7,104 signatures later, Tom Wexler handed in a petition to the school officials, showing a “Fight” against the recent cuts to three of Millersville University’s men’s athletic teams; Men’s Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field as well as the Men’s Cross Country Program.
Tom Wexler is a sophomore from Egg Harbor Township New Jersey. Growing up with two younger siblings, he was always active and wanting to get his hands into everything!
He is currently studying English Education in hopes to one day, becomes an English teacher, and eventually a writer. He likes to write about anything fiction and imaginative, “Anything that lets me think a lot and be creative," he said. He also enjoys playing video games, watching NBA, watching the Office, playing football, watching his favorite movie Step Brothers, practicing his guitar and loves any type of seafood!
Tom, also known as Mr. EHT (Egg Harbor Township), is rather talented when it comes to instrumentals. He was crowned Mr. EHT in high school by singing and playing his guitar to Next to Nothing by one of his favorite bands, Breaking Benjamin with a few of his friends.
One of his favorite memories from his childhood was attending the Phillies game with his whole family, when Jim Thome hit his 400th home run! He hope to make more memories by eventually taking some much needed vacation time to travel the across the world, especially to Italy and Japan.
When asked what super hero he would want to be Tom joked, “Flash, so I could beat Jeff, a sprinter on the track team, who won the 200-meter dash two years ago at PSACs.”
When Tom first came to Millersville he had a great college visit with the track and field assistant coach, Akil Stokes. On this visit he made his final decision to come to Millersville based on the great track and field program, a great coach and a major he was looking for. He decided to pack up his old black and silver uniform, and pick up black and gold, to join the Millersville Marauder’s Men’s Track and Field Team.
You may see Tom around campus spreading awareness of the recent athletic cuts, as well as on the track running the 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash, 4x100-meter relay, and 4x400-meter relay. He has been running track for a total of five years; two of those years were spent here at Millersville University. He started his track career his sophomore year of high school, when his football coach suggested he should join the track team to help him gain speed on the football field.
Little did Tom know, that a few years down the road, he would be placing 3rd at PSAC for the 4x100-meter relay, while breaking the school record, as a freshman! The MU men’s 4x100 meter relay, was the underdog relay team of the race. The win was completely unexpected, even their coach hadn’t been expecting it, but that had made the victory even more rewarding! Tom, along with fellow teammates, Derrick Bass, Anthony Adamski, and Keith Ogden, finished with 3rd with a school record time of 41.82 second (Spring 2011)!
When the track and field team first heard the team had been cut, Tom stated that, “It was very hard at first. Hard to train and run at a high level, but now everyone is coming together, to go all out.” The track and field team came together and used their skills from multiple classes, to work out numbers, and research for the cause of the sudden athletic cuts. Tom also wanted to put his major to good use, and decided he would stick to the “writing side of it.” So Tom start a petition, to show and spread awareness of what they believe in.
This petition quickly went world-wide, with signatures from across the world in China, Great Britain, South America, the Caribbean’s et cetera. Putting his social media skills to good use, Wexler was able to send awareness through Facebook and Twitter where he received signatures from Olympic Athletes and World Champions such as Tyson Gay, and Ato Boldon, who, Tom says, “Were really willing to help us out!”
By the two-week mark, the Save Millersville Men’s Track and Field and Cross Country Petition received 7,104 signatures.
What the MU Track and Field team really wanted out of the petition was to spread awareness of the recent cuts across campus, and to gain as much support as possible. “[We did it] not just to fight for our own team, but for other sport programs that could also be cut unfairly.”
As being part of the team, Tom says this experience has really brought them together. “We know we are a family and in it together no matter what happens, or where anyone goes. We are all each other’s teammate and we are all in each other’s hearts.” He adds, “I really appreciate the support everyone has been giving us.”
Tom states that this whole experience has been a time to grow and take responsibility. “[We] fight for something we believe in. We didn’t want to go out without a fight.”