The six seniors on the men’s cross country team decided to commemorate their last year of collegiate running by doing something unique – making a trip to the local tattoo parlor.
“We’re a pretty close knit group. We do everything together,” said senior Alex White.
The seniors and two other members of the team now sport identical tattoos. White said it wasn’t one particular person that came up with the idea of getting tattoos, “it was just something we seniors had been kicking around for about a year.”
The team didn’t look far for a tattoo design. Sam Grotewold, a former Simpson cross country runner, designed a picture of a stick man running that appears on several Simpson cross country T-shirts. It now adorns several of the runners’ left shoulders.
The sleeveless uniforms that the men’s team wears make the tattoos visible while competing at meets.
About three weeks ago, the runners went in two separate groups to get their tattoos. White said the tattoo gives him a chance to demonstrate how he feels about his sport.
“We did it to show respect to the sport of running,” said White. “The six of us [seniors] have been running together since the beginning.”
Head Coach Erin Bresnan understands her team’s desire for unity and commemoration. “You have to remember your college running years somehow. I got my belly button pierced,” she said.
She thinks her team got tattoos for the right reasons. She said she kind of likes them too, even if they are a little big. “I think that they look sharp,” said Bresnan.
Some of the guys found the tattoos brought on a little stress as well. “A couple of the guys were a little worried about telling their moms,” she said.
The tattooed squad finished 10th at the Luther All-American Classic in Decorah last Saturday. They resume action Saturday at the Grinnell Invitational in Grinnell.