Frank attended a recent Vanderbilt track meet where our guys competed.
Coaches Johnson and Morgan and Wabash Track and Field Team-
It was a thrill and privilege to have the team here at Vanderbilt this weekend. Since the internet came about (no guys, it hasn’t always been here) I’ve followed along closely with the exploits and successes of the track and cross country teams. But it was special to see first hand a great group of Wabash Men conduct themselves as champions on the track and as gentleman off. When I tell folks here at Vanderbilt that I graduated from Wabash, I get varied reactions. Those that are familiar with the school invariably have a positive impression, but many others have just a vague notion that it’s “somewhere in the North.”
Well, after this weekend, I think the Little Giants left a mark. Not only did the team fair well, going toe-to-toe with DI and DII teams (I think we might have been the only DIII team there), but before and after races, I saw nothing but positive behaviors- shaking hands with competitors, taking stock of their performances, no whining/making excuses. Under less than pleasant conditions, no complaints about “do I have to run the relay” (clearly not the case with other men’s teams present). The two Wabash Credos were on full display: “Wabash Always Fights” and “A Wabash Man IS a Gentleman.”
I was very proud to be a Wabash Alum this weekend (and my only regret is that I didn’t always conduct myself as positively as this current team; yes, Coach Johnson, I think I had a pretty good case of that “Performance Constipation” you were talking about). None of us enrolled at Wabash solely to further our athletic careers. However, your work ethic and performances will follow you long after graduation. Make the most of your time. Engage each challenge as an opportunity to succeed.
Coach Johnson once pointed out “You’ve got the rest of your life to be a doctor, lawyer, professor, or businessman, but you only get to run college track for 4 years.” How right he was. A few of you will make All-American, many of you will be All-Conference, but with the right attitude, drive, and work ethic in all you do, you will all be successful. Run fast, throw far, jump high, work hard, and have a little fun while you’re doing it.
I hope the team returns in the future. It is usually a gorgeous weekend for a track meet.
Frank A. Fish, MD
Professor, Pediatrics and Medicine
Director, Pediatric and Adult Congenital Electrophysiology
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Wabash College, Class of 1979