Megan Glisar has earned many titles throughout her life. A top USA Outdoor National Championship high jump athlete, a USD audiology graduate student and perhaps most important to her, a mom.
Now, she’s hoping to add one more title to her list – Olympic athlete.
A former Coyote high jumper for the track and field team, Glisar is training to earn a spot in the 2016 Olympic Trials held in July.
“A lot of people were asking if I was going to do it, and he (Brody, Glisar’s five-year-old son) really misses watching me high jump,” she said. “I figured that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and now is the only time that’d I’d be able to do it. The timing was really good, because I finished (undergrad) last year and now I just have one more year (of grad school).”
Glisar said a major contributing factor that solidified her decision to pursue this opportunity was getting the support of Lucky Huber, the head coach of USD’s women’s track and field team.
“When she came back and said, ‘You know, I’m not ready to be done yet. I want try one more year.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, let’s go. You’ve done all these things in your athletic career.’ It’s very respectful how hard she’s worked and everything she’s accomplished,” Huber said. “To be a track athlete, to be a great student and then you throw a mom into the whole mix really is really a juggling act and she’s been able to handle those things extraordinarily well.”
Glisar said Huber has been one of her greatest supporters during her time at USD, and could not take on this challenge without his guidance.
“I wasn’t going to do it if I didn’t have his support, because I’ve been with him the past three years and that’s how I’ve been so successful,” Glisar said. “The way he said it was, ‘It’s the top two lines of your obituary type of deal.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, this is going to happen.’ ’’
That discussion happened about a month ago. Since then, Glisar has begun a training program developed by Huber and Andrea Cota, a kinesiology and sport science instructor and human performance specialist for the track and field team.
The training schedule has started out slow, as Glisar hadn’t been training regularly since her last competition as a Coyote athlete this past summer at the USA Outdoor National Championship. Her training will progressively get more intense so that she’ll be ready to qualify for the Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore.
Both Huber and Cota have worked with Glisar closely in the past, and understand how stressful it can be to balance all of life’s responsibilities.
“I’d always told her that if she wanted to train again, that’d I’d put something together for her and help her train,” Cota said. “When she comes to practice she works hard, but she’s never uptight and worried about things. She’s fun to train because she works hard and you can tell she enjoys it.”
Huber said Glisar is an inspiration to other female athletes at USD.
“It’s great for female athletes to see that you can keep going and keep raising the bar to that next level of competition,” he said. “I’m excited to see where she goes from here.”
To even qualify for the Olympic trials, Glisar must reach an Olympic high jumping standard of 1.83 meters, or 6 ft., at an Olympic trial-recognized outdoor track meet. Her personal record is 1.85 meters, which she said she has achieved many times. Her goal is to jump higher than her personal record and then remain consistent.
“It’s a big goal, but I have decided that if I’m going to do this that I’ve got to be all in and get better,” Glisar said. “It’s either you’re all in or you’re not.”
USD will host three outdoor track meets in May and June that could qualify Glisar into the Olympic Trials, Huber said.
The coming weeks will be especially busy for Glisar, as she and Brody will be traveling to Charlotte, N.C., to spend the holidays with her fiancé, Brandon Wegher. Wegher, who is also Brody’s father, is currently a running back for the Carolina Panthers.
Although she won’t be in her typical training zone, Glisar will still be training during her time in Charlotte. She said Wegher has been extremely supportive in her decision to make it to the Olympic Trials.
“He was also one of my biggest supporters when I was debating whether or not to start training again,” Glisar said.
Following the trials in July, Wegher and Glisar are set to be married. Despite everything going on in her life, Glisar has her sights set on making it to the trials and is up for the challenge of maintaining all of her responsibilities.
“It’s organized chaos as to when I get stuff done,” she said. “From undergrad, I had a good handle on practice and a good schedule and being a mom, so I’m used to it and know how to make things work.”
Although she’s set on accomplishing her goals, Glisar said she’s going to take everything on step-by-step.
“We’re just going to take it one step at a time,” she said. “We’re going to have fun with it and improve and see where that takes us. You never know what could happen.”