Wednesday, April 11, 2018

2018 Collegiate 10K Road Race Championships Preview

Start of the 2017 Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10K
This weekend the Collegiate Running Association (CRA) will welcome nearly 2,000 college students to Richmond, Virginia for the 5th annual Collegiate 10K Road Race Championships which will be held within the Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10K presented by Kroger. The races have excellent quality and we are excited to see the competition.

The event isn't just about having fast folks up front...Those college students will be chasing a national title, CRA All-America honors and $10,000 in prize money reserved specifically for college students. This is a race for sure...however, it's also known as "Richmond's largest block party". It's a event for everyone.  Live bands along the course...citizens from amazingly diverse backgrounds come together on this day and become a mass of people with a common goal and destination--the finish line.  It's exciting and inspiring.  It really is an event you should experience for yourself.

Here's a race preview from the CRA:

Collegiate Running Association welcoming nearly 2,000 college students to 2018 Collegiate 10k Road Race Championships

April 10, 2018 - RICHMOND, VA The Collegiate Running Association and the city of Richmond are set to welcome nearly 2,000 college students as part of the 5th annual Collegiate 10k Road Race National Championship event, held within the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k presented by Kroger. A $10,000 prize purse is set aside for the top ten men’s and women’s collegiate finishers.

2017 champions Rachel Ward (University of Virginia / Ragged Mountain Racing) and Ryan Hagen (Mary Baldwin University / VT Elite) are both returning this year to defend their titles, and will be joined by a mix of competitive and social running college students from across the country. In all, about 24,000 runners are scheduled to compete this weekend and with a beautiful forecast in Richmond, the competition is sure to be fun. This is truly Richmond’s biggest block party and has something for everyone.

“We are excited to continue partnering with the Monument Avenue 10k for the fifth consecutive year,” said co-founder Jon Molz. “Nearly 2,000 college students have entered to run this year and over the previous four years a combined total of 11,000 college students have participated in our championships.”

The entry list for the collegiate 10k championship boasts perhaps the strongest men’s and women’s fields since the first annual 10k Championships in 2014. A slew of undergraduate and graduate runners, along with a handful of strong local runners, should make for a deep and competitive field. The women’s field will also be powerful up front, led by four U.S. Olympic Team Trials qualifiers.

"On behalf of college students everywhere we want to thank the Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10K, Sports Backers, and the event partners for their support of this amazing event,” said Collegiate Running Association president Steve Taylor.We formed the Collegiate Running Association in order to create new opportunities for all college students who enjoy running, and to provide a unique and competitive experience for some of the top athletes taking classes around the country. This event provides an avenue for emerging runners who are continuing their education to earn financial rewards to help offset their higher education expenses. It’s been a bridge to success for many student-athletes, including the 2016 Olympic Silver Medalist in the 5000m, Paul Chelimo, and 2016 World Mountain Running Champion and 2017 World Snowshoe Running Champion, Joe Gray. It has also provided an outstanding experience for social college runners who want to experience the city of Richmond.”

2017 champion, Rachel Ward (University of Virginia / Ragged Mountain Racing), returns...


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Steve Taylor Biography by Mike McMillion

1983, Tuesday, April 12--3200M race finish at SMHS (9:16.8). Not my fastest, but I still believe it was my best high school 3200M performance. 5 laps to the mile track on a crushed limestone surface. Found out afterwards when the dirt track was measured that it was 10 meters per lap long, which means the race was 3200M + 100M= 3300M instead of 3200M

Thanks to Mike McMillion for putting this together and his continued efforts to preserve the running history of West Virginia.  Proudly, my home state!

Steve Taylor Biography
Following the 1990 Coor's Light Half Marathon
in Toronto, Canada where I ran 1:02:29 for
the win...14:23 for the final 5K.

St. Marys High / (Class of 1983) St. Marys, WV
Classification: A
Specialty: Distance
West Virginia University / (1983-1985) Morgantown, WV
Virginia Tech / (Class of 1988) Blacksburg, VA
Steve Taylor (born 1965) is a collegiate track/cross country coach and a former American long-distance runner. He grew up in St. Marys, which is a city in Pleasants County, West Virginia, in the United States. Taylor attended St. Marys High School from 1980-1983.
At St. Marys High School, Taylor was an 11-time West Virginia State High School Champion and earned All-America honors, finishing 3rd (’82) and 7th (’81) at the Kinney -- now Foot Locker -- Championships at Disney World Shades of Green Golf Course in Kissimmee, FL. He also earned All-America honors in track at the Penn Relays (PA) and Golden West Classic in Sacramento (CA).
Taylor earned West Virginia Track and Field Athlete of the Year honors for three years in a row (1981-83) and won the most points at the West Virginia High School State Championships two straight years, winning the 800-meters, 1600-meters and 3200-meter races his senior year. Taylor is a five-time track & field state meet record holder in three events. He still holds the West Virginia Class AA record in the 3200m (9:09.70) and 4x800m relay (8:00.90). 
Taylor who was one of the top distance runners in the nation in ’82 & ’83 chose to run for West Virginia University, before transferring to Virginia Tech.
Taylor is a U.S. National Age Group record holder and was a U.S. Olympic Trials Qualifier (10,000 & Marathon).
[Family Background]
Steve’s parents are Delbert and Alta Mae Taylor. He is the youngest of five boys. He enjoyed playing baseball, riding motorcycles, hunting and fishing.

His dad was in the timber business and coached little league baseball in Pleasant County, West Virginia in the early 1970’s. Mike, Cliff, Matt, Vernon, and Steve all played Little League at some point while growing up. Their dad’s Hardwood Lumber Company was the team sponsor which allowed Steve to serve as the bat boy for Mike, Cliff, Matt and Vernon's teams. After his brothers were frustrated from not receiving much playing time in baseball, Steve’s brother Mike elected to go out for the track & field team.
Steve grew up in a very competitive family.
One day, at Mike’s track practice, he and Cliff got into an argument over who was faster, so Cliff then joined the track team too. That challenge can be traced to their family’s long career of running and continued passion for it. At one point, the St. Marys High School team had 25 members, 17 of which had the last name, Taylor.
Steve Taylor would begin running at 9 years old, while in elementary school. He finally got the opportunity to race with his brothers, who once again were arguing over who was the fastest. Mike and Cliff vs. Matt and Vernon regarding which team was faster. They would race a 4.5-mile loop that started and ended at their house with both teams running in opposite directions. Steve would tag along with Mike and Cliff, but they would not wait on him, they didn’t want him to be an anchor. He would learn a valuable lesson that day after cutting the course by a half-mile. His brothers called him a cheater which angered him greatly. His brother Matt explained, “If you cheat today by cutting the course it becomes that much easier to do it again tomorrow.” Steve heard him loud and clear. It was a lesson that likely saved his running, academic, and professional careers. A lesson that still carries over to this day.
At age ten, he would run his first road race - the Paden City 3-mile Fun Run. His mom told him it was too long of a race for a 10-year-old. She was convinced it would stunt his growth if he ran that far, but eventually, she would give her approval. The race was held on Saturday, August 31, 1975, and would be the first time he had ever run in an organized road race. In the 3-mile race, Steve won the 14 and under age group, although he was only 10 years old in just under 23 minutes. While in middle school, he would wear his race t-shirt every day as a badge showing his declaration that he was a "runner"...just like his older brothers. 
In 1976 two of his brothers, Cliff and Matt joined two first cousins (brothers Dale and Kevin) to win the state meet 4x880 Relay and set the meet record. Their record still stands since the English measurements were retired when the events changed to metric. Steve would sit in the stands at the old Laidley Field and watch his family compete. It was at 11 years old that Steve knew that he wanted to be part of that. After they won that 4x880 race, state championship titles became expected by them.
The family members were constantly trying to outdo each other while being supportive of one another.
By the time Steve got to high school following his four older brothers (Mike, Cliff, Matt and Vernon) and numerous cousins, his race battles were nearly won just by the reputation of his brothers, cousins and the name "Taylor".
His brothers taught him that there were three qualities you had to have to become successful as a distance runner and they hold true to this day: 1) You must be willing to work - no lazy person will ever have success as a distance runner. 2) You must be competitive…competitive to your soul - In races, you must have a purpose and your purpose must be engrained deeper than that of your competitor. 3) You must be willing to embrace pain and push through it until you enter another realm. Once you have been there and achieved self-awareness at that level, you will want to return to that place. The “runners high” as some people call it, is indescribable and will call you back for more.
Running Career:
[Early Years]
Taylor began competing in track in 1977 as a twelve-year-old. There was no formal junior high program at the time in Pleasants County. He and some friends would race in an occasional road race, however, the only track meet that his middle school would have the opportunity to compete in was a junior high meet at Parkersburg High School in Parkersburg, WV. He entered the Mile, the longest race they offered. His first competition was against a 9th grader by the name of Brian G. who was winning all the junior high Mile and 880-yard races and remained undefeated at that level. He also competed for the PHS “Big Reds” as a 9th grader and was still eligible for junior high competition. Brian settled on Taylor’s shoulder the entire race. He shot past Taylor in the final turn, while crossing the finish line two-and-a-half seconds ahead. Steve was disappointed at finishing runner-up, but it would be what Brian’s mother said that would never be forgotten “My Brian was the one that beat you.” She then went on to say, “Don’t worry honey, one day you could be as good as my Brian”, as she patted him lightly on the left shoulder. Those words and actions were unbelievable to him. They really rubbed Steve the wrong way and stuck with him throughout his running career. He learned a valuable lesson from this race, that in the sport of distance running you must be prepared. They faced each other several times after that initial meeting and Brian beat him on another occasion in his career. As Steve reached his junior year of high school he won the West Virginia All-Boys Class State Cross Country Meet and Brian was over 75 seconds behind him.
High School (1980-1983):
While attending St. Marys High School, Taylor was coached by Jerry Rea in track and cross country. Rea was inducted into the Mid-Ohio Valley Sports Hall-of-Fame back in 2007.
[Freshman Year]:
At the 1979 West Virginia All-Boys Class State Cross Country Meet at Sandy Brae golf course (Clendenin, WV), Elkins High School placed two runners in the top 10, paced by second-place finisher Mark Nichols, to win its second consecutive West Virginia high school cross country championship. Elkins totaled 54 points to 71 for runner-up St. Marys. The Blue Devils had two All-State runners, Larry Taylor (6th) and Lee Haddox (9th), while freshman Steve Taylor would just miss placing in the top 10 by one spot. 
At the 1980 Class AA-A West Virginia State Track Meet, Steve Taylor ran a leg on Blue Devils record-setting 4 x 800-meter relay state championship team (S. Taylor, Tom Hill, Lee Haddox, Larry Taylor) 8:09.44, earning his first of many All-State honors. Mt. Hope repeated as team champions with 70 points, while St. Marys was runner-up with 56 points.
[Sophomore Year]
At the 1980 West Virginia All-Boys Class State Cross Country Meet, Ivan Phillips of Shady Spring won the individual title, while Parkersburg South won as a team. St. Marys placed three runners (Lee Haddox - 3rd, Steve Taylor - 5th, Tom Hill - 7th) in the top 10. No other school matched their 1980 cross country performance. Unfortunately, they did not qualify as a team, but as three individuals.
At the 1981 Class AA-A West Virginia State Track Meet, St. Marys was led by a strong distance crew featuring sophomore Steve Taylor. The Blue Devils bounded back to the top as team champions with 73 points. Taylor won the 3200m with a time of 9:26.60. He defeated Ivan Phillips of Shady Spring by 1.28 seconds, who won the individual state cross country title during the fall. Taylor also ran a leg on the Blue Devils 4 x 800-meter relay state championship team (Steve Taylor, John Hashman, Lee Haddox, Tom Hill) 8:13.35.
Taylor won the Ray McCoy Award by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association as the state's top male track and field athlete.
[Junior Year]
At the 1981 West Virginia All-Boys Class State Cross Country Meet, Magnolia would capture the team title from the previous year’s winner, Parkersburg South. But that would be short-lived as Parkersburg South would go on a three-year run. St. Marys Steve Taylor would take home the individual crown. Taylor’s state cross country win at Camp Virgil Tate (near cross Lanes), in what he describes as one of his most painful races ever, taught him that his body can tolerate much more pain than your mind typically believes. This race gave him the confidence three weeks later to win (15:18.8) the 1981 Kinney (now Foot Locker) Northeast Regional Championship race in Van Cortlandt Park in New York, NY. He then went on to place 7th (15:05.1) at the 1981 Kinney National Championship at Disney World Shades of Green Golf Course in Kissimmee, FL. Taylor became the first West Virginian to qualify for the Kinney Cross Country Championships National Finals.
In the spring, Taylor ran 9:05 for 3200-meters at the Bellaire Relays in Ohio, which ranked in the top 10 nationally at years’ end. There were no national high school championship meets back then.
At the 1982 Class AA-A West Virginia State Track Meet, Liberty Raleigh tied St. Marys for the title. But it was St. Marys Steve Taylor who stole the show, setting records in the 1600m (4:20.96), 3200m (9:14.88), and anchoring the record-setting 4x800 squad (8:00.9). Taylor was also runner-up in the 800m with a time of 1:57.42. Steve Taylor earned high point honors with 30 ½.
For the second straight year Taylor won the Ray McCoy Award by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association as the state's top male track and field athlete.
[Senior Year]
At the 1982 West Virginia All-Boys Class State Cross Country Meet at Wheeling, Parkersburg South captured the state title finishing with 48 team points and easily outdistancing second place Oak Hill who totaled 97 points. St. Marys Steve Taylor repeated as the individual state cross country champion with an amazing time of 14:47.

In the post season, Taylor placed 4th (15:23.9) at the 1982 Kinney Northeast Regional at Van Cortlandt Park in New York, NY. Fellow West Virginian, Brian Redman of Keyser High, placed 10th in the same race. Only the top 8 qualified, however two runners in the top 8 could not go due to injury, so Redman was offered a spot at the National Final. Steve went on to place 3rd (14:53.6) at the 1982 Kinney Cross Country National Championship at Disney World Shades of Green Golf Course in Kissimmee, FL, while Redman placed 23rd (15:30.5). Taylor is the only male West Virginian runner to qualify twice for the Kinney/Foot Locker National Meet.

At a WVU All-Comers indoor track meet held in the Shell Building on Sunday afternoon February 6, 1983 he ran 8:31.7 for 3K to beat Don Norman. Don was tough and led that whole race until Steve was able to pass him near the finish line. That time ranked in the top 10 nationally that winter as reported by T&F News. There were no honors awarded for indoor track back then.
At the Penn Relays, Taylor won the 3k with a time of 8:27, running 56.4 seconds over the last 400 meters. The Penn Relays is the oldest and largest track and field competition in the United States, hosted annually since April 21, 1895 by the University of Pennsylvania at Franklin Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 
At the 1983 Class AA-A West Virginia State Track Meet, Dunbar won their first title since the 50’s, winning a hard-fought battle with St. Marys, 62 to 54. St. Marys Steve Taylor was a triple winner in the distance events, setting the 3200m mark with a time of 9:09.6. Taylor won the 800m in 1:55.84, 1600m in 4:30.94, and ran a leg on the Blue Devils fourth-place 4 x 800-meter relay team (8:21.27). Taylor took high point honors with 31 points.

Back when Steve ran, the distance races (800m,1600m/3200m) at the State Championships were all held on the Saturday session of the meet, whereas today they are split on Friday (4x800m/3200m) and Saturday (1600m/800m). During Taylor’s era the 3200m was held Saturday morning with the 1600m in the afternoon with only the 200m between it and the 800m. It made the 4 x 800m relay (Friday), 3200m, 1600m & 800m quad (Saturday) a bit tricky. He had never won the 800m at that point, so he ran the 1600m as easily as he could to win, since there was literally 20 minutes between the 1600m and 800m final.
In the post season, Taylor ran 8:21 at the Golden West Classic in Sacramento (CA), which ranked high enough to earn All-America honors. 
For the third straight year Taylor won the Ray McCoy Award by the West Virginia Sports Writers
1983 West Virginia Sports Writers Awards.
Carol Jett, Parkersburg News
presents the award for the
third consecutive year.
Association as the state's top male track and field athlete. 

During Taylor’s high school running career (1980-1983), he scored a total of 82 ½ points at the West Virginia State Track Meet at Laidley Field in Charleston, West Virginia.
To date, in track, Taylor ranks on the West Virginia State Meet AA-A Boys All-Time Top Ten List: 800m (rank #5) in 1:55.84 / 1600m (rank #6) in 4:20.96 / 3200m (rank #1) in 9:09.83, (rank #2) in 9:14.88, and (rank #8) in 9:26.60. He ranks on the 3200-meters All-Class All-Time Top Ten at #4 in 9:09.84 and #9 in 9:14.88.

In cross country, he still ranks #1 all-time for all-classes in West Virginia High School Cross Country with a time of 14:47 for 3.1 miles.
Taylor holds the SMHS Boy’s Track & Field records in: 800-meter run (1:55.84 / 1983); 1600-meter run (4:18.0 / 1983); 3200-meter run (9:04.8 / 1983); 4 x 800-meter relay [Steve Taylor, Tom Hill, John Hashman, Rob Taylor] (8:00.01 / 1982).
In June of 1999, Steve was inducted into the Mid-Ohio Valley Sports Hall-of-Fame.
Taylor attended West Virginia University for two Year’s before transferring to Virginia Tech. In 1983, while at WVU, he won the Atlantic 10 Conference Cross Country Championship in a time of 25:51 and helped the Mountaineers to the NCAA Cross Country Championships, while in 1984 he was Atlantic 10 runner-up behind WVU teammate Jean-Pierre Ndayisenga.
While attending Virginia Tech, he was one of Tech’s finest athletes in the 1980’s. He paced the 1987 Tech cross country team to a fourth-place finish in the NCAA Championships while placing ninth among individuals to earn All-America honors. In 1986, he won the metro conference meet. Taylor earned All-American honors in track as a 10,000-meter runner placing 3rd in 1987 and holds the school records in the 3,000- and 5,000-meter runs.
He received a B.S. from Tech in 1988. Taylor earned his degree in education with a sports management option.
In the fall of 1999, he was inducted into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame becoming only the second coach (along with Frank Beamer) in school history to be inducted while still serving the university.
Taylor was involved in professional road racing. He participated in the 1991 World Championship marathon in Tokyo, 1991 World Marathon Cup in London, England and the 1995 World Marathon Cup in Athens, Greece and was the top team USA finisher in both World Cup competitions. He finished sixth in the 1992 Olympic Marathon Trials held in Columbus, Ohio, and he was named alternate to the Olympic team. In 1988, he won the TAC (USA Track & Field) national championship at 10,000-meters off a stellar kick covering the final 800m in 1:55.4 and won the RRCA 10 Mile National Championship in Raleigh, NC. 
As of 2016, he still holds in: 15K (at age 20 ran 44:52 on 3/8/1986 in Jacksonville, FL), 10 Miles (at age 23 ran 47:01 on 4/1/1989 in Washington D.C.) and Half-Marathon (at age 20 ran 1:04:54 on 1/11/1986 in Savanah, GA-1985).
During his career Taylor set personal best performances of 4:00.6 in the Mile (Roanoke, Va., 1990), 13:38 in the 5000 meters (Nissiping, Sweden, 1989), 27:59 in the 10K (Pittsburg, Pa., 1988), 47:01 in the 10 Mile (Washington, D.C., 1989), 1:02:29 in the Half-Marathon (Toronto, Canada, 1990) and 2:13:56 in the Marathon (Columbus, Ohio, 1990).
Taylor was an assistant track coach at Cave Spring High School in Roanoke for two years and the Lord Botetourt in Daleville for one season before returning to Blacksburg to coach at his Alma Mater. He was the Head Men's Cross Country Coach at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia from August 1991 to August 2001. He’s the Head Men's Track & Field and Cross Country Coach Assistant Women's Track & Field and Cross Country Coach at the University of Richmond in Richmond, Virginia from August 2001 to present. 
He is also the Founder/President of the Collegiate Running Association from its creation in 2013 to present, a 501c3 organization promoting healthy lifestyles among college students through running. The Collegiate Running Association is the first and currently only organization (as of 2016) to offer prize money specifically to college students in the sport of running.
Steve Taylor married Lori McKee in July of 1987, who is the Director of Track / Head Women's Cross Country and Track & Field Coach at the University of Richmond. Steve and Lori have a son, Luke. They currently live in Richmond, Virginia.

Steve Taylor's Running Accomplishments:
1996 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifier (Charlotte, N.C.)
1995 U.S. World Marathon Cup Team (Athens, Greece)
1992 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials (sixth place, second alternate - Columbus, Ohio)
1991 USATF World Championships Track & Field Team (Marathon - Tokyo, Japan)
1991 U.S. World Marathon Cup Team (London, England)
1991 U.S. Marathon Leader (April-October)
1990 Fourth at U.S. Marathon Championships (Columbus, Ohio)
1990 All-time Canadian National All-Comers Record at Half-Marathon (1:02:29 - Toronto, Ontario)
1989 National Age Group Record at 10 Miles (age 23 – 47:01 - Washington, D.C.)
1989 Won the Charleston Distance Run 15-Miler for his third time (age 24 – 1:15:27)
1988 The Athletics Congress National Champion (10,000 meters - Tampa, Fla.)
1988 RRCA National Champion (10 miles - Raleigh, N.C.)

1988 RRCA National Champion (8K - Eugene, Oregon)
1988 U.S. Olympic Trials Qualifier (10,000 meters - Indianapolis, Ind.)
1988 Second-fastest 10K time in U.S. -- T&F News, Feb. 1989 (27:59)
1987 Won the Charleston Distance Run 15-Miler for his second time (age 22 – 1:14:31)
1987 NCAA Division I All-America Team (cross country and track)
1986 National Age Group Record at Half-Marathon (age 20 – 1:04:54 - Savannah, Ga.)
1986 National Age Group Record at 15K (age 20 – 44:52- Jacksonville, Fl.)
1985 First West Virginian to win the Charleston Distance Run 15-Miler (age 20 – 1:16:25)
1982-83 Two-time High School All-American (cross country and track)

1983 First West Virginian to participate in Penn Relays...Won the HS 3,000M (8:27.5...56.2 for last 400M)
1982 Kinney (Foot Locker) National Championships (third place - Orlando, Fla.)
1982 Kinney (Foot Locker) Northeast Region Championship (fourth place - New York, N.Y.)
1981 Kinney (Foot Locker) National Championships (seventh place - Orlando, Fla.)
1981 Kinney (Foot Locker) Northeast Region Champion (New York, N.Y.)
1981-83 Three-time West Virginia Track Athlete of the Year
1980-83 11-time West Virginia State H.S. Champion (cross country and track)

Steve Taylor biography compiled by Mike McMillion (updated 3/28/18)

Monday, February 6, 2017

2017 U.S. Cross Country Championships (Bend, OR)

Johnny Hogue (JR), Alex Lucking (JR), Miles Clikeman (FR)
and Andrew Testas (FR) for the Spiders
The 2017 U.S. Cross Country Championships in Bend, OR were a testament to what a community can do when they come together...Amazing how the community came out to support the event...Snow shovels in hand lots of folks arrived to clear the course of 3 feet of snow.  It was impressive.

Previewing 2017 U.S. XC Championships Course (Bend, OR)

Photo Collage: 2017 U.S. Cross Country Championship

Ogden Overlook and Smith Rocks near Bend, OR

A Visit to Multnomah Falls near Portland, Oregon

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

A Little Country Town by Albert Locke

This poem captures my hometown of St. Marys, West Virginia as I remember it growing up... 

The Walter S. Carpenter Bridge over the Ohio River
in St. Marys, West Virginia.

A Little Country Town

By Albert Locke, Modified by Dan Fleming, Jr.

I love a little country town where 
all is clean and neat,

Where people smile and say _Hello_

When meeting on the street.

A place where snobbishness is scarce

And human hearts are warm,

A pleasant place to spend one’s days

In sunshine or a storm.

Sophisticated folks may frown,

May call such people hicks,

And insist a little town

Is backward in the sticks.

But I’d rather be a simple hick

For all the world to see

Than a melancholy city dweller

Even lucky to see a tree.

I like a little country town

When springtime breezes fly,

And find it just as pleasant

When the summer sun is high.

I like it in the autumn

When wooded hillsides glow,

And receive a thrill in winter,

When the ground is white with snow.

You may have the city if you wish

With its bustle and its noise,

But you’ll find it’s not a proper place

To bring up girls and boys.

And even those who win success

And earn a broad renown,

Quite often give as their address

Some little country town.

I know my little country town,

I know its streets and alleys,

I know its people young and old,

Its Henrie’s and its Sally’s,

I think of it as best of all,

And my opinion never varies,

The town I’m proud to call my home,

Of course I mean St. Marys!

Albert Locke was associated with the Pleasants County Bank for many years. Some of you may remember him... Dan Fleming, Jr is a St Mary’s boy and now Professor Emeritus, VA Tech.

Downtown St. Marys, WV
with the Carpenter Bridge over the
Ohio River in the background.

Monument in memory of 5 local pioneer families of
Pleasants County, West Virginia.
- Bills - 1840
- Reynolds - 1790
- LaRue - 1790
-Brown - 1849
-Ruckman - 1849
The Pleasants County Courthouse in St. Marys.
-PC: Jennings Illar
Middle Island, which is part of the
Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge;
a bridge connects the "Little Country Town" of St. Marys to the island.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Collegiate Running Association Announces 2016 Athletes of the Year

Collegiate Running Association Announces 2016 Athletes of the Year

Contact:            Collegiate Running Association

January 8, 2017 (Richmond, VA)--- Bethany Sachtelben (Stafford, VA / Northern Virginia Community College) and Hayden Hawks (St. George, UT / Southern Utah University) have been named the 2016 Collegiate Running Association Athletes of the Year.

“The Collegiate Running Association recognizes one male and one female athlete within our membership each year for their outstanding efforts.  We are thrilled by the successes we’ve seen throughout the past year by Collegiate Running Association members enrolled in college classes.  Our membership and Alumni list continues to grow”, said Steve Taylor, Co-Founder of the Collegiate Running Association.  “Both Bethany and Hayden are amazing athletes and exceptional students.  They are among the top collegians who serve as an example for other college students balancing training, work and academic pressures faced daily.  Competitive, successful and dedicated, they have a love of the sport and support its growth across the multiple disciplines the Collegiate Running Association specifically promotes (road, mountain and trail running).”  

2016 Female Athlete of the Year-Bethany Sachtleben

Bethany Sachtleben
Sachtleben had an impressive year winning the 2016 Collegiate Mountain Running National Championship in Lincoln, NH and placing 2nd in the Collegiate 10K Road Race National Championship in Richmond, VA.

In the Collegiate Running Association and USATF Mountain Running National Championship held concurrently at Loon Mountain Resort in Lincoln New Hampshire she placed 1st ($750) and 2nd respectively and earned a spot on the U.S. Mountain Running Team for the 32nd World Mountain Running Championships (WMRC) held in Sapareva Banya, Bulgaria. It was her first ever mountain running race.  At the World Mountain Running Championship in September she placed 18th and helped the USA team win the Bronze Medal.

The Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10K hosted the Collegiate 10k Road Race National Championship for the 3rd consecutive year.  Sachtleben used negative splits of 17:36 for the opening 5K and 17:09 for the 2nd 5K to run 34:45 to claim 2nd place and claim the $1,000 prize for reserved for collegians.    

As a student Sachtleben earned a Bachelors in finance from George Mason University in 2015 where she qualified for the NCAA Championships and won multiple Atlantic 10 Conference titles. She is currently enrolled in graduate classes at Northern Virginia Community College where she is completing a degree in Accounting while serving as a volunteer coach for the George Mason University track & field and cross country programs. She also served as a volunteer Guest Speaker for the Virginia 529 Kids Run prior to the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10K.

“I am starting to really love the half marathon” said Sachtleben when asked about her favorite race distance. “I like that the training for a half marathon involves a lot of volume but also allows me to still incorporate some speedier workouts. The race itself is the perfect distance because you can settle in and really enjoy yourself for the first 6 or 7 miles before it's time to focus and start feeling the pain. By that time though, you're already over halfway finished so it's no big deal!”
When asked how she finds balance with a professional running career and graduate school Sachtleben explained: “I wake up really early so I can fit everything in! I also have an awesome job with flexible hours which allows me to start early and get off early so I can train before the sun goes down and then study in the evenings.”

2016 Male Athlete of the Year-Hayden Hawks

Hayden Hawks
While a senior at Southern Utah University last spring, Hawks ran 13:53 (5000M) and 29:29 (10,000M) on the track in April. He holds personal bests of of 13:51.72 (5000M) and 28:53.12 (10,000M), was the 2015 Big Sky Cross Country Champion and earned NCAA DI All-America honors in cross country.  In 2016 he competed in fifteen (15) races, was involved in multiple community service works.

After completing his Bachelor of Science (BS) in Exercise Science and Human Performance (Pre-Med) he quickly became an international force on the mountain and trail running scene. His race schedule was highlighted with his 2nd place finish in the Collegiate Mountain Running National Championship and 4th place finish in the USATF Mountain Running Championships held concurrently within the Loon Mountain Race (Lincoln, NH). With his finish he also earned an automatic berth to the U.S. Mountain Running Team for the 32nd World Mountain Running Championships held in Sapareva Banya, Bulgaria. Taking full advantage of the opportunity he placed 4th in the World Mountain Running Championships and helped the U.S. team to its first ever Gold Medal.

Hawks, who picked up sponsorships from HOKA ONE ONE, NATHAN Sports and BUFF, continues to give back to the running community.  He founded the Cedar City Track Attack (Volunteer Youth Track and Field Team), served on Southern Utah University’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee and was a member of the Rural Health Scholars and Dean’s List. Along with serving as manager at the St. George Running Center he is volunteer cross country coach at Desert Hills High School, Church Youth Teacher in St. George and does physical therapy volunteer work in Cedar City.

His most memorable running experiences in 2016 included the World Mountain Running Championships and The North Face 50 Mile Endurance Challenge where he went head-to-head with famed ultra-marathon runner Zach Miller.  “We both went far under the CR and battled it out the whole race”, stated Hawks. “It is considered one of the fastest debut 50 mile race efforts in history. I was very fortunate to be so fit and went out fighting.”

“I love the longer races”, said Hawks who is currently undefeated for the 50K distance and had one of the fastest debuts ever for 50 miles on trails. “I love running and therefore love running as long as I can, especially on trails. There is nothing better than enjoying new trails and trying to hammer them as hard as possible.  I tend to do better in the longer events and my endurance level has always been a strength. I plan to have a long ultra-marathon and mountain running career.”

The difficult balance is something any college student can
relate to.  The academic pressures mount and keeping perspective is an important part of daily planning.  “I travel and race a lot too”, reflects Hawks.  “It is sometimes hard to balance academics, work, and running but I feel like I do a pretty good job. I don’t watch a lot of TV and don’t spend time on pointless stuff. Time is always used to increase my knowledge, study, and get my work done. I have learned how to manage my time well and find joy in learning and working. I was able to average a 3.7 GPA throughout college while getting my medical school prerequisites done, being a team captain, doing a lot of service, running 130 miles a week, and numerous other activities. I feel very fortunate to have a wonderful wife who motivates me and helps me not procrastinate. I don’t let stress drag me down and embrace and feed off of it. I set goals and don’t stop until they are achieved. My wife, parents, brother, and faith help me more than anything though! I love life and all its challenges.”
Bethany Sachtleben Race Results in 2016

Race Name                                                  Location                            Date      Place     Time    
Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k                 Richmond, VA                    4/9         2nd         34:45
Collegiate 10K Road Race National Championship           4/9        2nd         34:45
USATF Half Marathon Championships       Columbus, OH                   4/30      11th      1:15:55
USATF Mountain Running Championships Lincoln, NH                   7/3        2nd         58:16
Collegiate Mountain Running National  Championships 7/3         1st          58:16
Falmouth Road Race (7 Miles)                      Falmouth, MA                  8/21       16th        40:46
World Mountain Running Championships     Sapareva Banya,Bulgaria  9/11      18th        43:49
              (U.S. Team Bronze Medal)

Hayden Hawks Race Results in 2016

Race Name                                                  Location                Date         Place     Time
UW Invitational Indoor 3K                          Seattle, WA            1/29          11th        8:05
Husky Invite 5K                                           Seattle, WA            2/12          12th      13:53
              (PR 13:51)
Big Sky Indoor Conference 3K                    Bozeman, MT        2/27           2nd         8:31
UC Riverside Invite 3K                                Riverside, CA        3/24           1st          8:25
Big Sky Outdoor Conference 10K                Greely, CO             5/11          2nd       30:50
(PR 28:53)
NCAA D1 West Preliminary 10K                  Lawrence, KS       5/26         41st        31:01
USATF Mountain Running Championships Lincoln, NH        7/3           4th         50:49
Collegiate Mountain Running National Championship         2nd        50:49
Speedgoat 50K                                              Snowbird, UT          7/9          1st     5:25:04
Siskiyou Outback 15K                                  Ashland, OR            7/23        1st CR  57:35
Jupiter Peak Steeplechase                              Park City, UT          7/30        1st CR 1:46:20
La Sportiva Mountain Cup Championship
World Mountain Running Championships   Sapareva Banya,Bulgaria 9/11 4th       1:05:02
              (U.S. Team Gold Medal)
St. George Marathon                                      St. George, UT         10/1      7th      2:23:01
Capstone 50K                                                 St. George, UT         11/12    1st CR 4:10:55
The North Face 50 Mile Endurance Challenge  San Francisco, CA 12/3    2nd      5:58:07
Ecogreen 50K Cerro Muerte                          San Jose, Costa Rica  12/17  1st CR 5:19:38

Collegiate Running Association Athletes of the Year
2016-     Bethany Sachtleben (Northern Virginia College, VA)
              Hayden Hawks (Southern Utah University, U)

2015-     Kellyn Taylor (Coconino College, AZ)
              Joseph Gray (Calvary Bible College, CO)

2014-     Megan Deakins Roche (Stanford University, CA)
              Tyler McCandless (Penn State University, PA)

The Collegiate Running Association (CRA) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded November, 2013  with a mission to promote healthy lifestyles among college students by providing and expanding  opportunities in the sport of running. The vision of the CRA is to offer national championship events in road, mountain, and trail running with prize money specifically reserved for college students that are open to all college students enrolled in at least one class. Since their first championship in 2014, the CRA has awarded over $64,000 in prize money specifically to college students in road, mountain and trail running events. Membership is open to the public (click here).

Contact:          Collegiate Running Association