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!


Notes
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
                          www.CollegiateRunning.org
                          info@collegiaterunning.org

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
                         www.CollegiateRunning.org
                         info@collegiaterunning.org

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Richmond Cross Country Announces 2016 Honorees

Miles Clikeman (FR), Alex Lucking (JR), Kylie Regan (JR) and Claire Brown (FR)

Following the cross country season we announced honorees for the fall cross country season:

Cross Country Announces 2016 Honorees

UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND, Va. – The University of Richmond Spiders Director of Track and Field and Cross Country, Lori Taylor and Head Men’s Coach, Steve Taylor and staff announced the 2016 honorees today.

CROSS COUNTRY
Female Rookie of the Year: Claire Brown
"Claire had a great freshmen season which was highlighted by her All-Conference performance at the Atlantic 10 Championships and helping secure the Spiders Atlantic 10 Conference Championship title. Along with being named the Atlantic 10 Conference Rookie of the Week twice this season she also excelled in the classroom and was our top freshman in every regular season meet this fall.  I am excited to see Claire use the experience she gained during the fall semester to realize her competitive potential during the indoor and outdoor track seasons."—Coach Lori Taylor

Female Athlete of the Year: Kylie Regan

"Kylie has become a strong leader within our program on the course, in the classroom and beyond. She took a leadership role last year and expanded upon that leadership this fall.  Collectively, through her leadership and performance she was a key to our team winning back-to-back Atlantic 10 Conference Championship titles. She earned Atlantic 10 All-Conference honors leading the team to a 1-5 split under five seconds and led the way throughout the race. Her confidence continues to grow and it will be fun to watch her reach a new level during the winter and spring track & field seasons."
-- Coach Lori Taylor

Male Rookie of the Year: Miles Clikeman
"Miles made excellent progress this fall and showed he is willing to train hard and push his limits in training. He remained healthy throughout the season and excelled in the classroom. He was our top freshman in every meet he competed in this fall, earned Atlantic 10 Conference Rookie of the Week honors twice and his sub twenty-five effort for five miles in Sacramento, California was one of the best marks for freshmen in the league.  I'm excited about how quickly he adapted to the training and the increase in college race distance. We look forward to his continued progress this spring."—Coach Steve Taylor

Male Athlete of the Year: Alex Lucking
"Alex led our team in three meets and took on a huge leadership role this fall. Even though an injury cut his fall race schedule short, he still maintained an active role in our season. His best race was in Sacramento before the injury and although he was not at his best, in terms of health, he still led our team at the Atlantic 10 Conference Championships. As we look ahead to the winter and spring he will focus on the U.S. Cross Country Championships in Bend, Oregon in February and the Collegiate 10K Road Race National Championships in April."-- Coach Steve Taylor

For all the latest news and coverage on Richmond cross country and track & field, be sure to go to RichmondSpiders.com.

More in-depth coverage can be found by following the Spiders  on TwitterFacebookInstagram and SkyPixel. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10K to host 2017 and 2018 Collegiate 10k Road Race National Championships


We couldn't be more excited to extend the Collegiate Running Association (CRA) partnership with the Sports Backers Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10K presented by Kroger through 2017 and 2018. The Ukrop's 10K is one of the four largest 10K races in the U.S. and is a destination event for runners of all ages and abilities. Although the CRA is known as the only organization in the nation offering events open to the public with prize money specifically reserved for college students, our events and event partnerships appeal to runners with a vast range of abilities. From social runner to the ultra competitive, the events hosting our championships offer something for everyone.  In our first three years we have awarded, through our championship events, over $64,000 in prize money to college students.

Even though we have awarded a large amount in prize money to college students in our first 3 years, I continue to be amazed how many people are unaware of the NCAA legislation changes allowing D1 student-athletes to accept prize money to cover their sport related expenses over a full calendar year. The legislation went into affect in August 2013 (see specific legislation here) and yet there are still folks who do not know the legislation changed. It gets frustrating for sure. It's a shame since it's hurting D1 college students who are permitted to legally accept prize money to cover their annual sport related expenses.

The CRA is committed to expanding opportunities for college students.  As our many followers know, the NCAA covers cross country and track & field without offering opportunities in road, mountain or trail running. While USATF covers all disciplines, their divisions are split mostly by age [youth, junior (U20), senior and master (40+LDR)]. With these classifications there was a need for an organization offering specific championship and participation opportunities to college students in road, mountain and trail running.  We also felt there was a need to help bridge the gap between traditional college and post undergraduate competition while awarding prize money to provide additional incentive for competitive runners to continue their education during and after exhausting NCAA eligibility.

As a non-profit 501c3 organization our mission is to expand opportunities and promote healthy lifestyles among college students while offering public events dedicated to providing a great experience to all the participants.  The Ukrop's 10K offers all of this and more.

We have lived in the Richmond area for the past 15 years and have watched the metro area transform under the umbrella of running races, most noteably the Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10K.  With upwards of 35,000 participants, more and more people make the race part of their New Year's resolution; training for the race under grey winter skies while looking ahead to the spring event. Training groups come together, especially on weekends, to prepare for completing the race. Some people test their limits pressing to achieve a personal best while others aim to simply finish the 6.2 miles.  Regardless of the race day result, the Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10K's magic is how it brings people together and how it transforms our community. The stories are nearly endless. Stories of every day people who have overcome obstacles to get to the start line and more importantly, the finish line. We see the changes in this community and the healthy, active community it has become.

Our many thanks to the Ukrop's family for their community support and many contributions they have given to make a great RVA. Our deep appreciation to Sports Backers for giving the CRA the opportunity to partner with such an amazing, community event and providing college students opportunities while giving them a chance to see what our region has to offer.  It's obvious when you visit Richmond it's an ActiveRVA with many trails, the James River and where running plays a healthy role of bringing people together.        

Below is an announcement we released today detailing the Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10K hosting the Collegiate 10K Road Race National Championships for the next two years (2017 and 2018):


The Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10K in Richmond, Virginia
has hosted the Collegiate 10K Road Race National Championships
in 2014, 2015 and 2016.  In today's announcement the race extended its
partnership and will host the championships in 2017 and 2018.

In the first three years the Collegiate 10K Road Race Championships
have attracted over 7,000 students from across the U.S. and
awarded $30,000 in prize money specifically reserved for college students.
The Ukrop's 10K is the first race in the U.S. to reserve prize money
specifically for college students.
November 27, 2016 - RICHMOND, VA The Richmond Sports Backers announced today the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k presented by Kroger will serve as host to the Collegiate  Running Association’s 2017 and 2018 Collegiate 10K Road Race National Championships. This will mark the fourth and fifth consecutive years the best and brightest college students will turn their focus to Richmond as a destination for the annual event.

“The Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10K is one of the biggest and best road races in the U.S. and we could not be more thrilled to extend our partnership with this event and the Richmond Sports Backers to bring college athletes to Richmond,” said Collegiate Running Association co- founder Jon Molz. “The Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10K has been a cornerstone for our national championships and a destination for top college runners, along with social runners, for the past three years. The commitment to host the Collegiate National Championships in both 2017 and 2018 gives students from across the nation the opportunity to plan and schedule this event as part of their spring schedules for the next two years. We are dedicated to helping it grow. The amazing opportunities for runners, both social and competitive, are what make this event so special.”

"We are very excited to partner with the Collegiate Running Association to bring the 2017 and 2018 10k Road Race National Championship back to Richmond," said Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10k Event Director Meghan Keogh. "The Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10k is one of our signature events and a great way to further Sports Backers' mission of encouraging active lifestyles and creating fitness opportunities. It's great to work with an organization like the Collegiate Running Association that shares these goals, and we look forward to great events in 2017 and 2018."

Over 7,000 college students have registered for the Monument Avenue 10k over the last three years, and there has been a substantial elite presence at the front of the fields as well. On the men’s side, 2016 Olympic Games 5K Silver medalist Paul Chelimo, who captured the first U.S. Olympic medal in the event since the 1968 Olympic Games, won back in 2014; Joe Gray, the 2016 World Mountain Running Champion, won in 2015. Kellyn Johnson, a two-time champion on the women’s side (2014 & 2015), recently finished 4th in the 2016 Olympic Trials in the 10,000m and 6th in the 2016 Olympic Trials Marathon.

“Our Collegiate Running Association mission is to create new opportunities for all college students who enjoy running and active, healthy lifestyles,” said Collegiate Running Association president Steve Taylor. “Our vision includes elite runners, club runners, and social runners all converging at the same road, mountain and trail running events. Since the first year our dream has become reality at the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k and we could not be more excited and dedicated to this event and everything it offers participants. This is not just a race, it’s a huge social event with an electric atmosphere.”

As the first road race with prize money reserved specifically for college students, the 2014, 2015 and 2016 Collegiate Running Association 10k Road Race National Championships attracted a slew of highly decorated runners enrolled in college classes across the country as they battled for a $10,000 prize purse. In 2017 and 2018 the streets of Richmond will once again welcome the nation’s college students for an amazing view of the city. Whether you are looking for social or competitive opportunities, the 2017 Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10K will provide it all.