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I can take a few bumps and bruises. After all, I signed up for this. Playing college sports is a privilege, not a right. Losing sleep, missing classes because you’re traveling, taking care of sore muscles and maintaining a strict training regimen — they’re all part of the game when you’re a collegiate track and cross-country athlete.
But what I signed up for was running against similarly advantaged competitors — other women. What I have experienced, and seen repeated across the nation, is a different story, and it’s why I’m speaking out.
I was born into a family of college athletes in Ohio and ran my first race at the age of 5. Running has had my heart ever since. In high school, I was a three-time All-Ohioan for cross-country and six-time track All-Ohioan.
The allure of the West drew me to Southern Utah University and, after meeting the track coach and the girls on the team, I fell in love with my new family away from home.
Madisan DeBos at the Stanford Invite at Stanford University, April 2022.
I’m heading into my