Share Your Story: Sue Howard (McDonnell)
Sue Howard (McDonnell)
I cannot express with words how much being a member of the University of Wisconsin's track and field team has meant to me. I was immediately accepted and found a family who made such big campus more intimate.
Considering myself extremely fortunate to have a support network, I was able to use the stadium computer lab - this was when computers were not on everyone's desk - till all hours of the night, which was especially helpful for an English major. In addition, tutors were available for many courses as well as academic advisors. Flourishing academically and being named to the Academic All-Big Ten team was not in spite of being a Big Ten athlete, but was made possible by the discipline one has to possess to be a full-time student and an athlete.
Competing each year in the Big Ten Track and Field Indoor and Conference Championships was a great honor for me. It was also exciting to travel and cheer on teammates at nationals and the U.S. Olympic Trials. Having the opportunity to travel to so many places and experience many different cultures was a wonderful byproduct of competing across the United States.
Of course I am thankful for the wonderful education I received at Wisconsin, supported by the track and field team, but most importantly, I am blessed by all of the wonderful people who made my experience what it was. Peter Tegen is a god in the sport and the reason the Wisconsin women's track and field and cross country teams have had such a successful history and even existed in the first place. Sue Tallard was also a constant in my years on the team as well as a trusted confidant. The friendships I made and continue to enjoy are the most important result of training and competing at such a prestigious university.
Just this past winter, one of our teammates passed away at the early age of 37. Teammates from across the country contacted each other and many traveled to attend the services. We are very saddened to lose such an important person to us and such a special person on this Earth, but the memories will live on forever.