"The Holy Spirit told my father Wheaton was the place for me. My dad literally made me come,” says Sola Olateju ’18.
But Sola says that when he got to campus, he couldn’t stop smiling for three months.
“That tells you how right my dad was and how much better God’s plan is than mine!”
With a major in economics and minors in anthropology and French, the track and football star from Minnesota has his hands full. But that hasn’t stopped him from pursuing excellence.
In 2016, Sola tied Wheaton’s record in the indoor triple jump at 14.33 meters, won the CCIW Indoor Triple Jump Championship, and qualified for the Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships. As for football, the running back ranked sixth in Division III yards per carry, averaging 7.18.
“I really appreciate Sola’s enthusiasm and optimism,” Head Track and Field Coach Scott Bradley ’86 says. “He embraces life passionately.”
What’s his secret?
For Sola, the brotherhood of the football team provides him with essential spiritual and emotional connection while the mentorship of his coaches helps him daily depend on the Lord. Being surrounded by like-minded, ambitious peers traveling on the same road to growth and success has also spurred him on to greatness.
“My athletic and spiritual growth have far surpassed what I expected, and have expanded my idea of what to aim for and what’s attainable,” says Sola.
The most valuable lesson Sola has learned at Wheaton is what it means to depend on Christ.
“Sola’s heart for the Lord is evident,” Head Football Coach Mike Swider ’77 says. “He loves his teammates, and he loves Wheaton football.”