Sprinting to the future


Karter Tow

Karter Tow’s ultimate goal is to become a sports dietitian for professional athletes.

Transfer student finds “best fit” at Bluffton

For Karter Tow ’24, a pre-dietetics major from Van Wert, Ohio, saying this spring is busy may be an understatement. 

“I have the Boston Marathon, then graduation, the cross-cultural trip and then a few days later I start my master’s classes,” said Tow. 

Originally a dietetics major at Purdue University Fort Wayne, Tow transferred to Ohio State University. But because of transferring, he was going to have to take an extra year or two of classes before starting a master’s program. A connection to Abby Stemen, assistant professor of food and nutrition, brought him to Bluffton where he’s gotten back on schedule during his senior year and is preparing for Bluffton’s Master of Nutrition and Dietetics program. 

“Now that I’ve been here, Bluffton’s been the best fit of the three schools education-wise and preparing me for my career,” said Tow, whose had several classes with Deb Myers, dietetics program director. “She’s helped me become more excited and comfortable with the material and has filled in the gaps in my education. It’s been really good.” 

Tow’s ultimate goal is to become a sports dietitian for professional athletes. His interest in nutrition is directly connected to his passion for running. 

“I want to help others find the potential they can unlock through their diet,” explained Tow. “Especially on the day of your performance, you can really tell the difference as far as what you put into your body and how you’re feeling while getting across the finish line.”

Tow is currently training for the April 15, 2024, Boston Marathon. It’s just his second marathon, but it’s been a dream since he started running in the fourth grade at the encouragement of his dad and older brother. A commuter student, Tow often trains between classes and runs approximately 90 miles each week. 

He was a member of Bluffton’s cross-country team in the fall and had to choose between competing as a track and field athlete or racking up the miles in preparation for the big event.

“It was a hard decision, but this is the one time in my life that I’m going to have time to train for the Boston Marathon compared to when I’m going to be working full-time in my field,” said Tow. “I enjoyed my time with the team and all of the guys are really cool. I had a bit of a friend group already after transferring here, but this semester, I’ve been mostly training on my own.”

Following the marathon, Tow will quickly wrap-up his undergraduate studies at Bluffton. On Saturday, May 4, he’ll walk at Bluffton’s 124th graduation and then will head to Kentucky for a three-week cross-cultural experience with Mennonite Central Committee’s Appalachia Build program. A couple days later his master’s classes at Bluffton begin.  

“I’m ready,” said Tow. “I feel prepared.”

Phi Theta Kappa Transfer Honor Roll