For the third straight year, the Mississippi State softball program is set to honor Alex Wilcox with the #428WallSitChallenge. But this year, the Bulldogs have added another element to get more fans and supporters engaged with the event.
Wilcox, a freshman at Mississippi State at the time, battled ovarian cancer and was active as a student-athlete in the Southeastern Conference, competing and contending right alongside her teammates, despite the chemo treatments.
And that included participating in practice and conditioning, including wall sits.
The college softball world was very clearly inspired by Wilcox and rallied around her cause. From David Kuhn and the Central Arkansas Bears to the Ole Miss Rebels and various other SEC softball programs to a Chinese professional softball team and so on and so forth, people and teams were motivated to support Wilcox in her battle against ovarian cancer and to raise awareness of the disease.
After Wilcox passed away, her number was retired at Mississippi State, but her impact didn’t stop there.
One particular wall sit that Wilcox did while battling cancer was then turned into a social media challenge to raise awareness of the disease she fought:
Despite receiving treatments for chemo and the difficult toll that takes on a person’s body, Wilcox decided to keep on pushing and went through four minutes and 28 seconds of a wall sit.
(Which, I’ve previously tried this challenge. It’s very difficult to do.)
And with this year’s edition of the #428WallSitChallenge, the Bulldogs are broadening the challenge a bit, which might make it a bit more feasible for many of us.
When this challenge was started a vast multitude of support. From Mississippi State’s official press release on the 2021 edition of the #428WallSitChallenge:
“MSU first launched the Wall Sit Challenge initiative in October 2018, following Wilcox’s passing in June of that year. More than 230 collegiate softball programs participated in 2018 along with 42 high school, club and professional teams, and the challenge spread to 42 states and Japan.”Brian Ogden, Mississippi State athletics press release
And now, naturally, the challenge is expanding.
This year, Mississippi State is introducing a new component to the challenge to help spread awareness of ovarian cancer and to honor Wilcox: The Alex Wilcox 8K.
From that aforementioned official Mississippi State press release:
“Registration and participation in the 8K is completely free. Fans may run or walk the distance at home, on a treadmill, in their local community or on campus. Fans are encouraged to complete an 8K distance, even breaking it up day-by-day over the course of a week, but their run should be finished by May 5.”Brian Ogden, Mississippi State athletics press release
Anyone who is interested in participating in the 8K should click here to register.
The good folks over in Mississippi State’s athletic department are asking that those who do participate to post photos or videos to social media. If you do that, they’d also like for you to tag @HailStateSB and to use the following hashtags: #NoOneFightsAlone and #AW8K.
If you’d like to participate in that 8K, you’ve got eight days to run it. If you’d like to sit on a wall for nearly four-and-a-half minutes, you should strive to do that on April 28th.
If you’d like to do both, you’re doing it for a great cause.
For more information about the #428WallSitChallenge and Alex Wilcox, click here.