Alumnus David Voland trains for Olympic trials

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Photo Courtesy of Augustana Sports Information During his time at Augustana, David Voland was a nine time NCAA Division III All-American, as well as part of the 4×400 meter relay that won at the Division III National meet in 2014. He is contnuing his passion by training for the Olympic trials.

Former men’s track and field national champion David Voland plans to attend the 2016 Olympic trials thanks to support from the Augustana community and others close to him.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to raise $4,830 to help pay for flights, hotels, rental cars, meet entry fees and food while I’m abroad. I just competed in Atlanta, will be competing in Florida this weekend, and plan to travel to Texas, California, Oregon and more before the end of the season,” said Voland.
Voland was happily surprised his supporters surpassed his original set goal of $2,200. Voland used the website GoFundMe to raise the money.
“I think what I’ve raised now will have no troubles paying for my entire journey,” said Voland. “If it doesn’t quite pay for everything, it will definitely come close.”
In the trials, Voland will be competing in the 400 meter hurdles event, and at this point in life, thinks the trials themselves would be a major accomplishment.
“The Olympic team seems to be out of my reach this year, but if this year goes well, and if I find a way to continue training for the next four years, the actual Olympic team could be a bit more of a respectable goal in 2020,” said Voland.
Voland also says not only would competing in the trials be an achievement, but it’s also the right timing.
“The 2016 Olympic trials happened to fall perfectly on the year following my graduation from Augie,” said Voland. “This makes it easy for me to build on my collegiate training from the last four years while still being able to individualize my schedule and training regimen for this year.”
During the trials, the top 28 athletes in the nation compete for one of three spots on the Olympic team. These 28 competitors include collegiate athletes of all divisions and skilled professionals. Some are even Olympic veterans.
Although Voland lacks Olympic experience, he believes his time as a member of the Augustana track and field team has helped him prepare mentally and physically.
“My teammates, coach Olsen and all of my other coaches have really helped me to continue to love track and field so much, and I’ve learned to look at every race, practice and workout through a positive lens and see opportunity from every possible angle,” said Voland. “Even though I get really nervous, I still have that positive, joyful and optimistic attitude courtesy of Augie track.”
Voland also credits all of the individuals that passionately care about the success of the Augustana track program.
“In a nutshell, having that connection has left me with a free place to live this year, full access to Augie’s track and weight room, and all of the help I can get from Coach Olsen and the other track coaches,” said Voland. “In fact, I really don’t think any of this would be possible without the connections I have made through Augie track.”
Some of those connections came from former teammates that wish him well and would like to see him succeed.
“David is a perfect example of devotion and determination toward accomplishing his dream, and his cause is great and worthy of the support of all who know him,” said senior track and field runner Brian Lovejoy.
From the numerous shares of Voland’s story on Facebook and on other forms of social media, one idea became apparent.
“Nobody deserves it more than he does,” said senior track and field runner Keith Sands.