For University of South Dakota high jumper Megan Glisar, the titles of All-American and Summit League All-Academic Distinguished Scholar both come well behind her most important title of ‘Mom.’
Glisar is a mother to her four-year-old son and said balancing life between being a mother, an athlete and a student can be quite chaotic, but having a detailed schedule is the key to her success in all areas.
“I have two planners that I’m constantly filling out,” Glisar said. “Knowing what, where and when I have something allows me to do everything. I have a great plan in place.”
Being a full-time student and an athlete already provides Glisar with a busy schedule. Being a mother makes that schedule even more demanding, but Glisar has her schedule down to a science.
She takes her son to preschool at 8:15 a.m. every morning. After she drops him off, she either goes to her classes or practice, depending on the day.
Whether she has class or practice in the morning, Glisar then picks her son up from preschool and takes him to daycare at 11 a.m.
Glisar then returns to campus for class and looks forward to picking her son up as soon as she can.
“If I’m lucky, on some days I will get to pick him up as early as 2 or 2:30,” Glisar said. “But then there are days when I have class ’til 5:30 at night. The daycare he’s at has been great with helping out and making sure I can be at my classes the whole time.”
Glisar said a few times she has had to bring her son to practice, but the coaching staff and her teammates help out so she can get her training in as quickly as possible.
“He likes to high jump,too, when he comes to practice,” Glisar said. “So some of the other girls will play with him while I train so it’s really great, and the girls and coaches love having him around.”
Being a mother, the toughest part of being a track and field athlete is leaving for her meets.
“It’s very hard leaving, especially when I didn’t have to leave him at all this entire year,” Glisar said. “Now I have a bunch of meets where I’m gone almost every weekend. Thank goodness for FaceTime so I get to see him every day I’m gone. But I know he’s in good hands up here, and safe, which is the most important thing.”
Glisar’s organization and drive as a caring mother are part of her success as a student-athlete, head women’s track and field coach Lucky Huber said.
“Megan’s very focused and driven,” he said. “She balances her personal life, track and school incredibly well. She has goals and she works hard to reach them.”
Being an All-American high jumper and a scholar athlete is no easy feat. Huber said Glisar’s determination to be the best at what she does is due to the focus and determination she has.
Because Glisar, as she calls her self, is a nontraditional student athlete, she has to plan her day around her son, school and athletics.
To do all three, Glisar has been able to make a custom schedule that allows for her to spend as much time with her son, attend her classes and get her training in.
“She comes into practice at an off time so that she can take the classes she needs to,” Huber said.
Not only are Glisar’s abilities as an athlete and a scholar noted, but both Huber and pole vaulter Emily Brigham said Glisar is someone everyone wants to be around.
“She’s really sweet,” Brigham said. “She always has something nice to say to everyone.”
Brigham trains with Glisar and has classes with her, and she said she looks up to her because she is not only a great athlete, but also a driven individual.
Glisar tied her own outdoor school record of 6’0 March 21 at the Baldy Castillo Invitational in Tempe, Ariz.. She’s hoping this strong start to her season will allow her to reach All-American success again.
This is Glisar’s final year competing for USD, but it won’t be her final year being a Vermillion resident.
Glisar will graduate with a degree in Communications Sciences and Disorders this spring and will be enrolled next fall in USD’s audiology graduate program.
Glisar said she couldn’t imagine a better scenario. Her fiancé, Brandon, and their son have really enjoyed living in Vermillion for the past few years.
“I’m excited to be living here again next year when I start my audiology program,” Glisar said. “I’m looking forward to staying here for a few more years. This community has really been a great place for us to raise our son.”
(Photo: Senior jumper Megan Glisar practices while track and field coach Lucky Huber watches on at the DakotaDome March 24. Cristina Drey / The Volante)