By: Pat Salvas
Throughout the summer, DartmouthSports.com will be focusing on members of the Class of 2021 who are currently in their “Sophomore Summers” presented by Cape Air.
This installment focuses on sprinter Donovan Spearman of the men’s track & field team. The southern California native put together a record-setting spring this past year and has positioned himself as one of the fastest sprinters in the Ivy League.
DartmouthSports.com: What have you been doing during your sophomore summer?
Donovan Spearman: I’ve been enjoying the warm weather, taking classes that I love, and just trying to get outdoors and do fun activities as much as I can. I’m also training and doing an internship with the Dartmouth Sustainability Office.
Dartmouth: What was it in the recruiting process that sold you on Dartmouth?
Spearman: The main things that sold me on Dartmouth were the strength of the academics, smaller undergraduate class size, the fact that it is so different and far from my home, and of course I loved the track & field athletes, coaches and facilities.
Dartmouth: If you could swap places with one teammate, who would it be and why?
Spearman: I would definitely love to switch with Ben Ose. Ben competes in the multis, where he does a variety of events and he does amazing at all of the events. I think it takes a special type of person to actually excel in the decathlon and Ben has consistently put on unbelievable performances at big meets. Plus, he’s just an awesome guy!
Dartmouth: If you could play another sport at Dartmouth, what would it be and why?
Spearman: It would definitely be either basketball or tennis. I love playing basketball and played competitively for a while, but tennis is my favorite sport to play and compete in. I picked up tennis about halfway through high school and had a lot of natural talent in the sport. I actually do think that if I would’ve focused on tennis more it possibly could’ve been my best sport.
Dartmouth: Other than your parents, who has had the greatest influence on your life?
Spearman: There have been a lot of family members, friends and coaches that have had influences on my life, but besides my parents, I would have to say my grandmother has had the greatest influence on my life. All throughout my childhood, I would go to her house after school and practice to do homework and eat dinner, which allowed us to become very close. I’m also her youngest grandchild and was able to spend a lot of time with her and learn a lot of things from her.
Dartmouth: What has been your best on-field memory thus far in your Dartmouth career?
Spearman: My best on-field memory thus far in my Dartmouth career was breaking the Dartmouth record in the 200-meter dash. I was sort of anticipating and hoping to break the record later in the season, but I was pleasantly surprised when it happened in my first race of outdoor season. After doing that, I now feel like I have a permanent place in Dartmouth history which is pretty cool to think about. Also, Gerry Ashworth, who was an Olympian and Dartmouth track & field athlete and held the record before me, wrote me a very kind congratulatory letter which meant a lot.
Dartmouth: How is Hanover different or similar to where you grew up?
Spearman: I grew up in Los Angeles, California, so Hanover is extremely different than where I come from, but I always see coming back to Hanover as a refreshing change of pace. Not only is Hanover different geographically, but my friends, the townspeople and the whole vibe of the area is completely different than back home. Hanover being so different than my home is one of the main reasons why I decided to go to Dartmouth. I wanted a completely new experience for my undergraduate time, and I absolutely got it.
Dartmouth: What show do you binge watch?
Spearman: ‘Big Brother.’ I am extremely addicted to this show, it’s my favorite show in the entire world, and I really want to go on it one day. It has a mix of mental, physical, and psychological aspects and is very entertaining to watch. I encourage everyone to binge it, you won’t be disappointed!
Dartmouth: You step outside tomorrow morning and find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million (after taxes). What would you do with the money?
Spearman: I would first distribute a portion of the money to my family. Then I would make a few investments, and just put the remaining money into my savings until I really figured out what to do with it.
Dartmouth: If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would you go and why?
Spearman: If I could go anywhere in the world right now, I would go to Atlantis in the Bahamas. I’ve never been to the Caribbean Islands and have always wanted to vacation in the underwater hotel rooms at Atlantis. I also love marine life and think it would be a really fun experience.