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Menu IconA vertical stack of three evenly spaced horizontal lines. He also gained acceptance into Stanford University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the California Institute of Technology, and the University of Chicago. The high-school senior had stellar standardized-test scores — a 35 on the ACT — and a demonstrated interest in the sciences, attending a selective program essay for student MIT during the summer of his junior year. For his Common Application admissions essay, Altenburg, who also competes in cross country, track, and swimming, chose to write about the thoughts that race through his head on a distance run.

He graciously shared his essay with Business Insider. My favorite time to run is at night. This particular run in early August brought a break to the humid, muggy weather I left on the East Coast. I used my body as a human psychrometer, knowing that the cold feeling of evaporating sweat signaled much needed dry air. I cross over the bridge into Minnesota. Out of my three sports, cross country is definitely my worst — but I continue to be hooked on it. Unlike swimming and track, my motivation to run is heavily intrinsic.

I live for the long runs I take on by myself. While they rarely happen during our season, we were assigned a long run to complete over our first weekend of cross country. My train of thought while running is similar to the way one thinks in the minutes before sleep — except one has more control over how these thoughts progress and what tangents they move off of. While special relativity would be the “proper” thing to think about, especially at MITES, I revive the violin repertoire I had turned away from for so long and begin playing it in my head. I’m now at the edge of town in between the cornfields. I turn south onto a highway heading towards downtown.

The dark night sky is broken by the oncoming light pollution. While I’ve longed for a road trip across the country, the neon lights from Sunset Lanes will have to do for Las Vegas. Turning west, I see a man and perk up as I try to look more menacing than I really am. I realize that I did such an act simply because of the color of his skin. The bridge over Main Avenue leads me back into North Dakota and downtown Fargo. My city is on the eve of its annual pride week — the largest in North Dakota. Beyond the rainbow flags lining downtown, I see the Catholic cathedral I attend every Sunday outside of the summer.

The juxtaposition brings back memories of trying to come to terms with my own beliefs. The remaining part of my run is short and uneventful. The fact that the traffic lights have switched to blinking yellow and red means that I have been out later than usual. When I get home, I find that my run took somewhere around an hour — I honestly don’t care about time during my distance runs.

Longs runs are often seen as a runner battling the distance rather than time. But for me, long runs are a journey — both physically and mentally. Five football players from from an Illinois evangelical Christian college are facing felony charges after a 2016 hazing incident left one of their teammates restrained with duct tape, beaten, and half naked with two torn shoulders. Although Wheaton police refused to release details of the incident, sources told the Tribune that the victim was watching TV on March 19, 2016, when he was tackled by several of his teammates.

When he tried to resist, his legs and wrists were wrapped in duct tape. No students or college staff tried to intervene as was carried out of the building with a pillowcase over his head. The freshman told investigators that he was placed in the back seat of a teammate’s vehicle and held down by at least two players while others piled into the vehicle. After the vehicle began moving, the players played Middle Eastern music and made offensive comments about Muslims, according to the victim’s account. At one point, the players suggested to the freshman that he had been kidnapped by Muslims who wanted to fornicate with goats, the teen told investigators. The freshman told investigators that his teammates restrained him with more duct tape during the drive, pulled down his shorts and underwear, then repeatedly tried to insert an object into his rectum. After the freshman yelled at them to stop, he was beaten, he said.



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