I never realized how important a coach can be in the life of a student athlete until this year.
This year was my first year of going into cross country. My main motivator was my coach, who pushed me to my limits and challenged me. Not only did he make sure I was doing my best with practice and competing, but he also made sure that I was doing well in school and was genuinely concerned with health problems that kept me from competing.
During my time off, he helped explain the college recruiting process and all the steps it takes to be an collegian athlete. With his help, I was able to find ways to contact colleges and get offers to run for schools. He was very excited for me when he learned I was signing with Western Oregon.
Again, he is pushing me in my track season, and I'm very grateful to have people who care about me as a student as well as an athlete.
I'm excited for the next four years to come, and I can honestly say I will miss my cross country and track family.
SAMANTHA COWAN, Pasco