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Earning her Stars and Stripes: 3x D3 Champ, Melanie Winters competes for Team USA at the Thorpe Cup


I think it was because I didn’t have the right set up that I wondered what my potential is if everything was going wrong in college then what happens when everything goes right? It was curiosity that drove me to continue my post-collegiate career.”

On paper you see three national titles, 10 All-American and a team title so what could have gone wrong? Under the hood, Melanie’s experience wasn’t exactly what she was hoping for at Baldwin Wallace. The coach that recruited her left right before she stepped foot on campus, the school implemented a self ban from post season competition, and she felt disconnected from her teammates due to her bouncing around to other events.

Despite all of that, Melanie had a tremendous career. She didn’t receive many looks from D1 schools despite solid marks in the long jump and 100m hurdles. As a Cleveland native, staying close to home made things easier and she knew she would be contribute to the team right away.

After her final national meet, a message from a BW alumnus sparked her to continue competing today. He saw the potential in her to continue her track and field career. It’s been a grind for Melanie as she’s competed unattached for five years now but was finally able to rock USA across her chest at the Thorpe cup. She’s had several Top 8 finishes at USA championships and is coming off a big PR in the shot put.

She’ll be eyeing the Worlds team next year after placing 7th at USAs this year. You can follow her journey on her Instagram.

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