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More than a sport

This weekend I enjoyed taking the boys cross country team to the Alexandria Meet of Champions. It is a memorable yearly tradition for this team which has participated since 1980. They go up on Friday, dress up for dinner and inspiration, and race on Saturday. If you are the resort operator, you have no regrets about renting rooms to these students. Teammates will not let each other get out of line. That's the good kind of peer pressure.

Runners, family and fans support one another. During the event, you see parents and fans cheering students from other schools while waiting for their own to pass by. Afterwards, as seen in the picture, teams gather to celebrate the event and recognize the top finishing individuals and teams.

Interesting to note. The boys cc team has its own 501c foundation. Along with donations, runners bag groceries, and do other fundraising events to help pay for most of the cost of these out of town trips. Crista Baierl Walsh, pictured leads that currently. Thank you for the team cap.

As I mentioned in a recent post, Stillwater is fortunate to have coaches who are legends in our state. In this sport, we are grateful to have Scott Christensen leading the team while taking them to this meet for 42 years. His winning record with numerous individual and team state champions has earned him a spot in the MN high school sports hall of fame.

Athletics like this are another good co-curricular investment that we make for our students. It is also worth repeating that when I hear our coaches address our athletes, I often hear much more than the sport itself getting discussed. I also hear of their expectation to represent themselves and our school in the best way possible. I think a sign of a great coach is being able to lead a team to be thoughtful and respectful community members, in addition to being great athletes.

Let's keep this going.

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