Episode 8 / Russell Dinkins

Photo by Molly Seltzer (@seltzershots).

“Track & Field is important to me because of the opportunities…my youth program coach stressed using your sport as a means for accessing greater academic opportunity. Since 6 years old, I have carried that message with me.”

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Russell Dinkins is an elite athlete and former Princeton University runner. After writing a viral piece for Medium.com last June, Russell found himself leading the charge to save Men’s Track & Field and Cross-Country at several colleges and universities across the United States, as we’ve seen several institutions cutting their programs over the past year. Schools have cited various reasons for this, including Coronavirus budget reductions and other institutional policies like Title IX, which is a federal law that protects against sex discrimination in college sports. Ultimately, Russell helped successfully reinstate the Men’s Track & Field and Cross-Country programs at William & Mary, Brown, and the University of Minnesota. We talk a lot about diversity in Track & Field, college pathways for low-income students, and the admissions and recruitment process. This is a complex conversation with many layers, but I appreciate Russell’s candidness here as he discusses his own experiences at Princeton and gives educators, parents, coaches, and current high school athletes some great advice along the way.

In this Episode:

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Music by Jacob Shije (Santa Clara Pueblo, NM).

This podcast was made possible through the Tracksmith Fellowship Program

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