animals in Genesis 9 is not a hall pass for abuse. In fact, God addresses his originally intended diet plan in the first chapter of the first book:

“I give you all plants that bear seed everywhere on Earth, and every tree bearing fruit which yields seed: they shall be yours for food. All green plants I give for food to the wild animals, to all the birds of heaven, and to all reptiles on Earth, every living creature, it shall be theirs for food.” (Genesis 1:29-31)

According to this verse, God intended the first humans to eat plants and herbs. We see this change in Genesis 9:3-4:

“Every creature that lives and moves shall be food for you; I give you them all, as once I gave you all green plants. But now you must not eat the flesh with the life, which is the blood, still in it. For the blood is the life.”

This verse makes the most sense in its post-flood context. All vegetation has just been destroyed and countless animal corpses are left behind. God gave Noah and his family the approval to eat meat, but the only living animals are the ones Noah saved, which is only two of every kind. It doesn’t make sense to eat the animals they need to repopulate the earth. Perhaps God was referring to the animal corpses. Meat-eating may have been just a temporary solution to the vegetation problem. It is also interesting that people started living shorter lives after the flood.

In conclusion, Proverbs 12:10 says a righteous man respects the life of his animal. God intended us to love and care for the living beings he breathed into life. The meat industry is not exemplary of God’s intentions.

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Parallels: Christianity & Running

Running has irrefutable parallels to Christianity. 

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At some point, these parallels became perpendicular; I let running break the focus of my Christian race. Spending all weekend at a track meet made it very easy to become selfish with my rare free time. I hadn’t had a free Saturday in three and a half years. Did I forget the one who gave me that time? The one who gave me that talent and every opportunity I’ve ever had?

Hebrews 12:1″Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

As the Hebrew writer indicates, the Christian race requires endurance and steadfastness. There are countless lessons I’ve learned on the trail, track, or treadmill that parallel the Christian life. 

If I don’t put in the work, I don’t get stronger. After four months without running after completing my final cross country season, I still expected to run a decent marathon. What could have been a four-hour race was an extremely unpleasant five and a half hour race. I would have had a much better experience if I prepared.

My faith isn’t going to get strong if I don’t put in the work.


“The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare.” -Juma Ikangaa, 1989 NYC Marathon winner


I expect the best results without prioritizing the things that will get me there. I know when I’m not giving it my all in preparation, yet I still hope for a PR when I put my training to the test. 

I expect to have a strong faith without spending time studying or praying.


“Striving for success without hard work is like trying to harvest where you haven’t planted.” -David Bly


Be zealous, but beware of burnout. The 10 percent rule has been engrained into my brain. “To avoid injury and burnout, do not increase mileage by more than 10 percent each week.” But it happens every year: I watch Rocky 4, hear the perfect running song, witness a record break, or find a sudden gust of inspiration, and I increase speed, intensity, and volume, thinking this time I can handle it. My current onset of plantar fasciitis is a good testimony to the inevitability and fatality of that pattern.

With a strike of spiritual conviction or burst of realization, I see that I need to do more. Instead of taking baby steps, I think I must read the entire Bible in a week or be as well-versed in scripture as someone with a master’s in Biblical proportions.


“Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” I Corinthians 15:58


Harsh conditions are unavoidable. Runners will endure rain, snow, heat, and wind. If you’re comfortable, you’re probably not doing it right.

Persecution in the lives of Christians will come.


“Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” 2 Timothy 3:12


In my weakest moments, I am my strongest. The end of a race: you exhaust every muscle, endure every hill, sweat out electrolytes, deplete glycogen storages, flood your body with lactic acid, and exert more mental brain power than a chess match. You might be physically weak, but it is because of your strength that you are capable of running and reaching the finish.

I don’t have to rely on my inadequate strength because it is in my weaknesses that God’s power is revealed.


“I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:10


Comparison will ruin you. Not all runners train the same, race the same, or have the same genetic makeup. It used to shatter my confidence to look at other girls’ training logs to see that they logged more miles than me that week until I realized everyone has different training needs. Every time I lined up for the start of the 10K, I was nearly a foot taller than every other runner. I used to hate it and question whether or not I should be standing there. Then I realized I am just as capable of dominating those 25 laps as the runner next to me. Running is not about being better than someone else, it’s about being a runner. 

Comparing my faith with someone else’s is no way to build myself or them up.


“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” -Henry Ford


When I don’t see results, I lose patience and wonder if all the hard work is even worth the trouble. There is very little instant gratification when you are training. Results do not come overnight.

Sometimes I lose sight of the Christian goal and want to give up. The reward is not on earth.


“Life is often compared to a marathon, but I think it is more like being a sprinter; long stretches of hard work punctuated by brief moments in which we are given the opportunity to perform our best.” Michael Johnson


I don’t always want to obey what I don’t understand. There were some things my coach told me to do that I didn’t understand. For a while, I thought running two miles before a race was the dumbest thing I had ever heard of. As I matured, I realized how much better I race after warming up my muscles, loosening the joints, and increasing blood flow. It prevents injury and enhances performance. My coach had my best interest in mind.

Sometimes I don’t understand God’s instructions, but I must still let down my nets.


“Simon answered, ‘Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.’ When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.” Luke 5:5-6


I run to win. Unfortunately, trophies are fleeting.

By faith, I live with purpose and direction as I strive to be like the victor and receive the eternal prize.


“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way as to take the prize. Everyone who competes in the games trains with strict discipline. They do it for a crown that is perishable, but we do it for a crown that is imperishable. Therefore I do not run aimlessly…” I Corinthians 9:24


The internal struggle is a lot worse than the physical struggle. Running is a constant argument between your brain wanting to stop and your heart wanting to keep going. If you let them, inner demons will strip away every ounce of morale you have.

Don’t underestimate Satan in spiritual warfare.


“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this world’s darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12


I never regret when I do, but always regret when I don’t. It’s easy to skip runs and find “easier” things to do. But it’s always worth it in the end.

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 1 Timothy 4:7

An NBA Team That Means so Much More

BeaRodgers8.jpgIn December 2016, I was fortunate enough to begin working for the Thunder in the Community Relations Department. Photo: (Left to right) Me, Debbie Williams, Bea Rodgers.

“I am the biggest Thunder fan!” I have heard this expression hundreds of times. The words lose their meaning because we hear them so often at the office, at the games, or on a phone call. There are many that claim to be the biggest fan, but Bea Rodgers truly is the number one Thunder fan.

Bea lives in an assisted living center in Oklahoma City, one of the many places the Thunder players stopped during the Acts of Kindness outreach program this past December.

Wearing her crocheted royal blue and sunset hat and a hand-knitted blue sweater, Bea approached Enes Kanter and told him how to shoot a free throw. “You need more arch,” Bea told him. Enes and Bea got along great that day, and the photographer was able to capture a phenomenal shot of the two hugging and smiling. Enes, with his soft spot for community outreach, wanted Bea to have the photo to remember that day.

BeaRodgers10.jpgBea Rodgers opening the autographed photo with Kanter. 

I’ve become good at managing time, meeting deadlines, and finishing tasks efficiently over the past four years thanks to classes, workshops, internships, and leadership positions. This internship was unique because I learned how to do things with purpose. It’s easy to let your purpose slip to the back of your mind or let tasks become another item to check off a to-do list, but in community relations, you demonstrate and experience the purpose every day.

The leadership in the community relations department exemplifies the mission of the Thunder every day. Everything the department does is to make someone else feel important and build them up. My supervisor, Debbie Williams, showed me that work isn’t always about checking off daily tasks. Sometimes you need to give up your valuable time to stop and make someone else’s day.

Enes signed the photo of him and Bea hugging and drew a heart with her name in it. Debbie framed the photo and wrapped it, and I added some Thunder fan gear. We could have just mailed the photo, but instead, we delivered it personally. We went to the front desk and spoke to the manager to find Bea’s room and learned that it was her 91st birthday. We couldn’t believe how perfect the timing was.

Next to her door hung two signs. One read “Most Handsome NBA Team,” and the other said “MVP Russell Westbrook, Mr. Thunder.” The way she lit up when she opened her door was incredible. She didn’t even know why we were there, but she was happy to see us.

18336739_10210664851231606_433871477_n.jpgBea’s handmade signs showing her Thunder spirit. 

Bea invited us in to show off her hand-stitched Thunder gear and proceeded to tell us details about every past and present player. She proudly pulled out more of her work, including a Thunder-colored hat, quilt, and jacket, newspaper clippings for every past and present player, a Thunder calendar, and crocheted roster books with every player for each season. When she opened her gift, she kissed the photo and proudly turned it around for everyone to see. I couldn’t believe how much joy this basketball team gave her, and I wondered how many others experienced it as well. This is a day I, and definitely Bea, will never forget.

I watched Debbie give up so much of her time to serve others and make the department better. We stayed and talked to Bea so long that we didn’t have time to go out to lunch like we planned. Every day when I would walk into the office, I’d see a half-eaten yogurt sitting on her desk. “I just didn’t have time to finish that this morning,” she would always say, yet she had time to stop and ask someone about their family or a recent vacation.

Thunder is much more than a basketball team. There are people who don’t know anything about basketball that are huge Thunder fans. Debbie worked with Sam Presti on a leadership program for high school students. One day, she got an invitation from one of the students to attend his ROTC ceremony. Debbie and I showed up and he was grinning from ear to ear the entire time. We spoke to him after, and he told us he texted Sam, but he had something going on that night. He wasn’t a big basketball fan and probably didn’t realize Sam was busy trying to re-sign the potential MVP of the league. What other NBA general manager would give out his cell phone number to keep in touch with students in the youth leadership program?

I grew more impressed with the organization every day. Most of the time I couldn’t believe I was getting paid to do the things I was assigned. There were many education programs I had the privilege of helping with. Each program is successful and impactful. I helped prep for many Thunder Fit Clinics, an interactive exercise and nutrition program that allows students to interact with the players. I also helped with other player and student programs such as the Rolling Thunder Book Bus, Reading Timeouts, and court dedications.

Community relations is a selfless job. It requires giving up weekends and evenings, stepping out of your comfort zone at times, putting others’ needs before your own, and radiating genuine positivity on and off the clock. The Thunder’s high standards, caring employees, and respectable players are the reason so many people are competing for the title of #1 Thunder Fan.

 

 

“Let’s Move” To A Big Fat Problem: What Michelle Obama Missed

 

michelle-obama-lets-movejpg-b3d4cb99280622b2.jpgLet’s Move was started in 2010 as an initiative to decrease childhood obesity. 

Exercise does not make you healthy. A child who eats a McDonald’s Happy Meal would have to run five to six miles to burn off the calorie intake. Some children might be able to move that much, but others won’t. Let’s face it; you can’t outrun a bad diet. According to Time Magazine, one in three American children eat fast food every day.

The former First Lady did an outstanding job getting kids and parents to think about their health. In fact, according to the Let’s Move Campaign, her efforts helped provide 2.5 million students salad bars in their school cafeteria. However, I respectfully disagree with confusing the rampant obesity problem as a physical inactivity problem.

While our kids should play outside more and eat less fast food, there is another sneaky elephant in the room: the poor quality of our processed, refined, sugary foods. As someone who has studied advertising and marketing, I have to wonder if the ones behind it even consider the impact of the messages their work communicates or if they are solely driven by the almighty dollar.

Deceptive health jargon grabs busy parents’ attention as a cheap, easy alternative to trying to get kids to eat vegetables. From our youth, we are told to drink Gatorade to “replenish the electrolytes we lose in sweat.” What the advertisers don’t tell you is that their 30-minute soccer game isn’t enough to burn off that Gatorade. A banana, apple, or handful of almonds will replenish those electrolytes just the same, without 35 grams of sugar.

Sucrose, fructose, glucose, turbinado — it’s all sugar. What about the natural sugar or cane sugar? It’s still bad and it’s all oncogenic. There are 61 different names for sugar, and 74% of packaged foods have added sugar

Next time you go to the grocery store, observe the packages and the loud shouts of “health” they tout. Pop-tarts claim they use real fruit, yet one of the first ingredients you will see is sugar. The food industry uses packages as tiny billboards, each one trying to sell their own snake oil. Kellog’s Mini Wheats advertise the excellent source of fiber, but they bury the lead: cornstarch and sugar. They are interested in selling more food. I hope they are also interested in health, but from the list of ingredients, it certainly doesn’t look like they are.

Is it a crime to add your child’s favorite cartoon character and a toy to sell this hyper-palatable processed food? It’s hard for me to say because I don’t have children. I would encourage everyone to check the infant formula aisle and read the ingredients. Spoiler alert: in almost all of them, the first ingredient is corn syrup or another form of sucrose.

I know, advertising is protected by the First Amendment. But so is flag burning.

I am against infringing on someone’s first amendment right, but I want the food industry to stop saying “50% less fat” when what they really mean is “50% more sugar.”

Mrs. Obama has to be politically sensitive, but we don’t. We can do more to make it easier for young people to make better choices. We can also speak with our wallets and shop the perimeter of the store for the vegetables that don’t need to advertise their health benefits.

Marathon Thoughts from Start to Finish

18198530_10210634900802864_3825845763411782298_n.jpgMy brother, Austin, and I after the 2017 Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. 

Being a long distance runner for the past eight years, I am used to the question, “What do you think about when you run that far?” At one point in my college cross-country career, I was running 50 to 60 miles a week, probably between seven and eight minutes per mile – that’s roughly eight hours. And honestly, about 90 percent of the time, I thought about getting better. Not for anyone else, just myself. 

In college, through the taxing workouts and the Saturday long runs, I thought about the splits I needed to hit to maintain my target. When my brother runs with me, he always comments on how consistent my splits are. Even on easy runs, my miles are within seconds of each other. It has become natural for me to keep the same pace until I need to push it at the end.

It became robotic.

The marathon was nothing like that. Over the 26.2 miles, the pain accelerated and my time decelerated. I went into the race overconfident, with my longest training run at 14 miles. Seasoned marathon runners would laugh at my stupidity.

No surprise, it was one of the hardest runs, right up there with my last collegiate race in the Colorado altitude. It was a new kind of pain I had never felt before. I was emotional, drained, achey, thirsty, and overwhelmed.

My mind shifted gears at some point during the race. It wasn’t “the wall” or the “second wind.” It was being completely helpless to pain and vulnerability, realizing I was unprepared and couldn’t finish it without changing my mindset.  It took me 21 miles to reach this point. It was a feeling I never want to forget, and it is the reason everyone should run a marathon.

The start line. My brother, the freak endurance athlete, is overly confident and excited, ignoring his foot injury that recurred throughout his training. I am just ready to get warm.

Mile 2. My ankles hurt. I feel shin splints coming on. I have 24 miles to go.

Mile 5. I really hope Austin wants to slow down.

Mile 7. If Austin tells one more dad joke, I will probably punch him. He also just ran effortlessly backwards up the hill that set my glutes on fire. I really want to punch him.

Mile 10. I’m not even halfway there.

Mile 15. This is the farthest I have ever run, and it was long ago when I was at the height of my best track season.

Mile 16. Worst conditions imaginable. Muddy shoes. Shin splints. Rain. Cold. Numbness. Oklahoma wind.

Mile 17. Austin finally admits he might not make it. When we stop to walk, he can’t put all his weight down on his foot. I would imagine the adrenaline masked the pain and was the only reason he was able to run on it at all. He has to call it quits (after arguing about it in the middle of the course), and I keep going.

Mile 18. Austin catches up to me. Now I really want to punch him. I yelled at him. “Seriously, stop! You could cause permanent damage to your foot.” My anger gets me through the next mile, but I admittedly miss my running partner.

Mile 20. My family is waiting for me at the finish line. I begin thinking of those who lost their lives and how their family would give anything to wait for them at the finish line. This was when I truly understood the impact of the words, “Run to Remember.”

Mile 22. My collar bones are bleeding from rubbing up against my shirt. It distracts me from the pain in my feet.

Mile 24. I turn off my brain and think about finishing. My time already sucks. I just need to finish.

Mile 26. There are no words to describe what I felt when I saw the finish line.

God bless the 168 lives lost on April 19, 1995.

Female Thoughts on Joe Mixon

Joe Mixon Press ConferencePhoto by: NewsOK

To the team drafting Joe Mixon: Evaluate the decision to determine if the criticism you receive will be worth investing in his talent. Look at this as an opportunity. Domestic violence is a nationwide epidemic, and the NFL has a bad reputation for turning a blind eye for talented players. In his press conference, he said he wanted to be an advocate, and I would hold him to it. Ray Rice did this and has pledged millions to fight domestic abuse. The “second chance” story has been overdone, and as Dale Hansen said, there are no second chances in murder. They need to do something about their actions, but only if it’s genuine. In Mixon’s press conference, you can tell he is a young person who messed up big time, and he knows it. I disagree with Coach Stoops when he says, “His opportunities don’t need to be finished in a reactionary moment.” The NFL needs to be more careful handing out these endless second chances. The more we give, the more the domestic abuse cycle continues. Sometimes reactionary moments are very telling of true character.

To the media covering Joe Mixon: If I were in your position, I would have to be careful with my bias. I realize I place athletes on a pedestal, (I don’t want to believe O.J. did it!) and I understand why it would be easy to slap him on the wrist for this because of his talent. Report the facts of this situation and try not to let emotions cloud the story. Cover the draft pick, say something about his altercation, and address how he plans to reconcile it. In my interview, I would ask the obvious questions: Why did the club decide to take the risk on Mixon with his violent past? How could they take the risk on him since he also had an outburst about a parking ticket after the first one? I would also ask about his talent: What will Mixon add to the team as a running back?

Video made the difference: There is no way to watch that video without getting emotional. Seeing the video changes the story. All cases of domestic violence should be taken seriously. It shouldn’t matter if there is a video or not. Ray Rice was cut after his domestic abuse scandal, but they didn’t cut him until after they saw the video. They likely cut Rice because he was a more seasoned athlete, and they didn’t want to take the PR risk. The Chief’s Tyreek Hill had similar circumstances as Mixon, but there was no video. Hill was put on probation and drafted last year. There should be punishment if there is a video or not, but visual evidence is good for showing the reality.

I have no doubt there are many athletes that do similar acts, if not worse, that will never face their mistakes the way Mixon had to. Without the video, you wouldn’t see a teary-eyed Mixon apologizing for his actions in the press conference. His mistake happened in seconds, but just one interrogation from the press was 26 minutes long. He wants people to learn from his mistake, and I do think this video will prevent some, not all, cases of domestic violence. If it saves one woman’s life, it is worth it. It’s not right to exploit one’s mistakes, but it might stop domestic violence across the country.

I wish Mixon luck and look forward to seeing how he turns his mistake around and succeeds in Cinncinnati.

Oklahoma Christian Athletes Move Forward to NCAA: Division II

Cross_Country-Submitted-Online

  • Oklahoma Christian coaches and athletes learn and apply the rules of the NCAA to their program
  • National Championships will now be more difficult to advance to
  • The program will grow by wearing the NCAA name

After an extended transition period, Oklahoma Christian University is shifting from NAIA to NCAA: Division II. This past year, OC athletes have grown familiar with what this change will mean for the future of athletics at the school.

Adapting to the Rule Changes

The transition from NAIA involves some rule changes. One student at the private college explains the use of substances that were accepted in the NAIA, but not tolerated in the NCAA. “I used to take supplements, but I have strayed away from them since I heard about the upcoming change,” said junior baseball player Austin Peck. “We will have to be really careful about the substances we take, such as too much caffeine or creatine.”

Among other changes for the athletic program will include the way scholarships are structured, the way recruiting is handled, and the way practice is monitored and recorded. “It’s really a matter of putting the procedures into place that the NCAA requires,” said Eagles’ men and women cross-country coach, Wade Miller.

Growing as Competitors

The Eagles will have to stay mentally tough throughout the process. “I don’t see a huge change in training. As far as practice hours go, there is no way we will reach the limit, which is 20 hours per week. That would be pretty intense.” Essentially practices and overall training will be the same for the cross-country runners; however the competition will be a new level. “Our national championships in cross-country are going to go up in distance,” said Miller. “For women, the conference, regional and national races are all going to be six kilometers. During the overall regular season, they will race five kilometers. So that’s going to be a change for us to prepare for in the future. As for the men, the regional and national championships will race 10 kilometers and most of the regular season races will be eight kilometers. There will be that to factor in so we need to prepare ourselves for that distance at the end of the season.” Click here to learn more about the membership requirements.

The baseball team will also undergo NCAA changes in championships. “Going to the Division II World Series will be cool because it’s a bigger stage,” said Peck. “It will be a good recruiting technique.” College students agree that this change in competition level is for the best. “It forces you to work harder and have a higher goal for yourself and your team,” said sophomore cross-country runner Katie Jones. “That can help you motivate yourself a little bit more and give you something more to strive for. Some would be content sitting at NAIA, others and myself would rather go above and beyond.”

Improving as a Program

Trials will arise as OC advances to Division II. “The challenges will be difficult at first and hopefully we will be able to overcome those,” said Miller. “I think the level of competition [will] either cause us to get better or not. We’re in a situation where we are going to have to step up as a program and I see that challenge being a good thing.”

Click here to learn more about the membership process.

Assuming that this year goes as planned and all regulations and expectations are met, OC will be a full NCAA member by next school year. “I am really looking forward to hearing from the NCAA that we are full members and being totally through the transition period,” said Miller. “Everybody is looking forward to that first full year of competition with excitement and anticipation.”