Episode 38: Student Athletes

We sit down to chat with student athletes Cam Oluyitan from the basketball team and runner Angie Nickerson. 

Full Transcript

Steve Meredith: Hi again everyone, and welcome to Solutions for Higher Education, a podcast featuring Scott L Wyatt, the president of Southern Utah University in Cedar City, Utah. I'm your host, Steve Meredith, and joining me in studio today, as he always does, is President Wyatt. Hi, Scott.

Scott Wyatt: Hello, Steve. It's great to be here today.

Meredith: It's always a pleasure to be with you and to interview people on these podcasts, but I think my favorite people that we interview of all the people, and they're all amazing, are when we get to interview students.

Wyatt: Yeah, it's kind of the point of this whole thing. [Laughs]

Meredith: It really is. That's the solution for higher education. [Both laugh]

Wyatt: Students.

Meredith: Right. Treat your students well. Anyway, we have two student athletes with us, and we're going to talk about student athletes and why don't you introduce them to us?

Wyatt: So, we do have two of our outstanding students here. Cam Oluyitan.

Cameron Oluyitan: Yep, yep.

Wyatt: On our basketball team.

Oluyitan: Yes sir.

Wyatt: Your second year at Southern Utah University and are you ready for the season that's coming up?

Oluyitan: Yep, definitely.

Wyatt: Are you ready for the winter that's coming up?

Oluyitan: No. [All laugh] Not at all.

Wyatt: We get students from all over the country, and Cam, you're from Texas and it's just a little bit colder in the winter in Utah than Texas.

Oluyitan: Just a little bit, yeah, just a little bit.

Wyatt: But it's a dry cold.

Oluyitan: Yeah, that's true.

Wyatt: [Laughs] Does that make a difference?

Oluyitan: Nah, the cold is still the cold. And it's all…

Wyatt: It's still cold.

Oluyitan: Yeah.

Wyatt: And we have Angie Nickerson. Angie, you're a runner.

Angie Nickerson: Yeah.

Wyatt: In fact, you just did something kind of spectacular. Congratulations.

Nickerson: Thank you.

Wyatt: You won the conference title.

Nickerson: Mhmm.

Wyatt: Why don't you tell us about it?

Nickerson: Yeah. So, we were up in Sacramento for the Big Sky Conference Championships. We'd had a really good season thus far—right now, I think that we're ranked 22nd in the country, so that's out of the like 349 division one programs, we're the 22nd. And so, we've had a good season, I think it's the first time we've had a women's team be nationally ranked and so it's been really exciting. So, going into the meet, we knew that we had a chance at the title and we all ran really, really well. We put four of us in the top 10, so that's four of us that were all conference athletes, and then I was able to come away with a win. So, it was an awesome end to I guess the conference season for cross country in my fifth year.

Wyatt: That is fantastic. Your fifth year, this is the end? 

Nickerson: Yeah, this is it. It's gone by so fast.

Wyatt: And Cam, we're hoping that in a few months, we're going to be talking about the basketball conference title, too.

Oluyitan: That's the plan.

Wyatt: Every year for the last few we've done just a little bit better than the year before, haven't we?

Oluyitan: Yeah, trying to keep it going.

Wyatt: In fact, last year, I did a terrible thing. I reserved a ticket to go out to see the games and then I had some work I needed to do. And so, I had a ticket to go out and come back and then I had to change the ticket to stay for another game and then I had to change the ticket to stay for another game.

Meredith: You guys just kept winning and he had to keep rebooking his flight, I remember that.

Wyatt: Yeah, and I thought, "Oh, I have so little faith. Why did I do this to myself?" [All laugh] I've got to have more confidence. So, this time, we're not doing that.

Oluyitan: No.

Wyatt: This coming year, Cam, I'm going to be able to stay the whole time.

Oluyitan: That's good, that's good.

Wyatt: No trading tickets back. This is my pre-season statement of faith.

Oluyitan: [Laughs]

Wyatt: But I wish I could have watched the final races for the cross country team, Angie, that's really exciting. Good luck as you keep going.

Nickerson: Thank you.

Meredith: Yeah, what happens actually at the next level? Is…an NCAA? Is there a regional beforehand?

Nickerson: Yeah, so there's a regional first. Right now, we're ranked fourth in the region going into the race. If we finish in the top four, we should qualify for nationals—the top 31 teams in the country get to go—and then at nationals, I think that if we have a really, really good race, like if we all show up and run our best, I think we could be top 15, maybe closing in on top 10 which would be incredible.

Wyatt: I need to get the dates in my calendar.

Nickerson: Yeah.

Wyatt: [Laughs]

Nickerson: I'll get them to you, we'd love to have you there.

Wyatt: Well, it's fun to watch success. It's inspiriting to watch success, and we all learn from our failures so both of those are a piece of this. What we'd love to visit with you about in more detail is how do you feel like this experience as an athlete is helping you in life? That's what we're in the business of is helping people, so, how do you think this is helping? Cam, what is this…what does this mean to you?

Oluyitan: It definitely builds a mental toughness. Just that mind set to just…that you can do anything. That you can say, on the basketball court, it definitely translates to the classroom or to anything in life. It just is something that sticks with you, and I feel like it's made me definitely a tougher person, physically and mentally, in life.

Wyatt: There's a lot of times that I have thought that of all the things a student could learn going to school, maybe the number one would be grit.

Oluyitan: Yeah, definitely.

Wyatt: Because we end school not knowing everything we need to know.

Oluyitan: Yeah.

Wyatt: So, we have to keep learning. And the key to success sometimes just seems like sticking with it.

Nickerson: Mhmm.

Oluyitan: Yep.

Wyatt: Angie, what's your first reaction to that?

Nickerson: I completely agree. Have you read Angela Duckworth's book, Grit?

Wyatt: Oh, no I need to.

Nickerson: Yeah, you need to! I have a copy you could borrow. [Laughs] Yeah, so she just talks about grit as being the combination of passion and perseverance and how if you enjoy what you're doing and you stick with it, that that will trump pure talent and raw talent in any situation. And I think that's something that I've learned by being a student athlete is just to be persistent. We kind of joke when we look at our team this year with Coach Houle's recruiting, kind of how it's all played out where if you wouldn't be patient with us and wouldn't give us chances when we're struggling that we wouldn't have a team, because each and every one of us has had times where we're injured—we've had a couple of girls with stress fractures or people deal with iron issues or just being in a slump for a year or so—and if he wouldn't have been patient with us and if we wouldn't have been perseverant and stuck with it that we wouldn't have a team. And so, I think that yeah, grit to me is just sticking with something that you love and I think that that is something that will carry into the next arena in life. Like whatever we choose to do for our careers, if we're passionate and if we stick with it, I think that we can do really big things.

Wyatt: Is there a moment in a race or basketball game or practice…is there a moment where you felt this? Where you thought, "This is too hard, but I have developed something in me that helps me get through it" or in class, have you ever thought, "Well, if I can lift weights for an hour, I can read this chapter?" Have you ever had that kind of a moment that you can think of?

Oluyitan: Uh…pretty much every day. [All laugh] I mean, it's just constant work, work, work and we just…we've just gotten so used to it kind of that we're just telling ourselves constantly that "Yeah, this is nothing. I'm just going to do it." And that definitely translates to everything and that's why I'm grateful to be a student athlete.

Wyatt: Can you see that you're becoming stronger?

Oluyitan: Yeah, definitely. Definitely, I've just got that mindset for everything.

Wyatt: Can you feel it in your class work?

Oluyitan: Sorry, what?

Wyatt: Do you see that in your class work?

Oluyitan: Yeah. Yeah, definitely.

Wyatt: Angie, I was talking with some runners a month ago and I asked them about this question, "What was your hardest race?" And their answer was, "It's never been the hardest race, it's been practice that's been the hardest."

Nickerson: Oh, for sure. Yeah, racing…if you're prepared when you toe the line…the phrase in running is, "The hay is in the barn" just like the important work has already been done. So, when we get to the line, we know that racing is tough, but the preparation is definitely tougher, I agree.

Wyatt: It's the every day.

Nickerson: Mhmm.

Wyatt: We can all show up for one day, but can we show up for every day?

Nickerson: Yeah, exactly.

Oluyitan: Yeah.

Nickerson: And I think consistency is such a big thing. Like, that's when I notice the biggest improvements in my running were like, when I took every day seriously and I think school work is kind of the same thing where it's like you can try to show up for the final test, but if you haven't been doing the work for the rest of the semester, you're not going to be ready. So, it's just what you're doing on the day to day basis that I think prepares you really well. And knowing that you've done that preparation, come race day or come test day, I think makes it so much easier just like you're just more relaxed and you know that you've done what you need to do.

Wyatt: Steve, so you're a singer.

Meredith: I am.

Wyatt: When you're not the announcer at football games or anything.

Meredith: Right. [Laughs] I do a lot of stuff.

Wyatt: It's kind of similar that you…a talent, whether it's running or basketball or singing or playing an instrument or learning a language, you can't cram for those.

Nickerson: Mhmm.

Meredith: That's right.

Oluyitan: Yeah.

Meredith: I actually was thinking about hat in terms of the music students that I work with. It's not physically as challenging as what you folks go through, but I think that the expectations that we have of those students are very, very high and you have to perform in front of the public. And so, there's a different kind of pressure on athletes and musicians and other students that are not only going through that difficult grit-filled training process, but then they're expected to take their final test in front of a crown that's going to cheer for them. [All laugh]

Wyatt: Or yell.

Meredith: Right.

Nickerson: Yeah.

Meredith: Or else or boo, that's right. When we go…I'm the assessment accreditation officer, essentially, for the university and when people talk about assessment, I always in athletics and in the arts, "We invite you to our final exam. You know what we're doing. You know by wins and losses—it's all very public." And I actually wanted to ask you that question. Do you feel that part of this development of grit and toughness is that you're able to stand up publicly and do what it is that we've asked you to do? In other words, the training is in private, but when you actually do the event, there are thousands of people along the raceway or in the stadium watching you do what you do. Has that extra pressure toughened you? Do you ever feel a lot of…do you ever feel that pressure to perform and does it help  or hinder?

Oluyitan: It definitely…well, for some people, some people aren't prepared for that, some people are, but I feel like it definitely helps me, that pressure. Because this is something that I've worked on my whole life and to be put in the spotlight in front of 1,000 people or however many people, this is something that I've dreamed of and it definitely excites me to be able to do that, so I definitely love doing that.

Meredith: That's great.

Oluyitan: Yeah.

Meredith: I'm glad to hear that. I always wonder if kids don't go home and cry softly into their pillow. [All laugh] Because it's…to miss the front end of a one-and-one and lose a game is an awful thing.

Oluyitan: It is, yeah.

Meredith: But to do it in front of 1,000 people whose hopes and dreams were riding on that shot, that's a lot of pressure for an 18 year old, 19 year old, 20 year old person.

Oluyitan: Yeah, definitely.

Meredith: That's a lot of pressure on their shoulders.

Oluyitan: It's definitely not easy, but this isn't…like I said, this is the moment. Some people dream about that shot their whole life, and so it definitely makes it easier.

Meredith: Yeah.

Wyatt: So, have you ever had an occasion where it has gone really badly?

Oluyitan: Yeah, definitely.

Meredith: [Laughs]

Wyatt: Everybody is watching, you're disappointed in yourself, your teammates are disappointed, you go home and it's time to throw it in. How do you work through that?

Oluyitan: Just forgetting about it, honestly. That's the main thing, just thinking that, "OK, that's in the past" and just focusing on the next game or meet or whatever. Just honestly having a…what do you call it? A quick memory just to be able to forget about it.

Wyatt: Just your mind? It's all in your mind?

Oluyitan: It's all mental, yeah.

Wyatt: Figure it out. So many people in college nowadays when things go badly, their anxieties go up and they get depressed and they're not sure how to deal with it.

Nickerson: Mhmm.

Oluyitan: Yeah.

Wyatt: But you're practicing dealing with it all the time.

Oluyitan: Yeah.

Wyatt: Angie, what's your reaction to that?

Nickerson: To which part? I would agree with what Cam said about having to…what Coach Houle calls it is having a "Teflon attitude." So when you have a bad race or when stuff is not going how you want, just let it slide off. Let it fuel you for the future, but you have to just forget about it and keep moving forward and keep your sights on the things that you want to accomplish and not the times that you failed to accomplish them. And I think that's been a really big thing for us moving forward. My…this would have been my sophomore year when the talk about being in front of a group of people, we hosted the conference championships and our women were 10th out of like the 12 teams there. [Laughs] And that was…the times that we get to have a big race that—I mean, in Utah, let alone in Cedar City, it's very, very rare. So to have the one time…

Wyatt: All of your friends and family…

Nickerson: Yeah,  all of our friends and family and everyone there.

Wyatt: And teams and classmates…[Laughs]

Nickerson: Yeah, so it's like, the one time we get to race in front of everybody, our women's team wasn't super strong that year, but if we would have ran well, I think we could have been top five. Probably like fifth or sixth maybe but to finish 10th, that was the worst feeling. But yeah, you just have to keep your mind on the things that you want to accomplish in the future and just keep working towards those things.

Wyatt: How do you do it?

Nickerson: One thing that I've found that really helps me and that like, I've seen a lot of progress since I've done it, is just being vocal about my goals. And if I want to be an All-American or if this indoor season, I want to break the Big Sky record in the 5K, it's telling people so you have people to hold you accountable for those things and just making those types of goals something that are very habitual so that they're always in the back of your mind and you kind of carry them with you wherever you go, and I think that's something that applies to running and sports but also to your goals in the classroom. So if you want to get, I don't know, a 3.8 GPA one semester, a 4.0, those are goals that you need to carry with you. I'll write my goals down just on sticky notes around my house or I write my goal times on the inside of all of my running shoes. [All laugh] I change my password so like logins and stuff for emails and Canvas and everything to an inspirational type of quote with my goal times at the end so that it's like wherever you go, the things that you want to accomplish are right there, so you can't forget them, and I think that's really helped me. And just to set big goals, too.

Wyatt: So, you are making those goals part of your life all day long?

Nickerson: Yeah, all the time.

Wyatt: You can't forget them.

Nickerson: Yeah, no matter where you go, they're going to be there.

Wyatt: Do you ever have times where you've struggled believing?

Nickerson: Sometimes I think that something that's helped me is to set goals that are attainable, I guess. Kind of smaller step goals, so have the bigger goal something that you're aware of, but, "OK, before I can run a 5K in 15 minutes and 45 seconds, I need to have broken 17 minutes or 17 minutes 30 seconds. So, at first, the goal is to break 17 minutes and 30 seconds and then it's to break 16 minutes and 40 seconds and then it's to break 16 minutes flat. And so now that I'm at those bigger goals, I mean, three years ago, I wouldn't have imagined my goal to be to break the Big Sky 5K record. But now, it doesn't seem that crazy.

Wyatt: You're about ready to graduate.

Nickerson: Yeah.

Wyatt: And what are you going to do next?

Nickerson: I'm hoping to—if my outdoor season goes like I think that it can—to do the Olympic trials through the 2020 cycle and the 10K maybe and the marathon if I don't get the 10K standard, but I think I can. And I'd like to move to Flagstaff. So, I'm working on my degree in public administration right now, so, I finished my undergrad degree in May in philosophy and now I'm working on my master's program, so I'd like to get a job working in the non-profit sector in Flagstaff just working part time for a little bit while I chase the running dream for a bit longer and then I don't know after that. Maybe train service dogs. [Laughs]

Wyatt: Steve, I thought she looked particularly smart.

Meredith: Yeah, philosophy degree.

Wyatt: That was my undergrad degree was philosophy. 

Nickerson: Yeah.

Meredith: This is the second time we've talked about that today.

Wyatt: Yeah, it keeps coming back.

Meredith: It does.

Wyatt: Cam, have you ever had a time where it was hard to believe? To keep going?

Oluyitan: Yeah, definitely. But, I just do everything in my power to not think about the negative and just think positive. Like when she said, just constantly thinking about your goals and that definitely helps and just stuff like that.

Wyatt: What's your worst day on the court ever?

Oluyitan: Maybe a couple of years ago when I was at Boise State, I shot…because there, I was on the short leash, anything that I did, I was a benched player. So, I didn't have the freedom that everybody else had. So, there was one game where I shot the ball terribly and I just never played after that and after that, it was kind of just downhill and yeah…that was pretty much…

Wyatt: Were there times that you said, "I guess I'm not a basketball player?"

Oluyitan: Umm…no. Definitely, I've stuck with it my whole life. I've never…

Wyatt: Never doubted.

Oluyitan: Yeah, never doubted.

Wyatt: So, you must have really developed an ability to block out negative thinking.

Oluyitan: Yeah, definitely. I feel like as a basketball player, you have to have that mindset.

Meredith: So, you obviously have coaches and teammates that are support for you. I'm always curious, because again, because of my background, about your other support network. Particularly parents I think are a big part of a young athlete's life.

Oluyitan: Definitely.

Meredith: Can you talk a little bit about that and the impact that it's had on your family and so forth to have you be a D1 athlete?

Oluyitan: Umm…my family, and probably hers, are definitely my number one fans and just to have them behind your back and just…it's just unreal. And it definitely helps. It definitely helps. And just to have them is just amazing.

Nickerson: Yeah, exactly. My parents are always so proud. My mom is one of those ladies that goes a little crazy on social media and so I think that…she posts stuff all the time, and I think that her friends and my family think that I'm a lot better than I am just because of the way that she posts stuff. [All laugh] But it's awesome just having their support and parents are the people that are there for you since day one and so they've seen the struggles and they've seen the times when you're having a low or in a slump, and so when you're doing well, and they get to see that, I think that just makes them so excited. Yeah, they're the best.

Wyatt: So, what would you say to somebody who may or may not be an athlete or something like, that not having the experiences you're having, what would you say to somebody to help them develop grit? So, a student that's not an athlete, what would you tell them? How would they develop it?

Nickerson: I think that no matter what situation a student is in, to just find something outside of school that you're passionate about and that you enjoy. So for us, it's athletics, but there's people who may be music or theater or even just being super involved in a certain club or a certain organization, and we have plenty of those on campus, and so I think finding something that you enjoy and that you can put time in outside of the classroom, I think that's a really good way to just develop grit and also to learn how to manage your time and how to manage school a little bit better. And school can be tough, so I think having a release from that and a way to enjoy yourself outside of school is super important.

Wyatt: So, if I understand what you're saying, what you're saying is, "Find somewhere where you can work?"

Nickerson: Yeah, something outside of school because I think school can get exhausting and it's an incredible opportunity to have, but I think being pulled in a couple of different directions can be good for you. It can be stressful and exhausting, but I think that it's the kind of thing that prepares you for the next arena and for having a real job and stuff and I think it just makes it more enjoyable, too. So, whatever it is, find something that you're passionate about. And even if it is in school, like, if you're a biology major, find a professor to do research with or find an extra thing that you can do, just because I think that…I don't know, I think that makes a college experience more meaningful.

Wyatt: Sometimes, it seems like people—not just students, people in general—are always looking to find the easiest way to get things done.

Nickerson: Yeah.

Wyatt: And what I hear you saying is, "That's not the way to develop grit." You've got to go looking for things to get you busy. If you're not an athlete, you've got to go find something else to…

Oluyitan: Yeah.

Wyatt: Is that what you…?

Oluyitan: That's the case, yeah. Just constantly working on your craft helps, too, and just obviously…nobody got where they wanted to be, and it was just simple. I feel like every successful person had to go through obstacles, and it just makes them who they are now, and it definitely helps with a lot of things other than…it helps with literally anything. So, yeah.

Wyatt: So, what is your…Cam, I asked you what your worst moment was. What is your best moment so far? Or one great moment?

Oluyitan: On the court, or…?

Wyatt: On the court.

Oluyitan: Maybe in high school when I had this game and I shot to advance to the second round of playoffs, that was definitely probably my greatest moment.

Wyatt: Is there a moment when you feel like the world is all yours?

Oluyitan: Yeah, definitely. [All laugh] Definitely after that shot, I felt like I was "the man." [All laugh]

Wyatt: Do you keep that in your mind?

Oluyitan: Yeah, definitely. It's just…it kind of boosts me. I kind of let myself remind me that, "Yeah, I can do it." Just that shot is always keeping in the back of my head.

Nickerson: Just chasing that feeling.

Oluyitan: Yeah. But yeah, "I've done this before and so I can do it again."

Wyatt: Chasing the feeling. You got something in your head and you're trying to find it again.

Nickerson: Yeah, it's that good moment. The game winning shot or just a huge PR on the track. Finishing the race and looking up and seeing the time and just being like, "Wow, I can't believe I just did that." That's the feeling that you're trying to get.

Wyatt: You're both doing two very different things because in basketball, you've got the score in front of you all the time.

Oluyitan: Mhmm.

Wyatt: And when you're running, you're not looking at the time. Or are you?

Nickerson: On the track, when you race a 10K so that's 25 laps around the track. It's a lot, it's the longest race on the track in college, you know the time. There's the digital clock at the finishes at big races but at the ones where we're trying to run the really fast times, there's a clock at both 200s and then we'll have a coach somewhere on the track and you know where they are going to the race and they're yelling your time at you every single 400.

Wyatt: Every time.

Nickerson: So it's like…like, if I'm trying to run 32 by 32-20, that's 80 second laps, so every 80 seconds, I have a coach yelling "that was an 80" or "that was a 79" or "that was an 82, you've got to pick it up!" So yeah, the numbers on track are a lot different than during cross country, because cross country, you'll maybe see a 3K split on the digital clock halfway through, but cross country is a lot more about effort than time.

Wyatt: Yeah, and in cross country, sometimes you don't know where you're at.

Nickerson: [Laughs] Yeah, there are those races where you think that, "I'm in the last 800" and then you get to a mile mark and it's like, "OK just kidding, I actually have like…I thought I had three minutes left but I still have like eight." That's the worst. That happened to me on the track for my first 10K. And the 10K hurts. It's a very painful race, but we were coming around and I thought I had eight laps left and the lap counter said seven, and it was just like, the biggest relief. I was like, "I only have seven laps left, I thought that I had eight" but they messed up on the count and so then we got…I thought I had a mile left, but I actually had five laps left and that was rough. That was probably the most pain I've ever been in in a race, too.

Oluyitan: You have to run 25 laps by yourself?

Nickerson: Yeah. Well, there's other people around, but you string out pretty good in a 10K. you'll be lapping people just because it's an over half hour race, but that was probably the most pain I've ever been in…

Meredith: That's what I say…

Nickerson: Thinking I had four laps left and actually having five laps left. That was rough. [Laughs]

Oluyitan: Even five laps is still crazy. [All laugh]

Nickerson: At that point, it feels…yeah, it feels like an eternity. But…

Wyatt: I have a new saying that I love and it's, "Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional." That if we put into our heads that we know it's going to be painful but it's our choice how to respond to the pain.

Nickerson: Yeah.

Oluyitan: Yeah.

Nickerson: Yeah, and I think being, I mean running is different than basketball a little bit I think, but just being prepared for the pain. So, if you go into a race and it's hilly and it's cold, the more you're expecting it, I think the better you'll be prepared.

Wyatt: Yeah. "I knew this was coming, this isn't a surprise."

Nickerson: Yeah, exactly. Exactly.

Wyatt: Well, this is really fun. Good luck in the basketball season coming.

Oluyitan: Thank you.

Wyatt: And good luck in the regional.

Nickerson: Yeah, thanks.

Wyatt: What was the last thing or the first thing that went through your mind when you realized that you had won?

Nickerson: When I had won or the team had won?

Wyatt: Both.

Nickerson: Oh.

Wyatt: Both, at the conference championship.

Nickerson: It was kind of a weird race because I've won a couple of conference championships like, an indoor and outdoor just as an individual, but in cross, it's so much of a team effort and so this was the first race that I had led from the gun to the finish. So, I had no idea where anybody was, and we kind of strung out pretty quick and so I could hear people cheering for me, but I couldn't hear them cheering for my teammates, so I didn't know where everybody was in the race. So, I crossed the finish line and just immediately turned around and saw…there was a girl two girls behind me and then it went SUU fourth, SUU fifth, SUU sixth, and in that moment, I knew that our team had won and I was so excited. We were all excited. [All laugh] And then the finish, the finish shoot just turns into this carnage of people laying down and crying and everyone was so excited and we had quite a bit of family out there. My mom and then my teammate Sharlie's mom, they both drove up together and so they were both there which was just awesome. And so, it was exciting. It was really exciting just to see…like, I've been working so hard, but my teammates have been too, so to see each of my teammates have such a great race and be so excited for this common goal that we've been working towards was just huge. It was awesome.

Wyatt: We need successes, and we need failures.

Nickerson: Yeah.

Wyatt: We need them both.

Nickerson: Oh yeah, the failures make the successes so much sweeter.

Wyatt: Yeah.

Wyatt: So, Cam, what's going to be going through your head when the basketball team takes the championship? What do you think would be going through your head?

Oluyitan: That, "Man, is this real? Because this is…" Like she said, I've been working for and I know my team is working for it and so, when it finally happens, I don't know how I'm going to react. Because honestly, winning the Big Sky, I don't think anything that big has ever happened to me. And just to win something like that and go through an NCAA tournament, I really don't know how I'm going to react. It know it's going to be very emotional, I know that.

Meredith: You've been listening to Solutions for Higher Education, a podcast featuring Scott L Wyatt, the president of Southern Utah University. We've been joined in-studio today by Angie Nickerson from the women's cross country team and by Cam Oluyitan from the men's basketball team. And thank you for joining us, and tour listeners, thank you for joining us. We'll be back again soon, bye bye.