BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- The next current student-athlete in Moravian College Department of Athletics & Recreation Get to Know Series is men's cross country and track student-athlete Peter Gingrich '21. Gingrich earned a gold medal in the 2020 Landmark Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships by helping the 4x400-meter relay squad to a first place finish, and he also earned a gold medal in the distance medley relay at the Landmark Indoor Championships in 2018.
How did you choose your sport? I never competed in a single sport growing up. When I was in eighth grade, I ran an okay time in the gym class mile and my friend, Ryan, told me I should join the cross country and track teams with him. I've been running track and cross country since. I don't think I will ever understand all the rules of a lot of other sports, but there is something very simple but powerful about having nothing but a pair of shoes and the belief that you can run faster than the person you were yesterday.
Why did you come to Moravian College? I loved the small, tight-knit community, had a great overnight recruiting visit with the team, and was accepted into the add-venture program. Moravian College was the perfect fit since it offered great opportunities both academically and socially.
What is your major and how did you choose it? I am a math major working towards a certification in secondary education. I knew about halfway through high school that I wanted to be a teacher and I attribute that to all the great role models and family members in my life that dedicate their lives to teaching others.
What are your future plans? I plan on graduating this Spring and applying for a position as a middle school or high school math teacher. I would love to teach statistics and work as a coach for the school's cross country and track teams while getting my master's degree in education.
What is your favorite place on campus? My favorite place on campus would have to be the track for all the great memories, laughs, and workouts I have experienced there. But if we are going solely on aesthetics, I love Comenius and the academic quad around the building.
What activities/organizations at Moravian College have you been active in as a student-athlete? I have had the pleasure of being an RA on the residence life staff for three years and a student worker in the registrar's office all four years. These roles on campus have been the sources of great learning experiences and friendships that I would not have been the same without.
What is your most memorable moment at Moravian? The memory I will take with me for the longest time will be the countless meals I have eaten with my teammates. Whether it was on a bus coming home from a meet, in a Wawa parking lot at 2am, or around a table in the Star. These meals and the conversations that we had with each other were what really made me feel like my team was my family.
Do you have any pre-event rituals or superstitions? Wow I have a lot. But to avoid sounding as crazy as I really am, I'll just say that I always take an ice bath the night before any big race and make sure to go to the bathroom plenty of times during the hours leading up to having to stand on the starting line.
What advice do you have for prospective student-athletes looking to attend Moravian College? Get connected! Grow close with your teammates and take time to explore your interests. If there is a college group that you're passionate about, join it because you have a great opportunity to balance your sports, academics, and so much more as a Division III athlete. If there isn't a group on campus that you think our community needs, create it yourself! You have a very powerful voice and staying determined and focused on your passions will lead you to accomplish great things while at Moravian.
What is the best piece of advice you've been given? When in a position where your beliefs are questioned, opposed, or belittled by others, try to have the courage to speak up for yourself, your morals, and groups of people that are not equally represented. The point is not to convince people you are right, and they are wrong, but to stand up and present a different perspective than the one that is dominating in a way that is constructive and creates dialogue surrounding important issues. Silence is complicity and your voice has the power to challenge oppression and injustice.
Who are your role models/most influential people? My parents, grandparents, teachers, and coaches. Each of these leaders in my life has influenced my own leadership style and I hope to follow their legacy of inspiring younger generations to believe in themselves.
Which three people, living or dead, would you like to share a meal with? My late grandfather Pete Judd, who I'm named after, Christopher Emdin, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. To glean just a fraction of these peoples' knowledge, wisdom, and experiences would be more inspirational and grounding than anything else I could think of.
Tell us something about yourself that would surprise most people. I have trained for three years to master the art of eating chocolate pudding with incredible speed.
Favorite Color – Blue
Favorite Food – Chicken curry with rice
Favorite Restaurant – You shouldn't make a person choose one, but Thai Thai 2 on Main street is a strong contender.
Favorite Movie – The Swiss Army Man
Favorite TV Show – Avatar the Last Airbender
Favorite Musical Artist – Sam Smith
Favorite Athlete – Donavan Brazier
Favorite Pro Team – The Washington Football Team
Hobbies – Making friendship bracelets and crocheting
Most Prized Possession – Collection of Running Shoes
Ideal Travel Destination – Prince Edward Island
Your Spirit Animal – Elephant or Appa the flying bison
Superpower you'd Like to Have – The ability to freeze time