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For the love of running

Will Hanigan, Sports Writer

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Bring yourself back to the fifth grade and the yearly mile run. Many kids realize they detest running during the following six to ten minutes. Others, like Mrs. Bridget Lemker, Xavier math teacher, and cross country coach first found her love of running in those first few steps of that elementary school mile run. This mile run sparked a lifetime love of the sport, spanning a high school and college career, and now extending into coaching.

“I noticed running the mile in elementary that I was always way in front of the other kids,” Lemker said. “My P.E. coach advised I get involved in road races and stuff like that, so I did.”

Running is a very popular hobby throughout the world and can be enjoyed by people from all walks of life. Although some may question the enjoyment one can get out of running for three miles straight or more, there are many aspects to running that someone can enjoy, especially in a team environment. Lemker ran in college at Wartburg and formed lifelong friendships there.

“I made my best friends through running, and I still am very close to all of them,” Lemker said. “Running is more than just a sport.”

With Lemker already having worked with many of the cross country girls as the assistant coach, she is already familiar with many of the long distance track runners. Often long distance track runners, and cross country runners do both sports due to their similarity. For this reason, Lemker was eager to be around the girls she coached this past fall. Head track and cross country coach Bryan Jones is eager to have her back.

“I want her on full time, but it’s nice to have her run with us every so often,” Jones said. “All of the girls already love her after working with them on the cross country team. I know she has a lot of qualities that can help the team, and we can’t wait for the season to get started.”

Lemker, who blames her schedule with preventing her from coaching full time, will continue to run with the girls whenever she can. Track season is already up and running, with practices having been under way for several weeks now. The first meet takes place tonight, Thursday, March 8, at Cornell College where the distance runners will look to show how much Mrs. Lemker has helped them. The meet begins at 4 p.m.

Will Hanigan

Sports Writer

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For the love of running