Justin Reed ’05 – Track & Field

polImageExcerpts from the 2005 PVC Senior Student-Athlete Awards Banquet

“It has truly been a remarkable, exciting, challenging, and sometimes frustrating experience, but I know within my heart that as a group we have persevered because collectively we all share a common purpose in our desires to succeed in life and as teammates. We share a common bond in that we realize that in order win on the field or court, as in life, we must work together as a team. We all realize and benefit from the sense of community fostered by being an active student-athlete on this campus. We, as student-athletes are able to forge life-lasting friendships because of the type of camaraderie we experience as a result of being athletes.”

“As a track athlete, I really enjoyed the thrill of competition and knowing that I was working hard to improve myself both physically and mentally. Many of us are now better athletes than when we first arrived on campus freshman year.”

“It is my belief that my career as a Princeton athlete is much bigger than simply running around in a circle as fast as I can. Athletics has provided me with some of my best friendships, great sources of role models in my coaches, and some very fond memories. Perhaps most importantly, however, athletics has taught me much about myself and about life itself.”

“I remember one day my sophomore year doing a hard workout on the track. We were supposed to run the 300’s in 37 seconds, but I believe we came in at around 40 seconds…on the first one…It didn’t take long for Coach to come over to us and tell us, “Yes, you are running another 300, but it’s going to be the first 300 all over again. Of course during the workout, we weren’t very happy about this…but see, I learned something that day from what he did. Yes, I may have become a stronger runner, but there is something else. He taught me that if I did something right the first time, you don’t have to do it again. Needless to say, we have run everything on time or faster in workouts since that day…”

“One of the other positive aspects of sports participation became very apparent to me during the self-segregation debate that gripped our campus a year ago. Facilitated by studies and stereotypes, some argued that many minorities on this campus did not attempt to meet and congregate with members of other races. Others argued that minorities were not welcomed in the same manner as whites and that some sort of implicit segregation was to blame. After being here for four years, I can honestly say that both of these accusations fall short of painting a true picture of diversity at Princeton. It is my belief that the best way to combat any self-segregation or segregation is through events that put different types of people on similar ground. Athletics is one of the best vehicles to facilitate inclusion for all. The stereotypes that exist in forming the self-segregation argument are debunked by watching one of our many sports teams interact.

“By participating in athletics at the collegiate level, we as student-athletes are afforded opportunities to learn so much about life. Much of what we learn and practice – time management, prioritizing issues, balancing academics and athletic pursuits – are all conducive to and consistent with acquiring the requisite traits to succeed in our professional endeavors.”

“Let’s always try to give our best, for if we don’t go through our lives at 110%, we will not know what we are truly capable of. Lou Holtz once said, ‘I won’t accept anything less than the best a player’s capable of doing.’ In much the same way, Princeton Class of 2005: Let’s be the best we can be on and off the fields of competition, remembering all the lessons we learned along the way.”