Wildcat colors source of pride for Linfield athletes

Liam Pickhardt, Staff writer

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With 30 percent of the student body competing in intercollegiate athletics, Linfield has one of the most athletically involved campuses in the country.

Linfield sits well above the NCAA Division III national average of 21 percent of the student body participating in sports. And the school just south of McMinnville, Oregon State, has a 3.1 percent of the student body competing in athletics—they have dramatically different student bodies and compete in different athletic divisions, albeit the comparison is worth noting.

But with no scholarships and no compensation via an inundation of clothing, why do so many students desire to compete in athletics at Linfield?

As a Linfield athlete myself, I have pondered that question many times.

Competing in both cross country and track and field, much of my free time is consumed by athletics. On some days, I look out my window to see notoriously rainy days in the Willamette Valley and the last thing I want to do is go to practice. But with the rain beating down, I always end up lacing up my shoes and taking off for a run.

On my runs, I usually see other Linfield students studying in slippers and sweats, sipping away at warm cups of their favorite beverages, while I trudge through the wet weather.

It is on those days that I, and other Linfield athletes, question why we put our body through misery. When instead, we could be filling our chilled bodies with a warm cup of hot chocolate.

I usually get an adrenaline rush and can’t help but gleam with excitement as the exhilaration of a good run sets in.

Just like that, I am subtly reminded why athletics are prioritized so highly in my life.

The rush from both practicing and competing is a surreal experience that leaves athletes begging for more.

Linfield boasts an incredible tradition in athletic excellence, the athletes are pushed hard and usually realize success.

Thus, putting on a Linfield Wildcat jersey stimulates a priceless sense of pride that no scholarship or amount or gear could offer.

Attend any Linfield athletic event, and I guarantee the passion and spirited competition will be completely unparalleled. Potentially even more impressive is that the devotion does not end when the competition does; it is just as apparent on the practice fields and in the weight room and at the Training Center. The dedication that Linfield athletes possess, across all sports, is irreplaceable by any monetary or material item.

Being a part of Linfield athletics carries a prestige that generates an indescribable feeling. Fostered by the tradition that Linfield athletes develop into one loyal family.

And once you become a part of the Linfield athletics family, there is no turning back.