Baylie Bullington, 19
By Carmen Price, University Communications and Relations
From a very young age, Baylie Bullington and her older brother stood by their dad’s side as he coached many of his wrestlers to state champions. Baylie’s brother benefited from eventually being one of those state champs and went on to wrestle in college.
For a girl who wouldn't pursue a career in wrestling, what would she take out of long nights in a stinky wrestling room, and even longer weekends at tournaments?
“I learned what hard work looked like, I learned what perseverance looked like, and ultimately I learned in more ways than one the importance of being a teammate. I was lucky enough to have role models to exhibit how working and collaborating with many different people results in achieving whatever you put your mind to.”
And, now as a sprint runner for MSU Billings, she gets the opportunity to be a part of the Yellowjacket’s team—an opportunity she simply couldn’t pass up, she said.
“Beyond being a part of such a talented and awesome group of people, I love the fact that everyday I have the chance to improve on the day before! It’s never-ending possibilities of succeeding.”
“I come from a small community in Wyoming that is quite diverse, which might seem like an oxymoron to some. But, a lot of the diversity creates cultural barriers that divides our town. The population consists of people who are very environmentally conservative—ranchers whose views regarding the land are based on livelihood, and Native Americans whose culture supports many traditional views. It was there I really learned to embrace varied social and economic backgrounds, gaining an understanding that we are not all that different, after all. I have been able to connect with diverse people with diverse views in different social classes, different sports, and soften some points of view along the way. I have learned to enjoy moments in life I can never get back again; and in those moments I experience the diversity that people possess, and appreciate what they bring to the table.
In preparation for joining the Yellowjackets, Baylie spent all summer in Cross Fit training. She also went on a week-long outdoor education course in the Wind River Mountains just outside her hometown of Lander.
“Many youth around the country join Boys and Girls Scouts of America. But if you’re from Lander, Wyoming, you go on a National Outdoor Leadership School course.
NOLS, a leader in wilderness education that offers expedition-length courses in eight countries, was founded in Lander in 1965 by legendary mountaineer Paul Petzoldt. What NOLS teaches cannot be learned in the classroom or on the city streets, she said. “
"The lessons I learned last summer from my 7-day course that took me and eight others into the Wind River Mountain Range helped prepare me to be a valued Yellowjacket teammate in every way possible.”