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In Play with Craig Mattick: Megan Trotter

Rapid City Journal

She holds the state record for most career gold medals by an individual at the state track meet with eleven. Megan Trotter is still considered one of the best sprinters the state has ever seen. After high school at Rapid City Central, she went on to Colorado State to continue her athletic career.

Craig Mattick: Welcome to another edition of In Play. I'm Craig Mattick. Today's guest, one of the all-time greatest girls track athletes in South Dakota history. She holds the record for most career gold medals at the State Track Meet with 11, and at one time our guest was the state record holder in the state in the 100-meter dash.

Her senior year she's the state champion in the 100, the 200. She's a part of the four by one and the four by two relay for Rapid City Central. She is one of the great sprinters and even went on to Colorado State. She's Rapid City Central's Megan Trotter. Megan, welcome to In Play.

Megan Trotter: Well, thank you Craig. What an introduction, I'm quite humbled by that. And what an absolute honor it is to take a walk down memory lane with you this evening and to relive my career as a Cobbler. And if you pass any Cobbler on the street, they will be the first to say once a Cobbler, always a Cobbler. So, thank you again for this opportunity.

Craig Mattick: Don't tell me it's been 20 years since you were burning up all the tracks across South Dakota. Has it been 20 years already?

Megan Trotter: It seems like a lifetime ago. But during this spring and this time of year, it's hard not to get a nostalgic and feel like it was just yesterday. I can still feel the heat on the track and I can still hear Dave Doland and Coach Houska in my ear. And I think of all my incredible teammates, that many of whom I still call amazing friends to this day. So in some ways it seems like a lifetime and in other ways it seems like just a few years.

Craig Mattick: Were you involved with any other sports at Rapid City Central during your high school career?

Megan Trotter: Early on I played basketball. And in fact, I really thought that basketball would be my career at Rapid City Central. I didn't have any plans of being a sprinter. So early on that was where I thought my career and my legacy as a Cobbler would go, but the stars aligned differently and there was a different plan. And as I began to hone in on my skills in track and field, I decided I am going to invest 150% of myself into track and field. So I did focus solely on track and had to hang up my basketball shoes.

Craig Mattick: Was there somebody who influenced you to participate in track?

Megan Trotter: Oh, absolutely. I still have this incredible memory and I think it was in Spring of '97, I would've been a seventh grader, and I was at the State Track Meet, and I watched the incredible Jill Theeler. And Jill epitomized absolutely what it was to be a sportswoman and what it meant to be a South Dakota athlete.

And that was where that seed was planted. I didn't know that I was going to be a sprinter, but I thought if I invest in track and field, boy, I want to emulate this young woman. And she was just an incredible person. And later into my career, actually when I broke her state record, I had never had a conversation with Jill, but she did send me an email.

Craig Mattick: Oh, nice.

Megan Trotter: And it was just super uplifting and something that has just stuck with me all these years.

Craig Mattick: Back in 2014, my good friend, then Rapid City Journal reporter, Patrick Duffy, listed you as one of the 10 greatest Rapid City Cobbler athletic figures of all time. Of course, there was Euclid Cobb, who of course, the Cobblers are named after, Adam Vinatieri, Dave Strain, John Dutton, Aero Amo, Colette Christensen, who was in gymnastics, Aero by the way was in wrestling.

And then you had in the top 10, four track athletes, the great Annie Vollmer, Tony Smoragiewicz, Jasmine King and you. Now what does that say, four of the greatest athletes from Rapid City Central were tracksters?

Megan Trotter: Oh, absolutely. When you say those names, I just get goosebumps. In the '90s I grew up on the South Side of Rapid City, and back in that day that was in the shadow of this immense high school with such a rich history, that was Rapid City Central.

And for many years, admittedly, I didn't know that a cobbler was a shoemaker, but I knew that we were named after Euclid Cobb, this South Dakota Hall of Fame coach that I think coached upwards of seven years of undefeated football championships, and just an indelible figure in the eyes of all of us young kids wanting to someday be a Cobbler.

You mentioned Adam Vinatieri and the absolute mythical creature in my world, that was Annie Vollmer.

Craig Mattick: Oh, yeah.

Megan Trotter: I'd never met her personally, but if you were a Cobbler and you were a track athlete, you ran by those records every day and you saw Annie Vollmer and you saw a picture of Adam Vinatieri, and it was something that I don't think any of us ever took lightly, the rich history and the legacy of what it meant to be a Cobbler.

And I was quite surprised actually, to be listed in Mr. Duffy's list of incredible athletes, but so honored.

Craig Mattick: Vollmer came before you. She was in the early '90s and of course she ran the hurdles. Did you ever consider to try and run the hurdles?

Megan Trotter: It's funny you say that, Craig. I really, in my mind, never really saw myself as much of a track and field athlete. And I was all of, I think maybe 85 lbs and 5'9" as an eighth grader. And here I was running for this powerhouse that was Rapid City Central. And I thought, well, maybe I have long legs, I can jump. I grew up in middle school being a high jumper, maybe I should be a hurdler.

But I slowly realized that those individuals like an Annie Vollmer, a Sarah Miller, a Courtney Murray, those are different animals in and of themselves, and that was not in my repertoire to be jumping hurdles by any stretch.

Craig Mattick: So what was training like for you when you were preparing to run the sprints? What were you doing to prepare for that?

Megan Trotter: Now, as I look back on that, I realize it was never really an off-season for me. I had wonderful coaches, I had fabulous parents, the support team behind me, that you look back on the achievements of what culminated in my career, there's absolutely no shortage of individuals behind that.

But training, when you were at Rapid City Central and you're training, it is absolutely a family affair. We never had the depth of say a Rapid City Stevens, but we had a core group of athletes that were nothing short of phenomenal and consistent day in and day out. And I think that became our mantra, show up the next day better than you did the day before.

I would run with Leah Jackson every day. Running up the inclines inside of Rapid City Central, we had no track. We competed day in and day out. And then when we got on the track, we did our best to perform and represent. So training was just a wonderful experience and it was really a bonding experience for all of us, no matter if you were on the track or on the field.

Craig Mattick: Was there long-distance running in your training? Was there steps, was there weight training? What was the biggest thing you did as... Because you were only running a 100 meters or 200 meters. It is explosive to run those. What kind of other training was involved?

Megan Trotter: Well, there was oftentimes at practice that I ran with the boys. You got in there and you pushed yourself. Coach Doland was always very regimented in his workouts, and to much my disdain sometimes that meant not only running 400-meter dashes in practice, but also maybe in a track and field meet here and there. And the 400 was never my forte.

But he did a very good job of mixing up those workouts. And he was always very cognizant of making sure... I remember him saying, you want to peak at a certain time, right? I would say, coach, can we run more? Can I stay later? Can I do this? Can I do that? He'd say, no, there is a process, there is a method to my madness. You just have to trust me.

And in my naive day I thought, if you just go out and run as fast as you can, as long as you can, as many times as you can, that will pay off. But Coach Doland and absolutely Coach Houska, who is a legend in and of himself, Kim Richardson and Mrs. Jasinski, they all worked together as this incredible team of mentors. And their workouts were like lesson plans.

Craig Mattick: Worst injury you had and how you overcame it.

Megan Trotter: I was very, very lucky, I never had any physical injuries. Now, maybe some mental setbacks. My sophomore year was one of those that I would classify as maybe a mental setback. All signs pointed toward a repeat of my freshman year of winning the one and the two again.

And I was running all the times and performing. And slowly at the end there I became tired. And I think maybe the weight of some of the expectations became a little too much. And so that was probably one of... At the time felt like a major setback. But in hindsight, as an adult and as a parent, I think, wow, what a wonderful opportunity that was to learn and grow as a person, and to have some mental fortitude and mental toughness. And so I was really lucky in that regard. Nothing physical, but opportunities that allowed me to grow as a better competitor.

Craig Mattick: Megan, a lot of success on the outdoor track, but how about in the wintertime, was there some indoor track that you were doing? How did you stay prepared or in shape when there was snow all over the place?

Megan Trotter: Absolutely. Not only in the wintertime, but even in the springtime, I do have to say Rapid City Central we did not have a track. We ran indoors in the hallway and if you ever interview another Rapid City Central Cobbler, all you'll have to say is green carpet.

There was green carpet down this hallway and each one of us knew exactly how many inclines there were, how hard you had to pump your arms to get up that last incline. And once we passed the Science Department, that was where it ended.

So it was just ongoing all the time. And I remember after my sophomore year, after feeling defeated of my performance at the State Track Meet, I went up to Coach Houska's classroom at the time and I said, coach, I'm ready. I'm ready. And there's snow on the ground. And he said, no, I need you to go rest.

But oftentimes in the winter it was filled with lot of... We had a great program called P3 in Rapid City. It was a strength and training program. We would do that, we'd also do that in the summer. But really we cut our teeth at Rapid City Central inside the long hallway filled with green carpet, no matter what the season.

Craig Mattick: Megan, you got the chance to be involved with the Howard Wood Dakota Relays. Of course, it's one of the biggest track meets in the region. It's held in Sioux Falls. You won the 100-meter dash, I think three times with the Howard Wood Dakota Relays.

Megan Trotter: Yeah.

Craig Mattick: I think your freshman, your sophomore and your junior year. What was going through your mind as a freshman? Here you're at a really big track meet, there's a lot of people in the stands, you're just a freshman, Howard Wood Relays, 100-meter dash. What was going through your mind at that time?

Megan Trotter: Again, when you say Howard Wood, I get goosebumps. Any track athlete knows that there is nothing like the atmosphere and the environment that is Howard Wood. From my perspective, I think I enjoyed Howard Wood Dakota Relays even more than the State Track Meet, because it was this opportunity that you got for the first time ever, that you could run against individuals from different classes, usually in the form of a special race, whether that be the 200, the 400, the 800, it alternated every year.

But my senior year, I was not able to run the 100-meter dash because I was in the Special 200. But I remember being an eighth grader at Howard Relays, being a freshman, it was a wonderfully overwhelming experience. Just the crowd is incredibly supportive. The announcers there, I will never forget the sound of that announcer's name and he was always incredibly gracious to me. But it was incredibly exciting to be there and to be sitting in the blocks of 100-meter dash at Howard Wood Stadium, it's just an incredible opportunity.

Craig Mattick: That was probably Greg Merrigan, who was the PA announcer. He's been doing that for many, many, many years and he is one of the good ones. Who were-

Megan Trotter: If I ever was able to meet him, I would thank him for always building up my confidence and making some memories that my parents were able to catch on video. So I appreciate that from him.

Craig Mattick: Who were some of the other sprinters that you had to go up against? You're lining up at a meet and you're getting ready to run the 100 and you look to your left, you look to your right. I think you saw a lot of the same sprinters. Let's just say, during your senior year who were some of those? In fact, one of those I think was a Cobbler too.

Megan Trotter: Absolutely. Miss Leah Jackson.

Craig Mattick: Yep.

Megan Trotter: There was Leah from Rapid City Central. I think there would've been Ramsey Pagel from Rapid City Stevens.

Craig Mattick: Brittany Garner from Stevens.

Megan Trotter: Yes, Brittany Garner. I think she was a few years younger than me. But Brittany Garner was there, absolutely. There was... Let's see, people from Sturgis. There was Amanda Williams from Sturgis, that was always consistently there. That cast of those eight young ladies was fairly consistent for a good two or three years there, and incredible opponents.

Craig Mattick: You talked about the special event your senior year at the Howard Wood Dakota Relays. They chose you to run that special event, which was the 200-meter dash that year. Some of the best 200-meter runners in the region were there, including Steph Gebhart of Elkton, you guys were the headliners. And you won that race in less than 10th of a second. What was that day, leading up to that special event?

Megan Trotter: Oh, it was absolutely incredible. And I would be remiss to say that Steph Gebhart was an incredible athlete, obviously. And she and I went as far back as days of the Hershey Track Meet in elementary school. And I believe that was the one and only time that she and I were able to go head-to-head.

Leading up to that event there was quite a buildup. And I remember that day, I think it was on a Friday, the special event was always early on in Howard Wood, and we had a long bus ride, incredibly long bus ride from Rapid City to Sioux Falls and Coach Houska drove the bus, so that he could make sure we stopped enough so that I could continually warm up throughout that bus ride. You talk about a family environment, we were small but mighty, and here my coach was driving the bus.

My teammates weren't necessarily competing that night. And I remember checking into the hotel room and I had to go in and change and put my number on my uniform, and I came out of the hallway and all of my teammates were lined up there. Just the incredible support that, that was. And it meant something to them too. And to me, I quickly realized I represented so much more than Megan Trotter. I represented Rapid City Central, with all those kids lined up in the hallway, all of those incredible coaches.

And in that regard, that's probably my most memorable experience. And as far as the race goes, I think the headline the next day said something about Steph Gebhart and I, legs clenched. I think they referred to it as a dog fight, and it really was. I don't think either her or myself ran anywhere close to our best times. But what an incredible matchup that was and what an incredible athlete Steph Gebhart was. It was probably my number one as far as individual accomplishments, that's right up there.

Craig Mattick: You won by 300th of a second. Did you know right away when you were done that you had won the race?

Megan Trotter: Oh, no. When you get in an environment like Howard Wood, there is something about the energy from the crowd, it's almost deafening. And for some reason that day, the only people I could hear in the stands were my mom, dad, and my sister. And there was a tone, there was my mom's voice. I heard her and it raised an octave, and I thought, oh, maybe I didn't get that.

So no, it was finishing the race. And I remember her and I were lined up, they would corral you there and you were just waiting to see a time flash up on the screen. So it was a nail-biter. But in that moment, I think the overwhelming sense of all of it was, I just got to be a part of something that I felt was pretty historic.

Craig Mattick: Megan, how much confidence did you have as a senior, knowing that you'd run a ton of 100-meter, 200-meter races, you're involved with relays, you'd won a lot of them. How much confidence did you have as a senior?

Megan Trotter: Yeah. I think the biggest thing as a sprinter, the worst thing you can do is have a lot of confidence. Because there is such a finite amount of time in a 100-meter dash, from getting in those blocks to the finish line, you really cannot make any mistakes. Especially for somebody like me, that didn't reach top speed until at least 50 meters, if not 60 meters in.

I had confidence in knowing that I had done the work. That was always my mantra. When you got up to the starting line, that should be the easiest thing you ever do in your career. Everything else should take over, because the work should have been done. And that was my mantra leading in to individual events that senior year, was make sure the work is done ahead of time and let everything else happen.

It was a little different when it came to relays. Relays were a different animal, in and of itself, because I basically only had to show up and grab a baton. The changing cast of characters that I was able to run a four by one and a four by two with from my eighth grade year to my senior year was nothing shy of incredible.

But leading into that senior year, especially those relays, one of my best friends, Sarah Miller, Jane Jasinski, of course, Leah Jackson, I think we knew that we had a lot to live up to, and we didn't carry that lightly. We really dug in and did the work. And wow, what an amazing time. And so much fun those relays were. I don't know that there was ever a time that I ever ran from behind.

Craig Mattick: Did you start the relay or were you the anchor?

Megan Trotter: I was the anchor.

Craig Mattick: As you should have been. As you should have been. Let's go to the State Track Meet your senior year. You're in the 100, the 200 and you're in two relays, you're not in any field events at all. The 100-meter dash, it's you, Leah Jackson, your teammate, you've got Pagel of Stevens, Garner of Stevens is in that race. I'm assuming you'd seen all three of those girls throughout the track season. So what were the nerves like in the finals for the 100?

Megan Trotter: Oh, absolutely. That cast of characters were the same for many years. That senior year was pretty overwhelming. It was the culmination of five years of a lot of hard work and it represented the closing of a chapter. And so that was never lost on me either.

But I do remember getting in the block for that 100-meter dash, and here I was in my hometown. I had my grandparents, who were aging, that couldn't travel to Sioux Falls, that were there. It was just a really moving experience. And I remember at the end of the race, all of us girls giving each other the all-knowing nod of, wow, what an amazing chapter we just closed and what an honor it is to run against girls that are at the top of their field. It was just an incredible honor.

Craig Mattick: It was 12.31, your 100-meter dash win. You beat your teammate by just over a 10th of a second. That's amazing. It was so close. It was so close between Jackson... Pagel was about three tenths of a second behind you? It was an amazing 100- meter race.

Megan Trotter: Yeah, sure. Absolutely. And like I said before, there is no room for error in a race like that. No room.

Craig Mattick: Well, you had the same lineup in the 200-meter dash. And the same results, you beat your teammate by about four tenths of a second. What was it like in the 200 meter? Because that came later in the meet after the 100-meter dash?

Megan Trotter: Absolutely. The 100 was always one of the first and the 200 was always one of the last. And so you had to maintain that mental fortitude and that focus throughout the day. And I give credit to all track and field athletes. I don't know any other sport that you are in the elements all day long, waiting for your event to come up.

But again, that 200, it was a moving experience as well. I think all of us knew that, wow, we had all together accomplished something, whether or not we were a Cobbler uniform or a Steven's Raider uniform. When you talk about being a sportswoman and a competitor, your job is to raise everybody up.

And I hope that those girls looking back now, have that same feeling as I do too. Together we accomplish great things no matter who was first, second, third, or eighth place. To be a part of something and to not only represent your school, but your state to that degree and that caliber, was amazing.

Craig Mattick: I'm not bragging at all, Megan, on this. I was a sprinter in high school. Here's the deal, and you would've beaten me by seconds in the 100. But I always had problems with the blocks. I could never feel comfortable in blocks. And it was almost like I'd rather not have blocks. How long did it get you to be comfortable in the blocks?

Megan Trotter: I had a love-hate relationship with the blocks, solely based on the fact that the physics of somebody like me, being 5'9", to get my legs moving and to have a quick start, I was always working against the physics of it.

So I decided early on that I was going to change my mentality. I was always aware that I didn't kick it into the last gear until at least halfway through the race. And so I was going to take that time in the block to again, remind myself of what an honor it is to be a competitor and wear the Rapid City Central uniform. And also remind yourself the work has been done. And as my dad would famously tell me before every race, Godspeed kid.

Craig Mattick: Nice, nice. Your senior year State Track Meet. Of course Stevens won the girls title that year, but Rapid City Central would win both the four by one and the four by two. In the four by one you beat Stevens by about a half second. In the four by two you beat Stevens by just over a second. Even though you didn't win the State Title, the relay wins probably was very refreshing for you, going up against the other Rapid City team.

Megan Trotter: What a healthy, wonderful rivalry that was. And that goes back so far, even before our era. I remember being an eighth grader and being in the same situation with Amber Abrams, Becky Falstad, Courtney Murray or Courtney McGuire, excuse me. And a cast of characters from Stevens, being right there on your heels.

And I look back at our team as a whole and what we accomplished at that State Track Meet, and I think I'm most proud of that. We never had the depth of a Rapid City Stevens, but you look at the result of that meet and we had people that we were hoping would be in top eight, performed and were top three. Everybody really brought the best version of themselves at that State Track Meet. And we came close to beating Rapid City Stevens. But that was wonderful I think, for all of us.

Craig Mattick: Well, you held the fastest time for the girls 100-meter dash for a while. Erin Kenney of Harrisburg now has the record, Megan.

Megan Trotter: Oh, wonderful.

Craig Mattick: She did that in 2019, a time of 11.85. Of course Jasmine King of Rapid City Central, she clocked in at 11.98. Your senior year, I think you ran what, 12.3? How close did you get to under 12?

Megan Trotter: I broke the State Record, I think it was in April, I think April 17th of 2003. And they clocked me in at 11.63 and the previous time was by Jill Theeler, 11.66. And I want to say, I don't know that that was FAT time and I think that has been amended.

Craig Mattick: Yes.

Megan Trotter: To maybe be a 11.66. But that was probably the fastest that I had ever run. And I look back on that race and it was a hot day and I always loved a hot day, because that meant a hot track and fast feet. And that was a wonderful day.

But yes, absolutely, I don't know that, that was something that could be repeated oftentimes 11.63 or 11.66, whatever that was. But if you can ever get under 12, especially in the conditions that are South Dakota, rain, shine-

Craig Mattick: Wind.

Megan Trotter: Snow, wind, whatever that is, it's a pretty incredible experience. And so those athletes that could do it consistently, I give them great respect.

Craig Mattick: You chose Colorado State after high school. Why Colorado State?

Megan Trotter: Well, I think it's important to keep in mind too, growing up in Rapid City we had another mythical figure that was Becky Hammon. And Becky Hammon herself was a Ram at CSU and an indelible figure I think in all young women growing up in that time. And still obviously to this day.

Unfortunately, I was not recruited by any in-state colleges, so I really was recruited by Colorado State. I went on some trips to the University of Wyoming, University of Kansas, and then the University of Nebraska wanted to make me a 400-meter hurdler.

Craig Mattick: Oh wow.

Megan Trotter: And I thought, oh goodness.

Craig Mattick: That'd be a change.

Megan Trotter: But Colorado State was just an incredible program. And the reason I really ended up choosing them is because it most closely represented the family and the team that I had come from, which when you get to the level of Division 1 athlete, that's hard to find, because in some respect it is a job and you do have to treat it that way. So I chose them, because I felt this was so reminiscent of my time as a Cobbler.

Craig Mattick: But you only ran one year. Only one year of track at Colorado State.

Megan Trotter: I did. I decided early on with my coaches that my freshman year I would redshirt, save a year of eligibility. And when you get to that level, you may have been a standout at your respective school, but everybody there is a standout.

And so you have to take time to decipher what role do you play on that team and how you fit in. And I decided that I wanted that freshman year to be that for me. I had a job to do for the Colorado State Rams and I wanted to do it to the best of my ability. And I was on the road to doing that.

But unfortunately I did have some family tragedy, I lost my greatest coach of all time, who was my dad. So my life took... It was an opportunity to maybe close one chapter. And for the first time in my life, I was not a student athlete, but I was a student, I was an academic. And I really poured myself into all of the classes and everything, all of the knowledge I could get my hands on at Colorado State. And indebted to them, because the track and field team still supported me throughout that time. And I got what I feel is a world-class education.

Craig Mattick: Were there any other opportunities later on that you thought, maybe I'll try to go back? Or was that decision pretty final for you?

Megan Trotter: Absolutely. When something like track and field is in your DNA, boy it is difficult to walk away from. But I really tried to lean into a lot of the lessons that my parents had taught me. You don't perform for yourself, you perform for your team and for the group as a whole, that is your duty.

And I knew that at that time I was really young and I needed some time to heal emotionally and grieve, and I really wanted to... If I was going to go back, I told myself it had to be at that level of mental fortitude that carried me all throughout my years as a Central Cobbler. And until then, it may be time to retire.

Craig Mattick: But it's tough at times, isn't it, to make it final, no doubt?

Megan Trotter: Oh, absolutely.

Craig Mattick: Yeah.

Megan Trotter: Absolutely.

Craig Mattick: You have a seven-year-old daughter now. What's keeping you busy today?

Megan Trotter: Oh, well, absolutely. I have a seven-year-old daughter who keeps me incredibly humble at every step of the way. In fact, one of her elementary teachers said to her the other day, Hey, I remember your mom, she's Megan Trotter. She's really fast. And it took my daughter maybe two seconds to look at that teacher and say, yeah, but I'm faster.

Craig Mattick: Uh-oh.

Megan Trotter: She has just been obviously a wonderful blessing in my life. And also on top of that, I'm a Master's Prepared Registered Nurse. And for this last decade I've had the immense honor of serving not just my community but the veterans. And I work for the VA, and I have served the VA Black Hills for the last 10 years.

And for the better part of this last year, I'm now a registered nurse for a program based out of Philadelphia, which our mission is to bring world-class teleneurology care to veterans in rural areas.

Craig Mattick: What kind of care?

Megan Trotter: Teleneurology.

Craig Mattick: What is that?

Megan Trotter: A national teleneurology program. So what we do is we serve veterans that have certain needs, whether that be memory, traumatic brain injuries, movement disorders such as Parkinson's or the devastating ALS. We bring services from world-class neurologists all over the country to veterans. Essentially we bring a service into their backyard.

Craig Mattick: Thank you for your service, Megan. Thank you for doing that.

Megan Trotter: Well, thank you. Thank you. It's been an honor to serve those veterans and then to also continue to do it for those of the Black Hills.

Craig Mattick: As a runner, a sprinter, your daughter, I assume wants to be like her mother. Do you think she'll be involved in track or other sports?

Megan Trotter: I tread lightly when it comes to that. She came home the other day and said, I didn't know that you were fast. And I said, well, the biggest accomplishment I've ever made in my life is to be your mother and to watch you grow and achieve things. And right now, there's absolutely no shortage of adventures that she takes me on or causes that she invests herself in.

Our most recent cause is we're going to save the bees. So I will be building a beehive. I'm not sure how we do that. But she's just an incredible little kid that loves to sing and dance. And obviously those were not skills that I had. So I'm leaning into whatever it is at the moment that makes her little heart happy. I am 110% her biggest fan.

Craig Mattick: Last one here for you, Megan. What did your career and track do to get you ready for today, what you're doing today?

Megan Trotter: I was so lucky, in the fact that I had parents who grew up being athletes in a very small town, in and of themselves. And they instilled within me how important it is for young girls especially to have opportunities to grow their self-confidence, to really build the fundamentals of your character.

And it just so happened that the stars aligned and that I became a sprinter for Rapid City Central. But I learned what perseverance is. It doesn't mean that you show up every day and you win and everything is great. Life is the culmination of ups and downs, and it's how you handle yourself in the down moments and how you choose to raise other people up.

And I hope that in some small way that maybe my time as a Cobbler maybe inspired another young athlete to do the same thing, to lift everybody up around them. Because you're only as good as the last record. The idea is you want somebody not to only come in and beat that record, but shatter it and raise the bar.

So track and field and sports in general, and my time as a Cobbler really set the stage, that I hope, for what has made me into a woman of integrity and that serves other people.

Craig Mattick: If you like what you're hearing, please give us a five star review wherever you get your podcasts. Programs such as this are only possible to the continued support of our listeners like you. For South Dakota Public Broadcasting, I'm Craig Mattick. Join us again on the next episode of In Play.

Nate Wek is currently the sports content producer and sports and rec beat reporter for South Dakota Public Broadcasting. He is a graduate of South Dakota State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism Broadcasting and a minor in Leadership. From 2010-2013 Nate was the Director of Gameday Media for the Sioux Falls Storm (Indoor Football League) football team. He also spent 2012 and 2013 as the News and Sports Director of KSDJ Radio in Brookings, SD. Nate, his wife Sarah, and two kids Braxan and Jordy, live in Canton, SD.