The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Southern slugfest
May 23, 2024
Texas A&M pitcher Evan Aschenbeck (53) reacts after throwing the final strike out during Texas A&M’s game against Mississippi State on Saturday, March 23, 2024, at Olsen Field. (Chris Swann/ The Battalion)
Down but not out
May 23, 2024
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
A fighter jet squadron flies over during the National Anthem before Texas A&M’s game against Arkansas at Olsen Field on Saturday, May 18, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Bryan-College Station Regional participants announced
Ian Curtis, Sports Writer • May 27, 2024

For the second time in three seasons, No. 3 national seed Texas A&M baseball will host the Bryan-College Station Regional, where it’ll...

Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

A plan, a purpose, a cause. Two students band together to race against MS

Economics junior Brandon Loughridge and environmental design junior Tyler Blanton are training for an Ironman in honor of their friend diagnosed with MS.
Timothy Lai — THE BATTALION Economics junior Brandon Loughridge and environmental design junior Tyler Blanton are training for an Ironman in honor of their friend diagnosed with MS.

For close to a year, two Texas A&M students have trained vigorously to compete in the Texas Ironman to honor a friend with multiple sclerosis — and raise money for MS research while they’re at it.
Trace Sherer, a 52-year-old lawyer in The Woodlands, Texas, was diagnosed with MS in 1999. While his health has since deteriorated, he continues to stay active and said he finds bike riding to be one of the best things for his condition.
The Ironman consists of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a marathon. Economics junior Brandon Loughridge said the decision to undertake the challenge came when he and environmental design junior Tyler Blanton realized Trace could no longer manage it physically.
Loughridge, who went to high school with Sherer’s son, met Sherer his senior year and began riding various races with him and other friends.
In April, Sherer competed with Loughridge and Blanton in the MS 150, a two-day fundraising bike ride from Houston to Austin organized by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
As the two continued to get to know Sherer, they learned that his goal was to compete in an Ironman competition.
“It was right after the MS 150, [Sherer] took us out to dinner, we were sitting there and he just started talking about how he’s always wanted to do an Ironman,” Loughridge said. “It didn’t take long once he said that — it just started rolling in my head.”
Loughridge and Blanton gave the idea some thought, eventually deciding to begin training to compete in the Ironman in Sherer’s honor.
The two will compete in the May race as “Team Inspiration Texas,” a non-profit organization started by Sherer to raise awareness of the condition. Whatever they spend on training for the event, Loughridge said they want to donate three times as much to MS research, with a goal of $15,000.
But while the Ironman is just one race, Loughridge said they wouldn’t stop there.
“I just told [Sherer] the other day, if we don’t raise everything this year I’m not giving up until we do it,” Loughridge said. “So basically, I’ve already committed myself for next year if we don’t hit our goal.”
Blanton said the experience has put things into perspective for him.
“Training for someone like Trace, it’s given us a lot of insight into fighting for life on an everyday basis,” Blanton said. “I think we can learn a lot from people like Trace and the people we’re racing for because they’re so positive in such a negative situation. They don’t become victims of their situation, which is really inspiring and why we do it.”
Sherer said it is difficult to put into words the impact of Loughridge and Blanton’s decision to race for him.
“First of all, they’re incredible young men,” Sherer said. “For them, at their age, to have the level of compassion they have, not only for me but anyone facing a challenge — there are absolutely no words. They’re taking something on for me and really doing it for me. One thing I’ve noticed is they haven’t done one iota of this for personal recognition.”
Loughridge said riding with and getting to know Trace has taught him how to value life and shown him the impact people can have when they work together.
“What are the things we should fight for and what are the things we should just let go?” Loughridge said. “I think the greatest thing we’ve learned is to learn to fight for each other and just walk with each other through different avenues of life. It’s been fun.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Battalion

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas A&M University - College Station. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Battalion

Comments (0)

All The Battalion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *