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An open letter to all 'Burg regional qualifiers

Posted Monday, October 25, 2010 by Mike Hout
What a joy it is to be able to say "regional" qualifers to all 14 of you.  There are not many schools that can say they are sending both their boys and girls squad.  This is the third year in a row the mighty Miamisburg XC team is doing this!!!  Congratulations.

For some of you, this will be your last race of the year.  For some others of you, there may be more running in another week.  For others of you this may be your last high school cross-country race of your career.  Do everything you can to make it a good run.  I felt terrible in my last high school race and dropped out.  It has not been good to have to live with that through all these years.  You have all put in many many more miles than I ever did (I was a high jumper and short hurdler) so I know you will perform in a much better manner than I ever could have dreamed.  Best wishes to all of you as you attempt to not only do your best but do your best ever!

To the girls team, I have to apologize.  Due to a wedding that was scheduled long before I realized this was regional weekend, I will have to miss your race.  I look forward to hearing the race results from newbie Stephanie Jensen.  Your progress has brought smiles to the faces of everyone.  Mallory Stanhouse, you have run so well for a freshman.  Your consistency has been inspiring and your giant pr run at GWOC was thrilling.  I sure hope Brittany Sumner has a great race because I really want to hear her describe the whole race to me with her voice of excitement.  Stephanie Mee is just about the opposite.  I will have to drag every detail of the race out of Mee.  Make it a good one, Steph, so I will have to pull as hard as I can to get the details out of you.  Brittany Forman.....you know who I am going to talk about.  Run like Justin Bieber is there and you will get to talk to him after the race if you run your best.  Jordan Townsley, you ran a great race for the team at Districts.  We know you were in pain but you gutted it out for all of us.  Thanks for that.  We all hope you can have a pain free run on Saturday so we can see those legs flying at the finish again.  Is there any greater joy in the world than watching the parents and family of Jenna Parlette when she runs?  It seems like I end up near her grandfather a lot during races and he is about the happiest guy I can imagine when she is running well.  I know you will make him smile again on Saturday.

To the boys team, I am fortunate that my duties on Saturday will not interfere with your race.  I will have to leave immediately afterwards to get back to the wedding and I hope I can drive back with a big smirk on my face.  I am anxious to see the GWOC South Reserve champ return to that form and watch Cody McKinley zip through the course with the amazing ability that he has shown on a number of occasions.  Elliot Zech, you are full of surprises.  Please, surprise us one more time and stun us like you did at the Districts.  Josh Myers, in many ways, almost single handedly turned this team into the powerhouse it is when he dropped a minute and a half at Tiffin.  You are amazing, Josh, and I know you can show us one more time how amazing you are.  Jonathan Steingass has made us all laugh many times while racing and also while goofing off at practice.  Thanks for all the laughs, Jon.  I know you can give us all one more good belly chuckle from your running on Saturday.  Who could ask for a better leader than Donnie Whyte?  Thank you for getting all of us to this point because of your leadership.  We now look forward to seeing you go out and show everyone what you are capable of.  It is going to be fun to watch.  You are so young, Quentin Mullen, but you run with the legs of a much more mature man.  It has been absolutely astounding to watch you these past couple of weeks.  I think you have one more shocker up your sleeve for us.  Michael Melko has been there for us all season.....in practice and in meets and in perfect attendance.  You are a joy to watch.  You have a tremendous base of training behind you.  I wish I could sit in a chair and take splits of each of your 400's like I did last spring when you ran those amazing 3200 pr races where it gets more and more and more exciting with each lap.

Best wishes to all fourteen of you.  You are great individuals.  You are even more special together as a group.  Special thanks for the dedication and the solid words of guidance from Coach Jenny and Coach Johnson throughout the year.  Both of you are great coaches and your love of the sport as well as the love of each of the athletes is something very special.  It has been a great joy for me to watch all of that these past few months.  So maybe I should say..............best wishes to all sixteen of you.  You are all great individuals.  Yet, you are even more special together as a group!!!     


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