Passing the baton

Thirteen years ago, head cross country and track coach Megan Capewell asked me if I would consider being her assistant coach. I accepted the offer without hesitation. She was building a team and running program based on belonging. I witnessed these results up close. My son, Lucas, decided to go out for XC his freshman year. He was one of slowest runners on the team, but his new coach and teammates treated him as if he were one of the fastest. He quickly found where he belonged as a new high school student—a parent’s dream. Running soon turned into training and he was now the one welcoming and encouraging new team members each year. Megan and I eventually switched roles and I became head coach. Over the years, I’ve tried to build and develop what she started: a team that is open to everyone and a place where anyone can belong. Leg speed does not matter, but a desire to improve is essential. Aerobic capacity is secondary to how much of your heart you are willing to share with your teammates. Winning races and championships are nice, but what will remain are the relationships forged while doing long runs with teammates at Valley Green and when bonding at races.

I have no doubt that the LMXC tradition of belonging will continue. Neal Berman has been assistant coach for several years and is now taking over as head coach. He was a senior when I became assistant coach. When he was a student at LM, I know that he found a home on the team and has helped others do the same as a coach. As I leave coaching, I’m filled with gratitude for those who helped me find my place at LM. Seniors, I hope the same for you, and that you leave knowing what it means to belong. Go Aces—you belong!

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