Dragon Fire Walk brings together alumni and current student athletes

A runner finishes the 5K Splash Dash by jumping in the Polar Plunge. By BREANN LENZMEIER• lenzmeiebr@mnstate.edu

A runner finishes the 5K Splash Dash by jumping in the Polar Plunge. By BREANN LENZMEIER• lenzmeiebr@mnstate.edu

The eighth annual Dragon Fire Walk for Athletics had a little bit of something for everyone. From the friendly 5K to the River Rats Dueling Pianos and even a polar plunge, there were plenty of activities to take in.

Student athletes had the opportunity to hear from a former MSUM student athlete Bob Bowlsby who is now the Big 12 commissioner.

The day was the conclusion of the weeklong “Walk the Dragon” campaign put on by the MSUM bookstore where students could walk around campus five times or complete five workouts to earn a t-shirt. The bookstore donated $3,000 to the athletic departments scholarship fund.

The Fire Walk was an opportunity to bring the alumni back on campus and see what changes have been made in the athletic department.

The women’s basketball team played in an alumni game where the current players took on the former Dragons.

Athletic director Doug Peters said he was excited about the day and the chance to see former alumni.

“It’s an opportunity to get together and build our community and to have people come in and see them build those relationships,” Peters said.

Peters said the Dragon Fire Walk is the one time for everyone to pause and to get together to celebrate Dragon Athletics.

The Dragon Fire Walk gave student athletes the opportunity to see that they a part of something that is bigger than themselves.

Peters said that bringing Bowlsby in was the chance for the student athletes to see that they can achieve success even after they are done playing.

But it wasn’t just about hearing from alumni, it was also about the current student athletes creating their own story as part of the athletic program.

This year’s slogan for the Dragon Fire Walk was “What’s My Story?” and associate athletic director Chad Markuson said he hopes each student athlete does that in his or her time at MSUM.

“Every student athlete is going to have their own story and what they want to accomplish and the direction they want to go … they have the opportunity to experiment and open doors they might not know they even exist,” Markuson said.

Peters and Markuson agreed that the Dragon Fire Walk is a part of something greater, it is about being a part of the MSUM community and supporting each other.

The day concluded with the River Rats Dueling Pianos, the first time the group played at the event.

“They can satisify a lot of people and that is something we were hoping to do,” Markuson said.

Both Peters and Markuson said the day showed how alumni have succeeded and encouraged current student athletes to work hard and reach their full potential.

BY BREANN LENZMEIER
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