Saturday, May 30, 2020

Episode 43: Congrats to and Wisdom from GRADS, featuring Katalina Cunningham & Trey Morris

Episode 43 is available on most podcast Apps, including Google, Spotify, Apple and Anchor...

In this episode we take time to listen to the experiences of two recent high school graduates, who are sure to inspire. You will definitely feel both of our guests' passion to serve in their chosen field and goal-setting vision far beyond this Spring semester, and wisdom far beyond their years, which perhaps has carried their positivity and made them such stellar models for peers during this difficult time.  

Katalina Cunningham has taken part in a 3 year preparatory Biomedical program and enrolled as a full time dual enrollment with Winter Park High School earning college credit the last two years. She is also Salutatorian of her high school and has some advice about finding body-mind-spirit balance and engaging in family time & family fitness during isolation. She also shares a few ways that the Class of 2020 are memorable and unique, a defining gift that will be carried with them throughout life. Rather than seeing Covid19 as being denied things, her attitude is much more about abundance, "How can we creatively change and start new traditions?", which perhaps was so at many other high schools and a good practice for all of our institutions. You will definitely feel her passion for the future and desire to serve in this podcast, including a dream to work with Doctors without Borders. We wish her all the best at Rollins College and beyond!  Listen to her Speech on Youtube

Trey Morris (far left) is also looking forward, to a career of service in the US military as an officer.  Due to enter West Point this fall, his fitness and leadership have ultimately led him towards seeking to share his gifts in this way. Having been an excellent high school runner at Berkeley Prep and finished in the top XC runners in the state of Florida, he knows that endurance and goal setting will transfer to other areas of his collegiate and professional life. He also notes the small window of opportunity and magic that is necessary to pull together diverse individuals, and believes that the energy of a team working towards a goal is one that has the potential to apply to many other areas of life, providing motivation and passion. Overall, Trey offers some wisdom to others treading this path behind him, about the importance of hard work and sticking with it, as well as supporting one another in difficult times. Trey has been both his XC and track teams' captain, and says he "had the privilege of spending four years with an incredibly tight team". We wish him luck at the United States Military Academy (USMA), and in all his future service!


Hope this helps and inspires many going through the same!

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Friday, May 22, 2020

Episode 42: Outstanding Coaches & Teachers Tribute, featuring CJ Albertson & Adriane Wunderlich

Episode 42 is available on most podcast Apps, including Apple, Google, Anchor and Spotify!

CJ Albertson, nearing US Olympic Trials Marathon finish...

CJ Albertson has a number of accolades in his personal running career, but perhaps the ones he is proudest of are from his home town in Fresno, where he continues to coach or run almost every distance event available. He is Clovis Community College's head Cross Country and Track coach, and in this episode shares his experience transitioning to coaching and teaching- as well as how current pandemic has effected both and young runners, as well as what we can do. His positive attitude and competitiveness shine through, which is how this Clovis Community College track/cross country coach took 7th place in the US Olympic Trials this past February, and earned him a world record for the indoor marathon. He set the indoor marathon record April 13, 2019 in New York, completing 211 laps around the 200-meter track at The Armory's New Balance Track & Field Center in 2 hours 17 minutes 59.4 seconds.

CJ is a tenacious in all he does, including academics. Not only a trainer and coach, he now dons the title of professor, teaching in his field of Health and Science at the community college level. He shares some of the advice he has gathered about maintaining balance as a student athlete, and finding ones fullest potential as a runner. Lastly, we should note that Albertson has been signed over the past weeks by Brooks Running, which will allow him to continue his training as a professional athlete and Olympic hopeful well into the future!

Another amazing engaged teacher/coach, Adriane Wunderlich continually uses her position as an educator to reach out to potential athletes and educate with body-mind-spirit holistically. Adriane attended Indiana State University as an undergrad, where she ran varsity track and cross country, and went on to obtain her MA in Kinesiology & Exercise Science from Indiana State. She was called to move south, and went on to coach at both St. Leo University and Texas A&M University in assistant coaching roles. Currently she is at Tampa Catholic High School, as head Cross country and Track coach for both men's and women's teams, and has been there for the past 3 years. Overall, she explains how experience is the best teacher, and how suffering can be a great teacher, particularly when distance runners push themselves to serve a higher good, team or reflection.

Why so diversely engaged with students? She wanted this to be a part of her legacy and career. Because of this commitment, she returned to school to obtain her masters degree in theology, hoping to make her impact on youth more than just athletics, and be able to use faith as a jumping off point in both her teaching in the classroom and coaching on the field. Adriane shares why this time is especially difficult for some of her runners and the track team she was rebuilding, but also the creative ways in which students are coping. She also talks about the multitude of ways that the high school is honoring seniors and giving them a place to feel the weight of their accomplishments and culmination of the right of passage to college for so many.  

Links shared for young runners to explore teams, colleges and training:

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Recent Articles on Albertson's US Olympic Trials and World Record:

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Episode 41: High School Senior and FL State Champ Ethan Geiger

Episode 41 is available on most podcast Apps, including Google, Apple, Spotify and Anchor

Geiger near the finish line, FLRunners Invitational

This episode is the first in our series listening to the experiences of coaches and high school/collegiate runners across the United States, and exploring how the pandemic has affected their lives, as well as lessons learned and encouragement they have garnered during this difficult time, to share with others.

Ethan Geiger (Robinson High School) had a record setting 2019 cross country season, and was set to have another this Spring in the 3200, aiming to break 9:00. However, Covid19 and the early closing of his Senior season after just 5 meets has left many question marks for him and his teammates, and all Senior athletes hoping to transition to a collegiate career this fall across the US. Additionally, due to the recruitment cycle and importance of accomplishment in Junior year of track and field, many high school athletes have been left in limbo as to what their college prospects will be next year.  Geiger shares in this episode what it is like balancing all of these concerns, encouraging fellow students now but yet looking forward to next year at the University of Florida. He tells us about his expectations for running collegiate track and cross country, which he will be a part of at UF.  

His individual cross country state title time was 15:26.35 on the Apalachee Regional Park course.  He was also named the Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Florida,and competed and won many other accolades over the past two years; Race of Champions, FSU Pre-State Invitational winner and setting several other course records in the state of Florida.  However, perhaps his best attribute is his hard working attitude and humble approach to leadership, which comes through in this podcast interview.  We wish him and all his fellow students the best of graduations possible!

Links to further information, articles about Geiger:
Have an inspiring student athlete or coach in your life, perhaps a story to share? 
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