Guest Column: Fremont’s Cross Country Legacy Continues
By Don Klingel
In this, the age of negativity, let's explore something positive. I could be accused of bias on this subject, because I am a proud alumnus of Fremont High School Cross Country. You may not be aware of the history of this sport in our community. I'd like to present an archive of the accomplishments of these fine young athletes.
Over the past 40 years, under coaches Rich Tompkins and Cliff Somers, our boys' teams have won 8 State Championships, and...
...have been runners up a total of 5 times. At one point our boys' teams won the regional meet 10 years in a row.
We had many meets along the way in which the first 5 runners across the finish line were ours, a perfect score. With the ebb and flow of talent, and numbers of athletes who can be convinced that this is a worthy investment of time and effort, it is hard to believe that 2 coaches could achieve such results. I know from personal experience the commitment required to be a distance runner. Many of our past and all of our current runners train year-round to get to this level of fitness. Cross Country runners often use the distance races in track to train for the next season.
On Saturday Nov. 5, at MIS in Brooklyn Michigan, our boy’s team placed 2nd to a tough team from Corunna, in spite of the fact that we placed our top 5 runners in the top 30 in the team race. There were 27 teams with 7 runners on each team. It is tough to accept that one's goal and focus for the last year could not be achieved.
Our current group of runners is possibly the best team in our schools' history, having gone from runners-up, to champions, and back to runners up in 3 years time.
The only comfort I could offer these guys was that there were 25 other schools that would gladly swap with them for a 2nd place finish.
So if you happen to meet one of these fine young men or their family members, congratulate them, and acknowledge their great efforts and commitment to the dynasty that is Fremont Cross Country.
Don Klingel (FHS Class of ‘77) is a local businessman and cross country aficionado who knows a bit about the long run of success enjoyed by the Packer harriers over the years. He was on the 1976 team that brought home the first of the 8 state championship trophies the school has collected.
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