Athletes run distance like they’re running gassers for punishment

Phillies are running out of road
August 22, 2023

Running Down a Dream - I often write, “Runners don’t run for a cause but rather just because. It’s just impossible to predict what races hit big numbers and which ones do not.”

The Fire Fightin’ 5K in Rehoboth is an exception; many locals sign up to support Rehoboth fire and rescue. The fire station on Rehoboth Avenue is like a community clubhouse; it's a very welcoming place staffed by volunteers who are run ragged all summer. The first responders fly toward trouble to offer assistance. They have all seen some bad stuff, but on summer Sunday mornings in August the firehouse is a friendly place for a race to raise funds and have fun. Cape quarterback Jonny Howard and defensive back Rick Cooper walked out of the 1998  season of 9-1 to share memories of each game, play by play. Incredibly we all remembered the same highlights down to small details. They were talked into Sunday’s race by their mate from high school, Don Don Mitchell. Don Don doesn’t run, never in a hurry, he doesn’t even drive a car, only big trucks. He could back up a hook and ladder curbside on a city street without his pulse rate elevating. Jonny and Ricky ran to "just finish,” citing the obvious: “We’re athletes, not distance runners.” Athletes running distance  always look like they’re running gassers for punishment.

Phillies flop - ESPN offered a broadcast of the Phillies versus the Nationals in Williamsport, Pa., in front of 2,600 Little Leaguers and families, when the Phils go belly up and lose 4-3 dropping to 67-57 on the season. That’s 124 games played, leaving just 38 in the regular season. If the Phillies closed out 25-13, they would finish the season 92-70, the same as the Phillies of 1964. “Pleased to meet you, I hope you guessed my name, but what’s confusing you is the nature of my game.” (Rolling Stones). I was there in 1964, the year I learned that the words “Philly" and “collapse" both have two Ls, not to  be confused with the Market-Frankford El.

Bump and run - No more affirmative action, and legacies enjoying admissions preferences have fallen from favor, but there is still a system of international players bumping American-born athletes off college rosters. I’m not saying it's a bad idea – just wondering why it's never talked about.

Snippets - The University of Maryland’s field hockey team has three players from Delmar on the roster, including freshmen Josie Hollamon and Maci Bradford, who are first cousins, and Ashlyn Carr, a graduate student who had a successful career at the University of Delaware. Alia Marshall is back at Northwestern for another season playing as a graduate student. Noelle Sabbagh from Cape is a sophomore on the University of Delaware field hockey team joining Morgan Bradford, a junior from Delmar. There are seven international players on the Delaware squad. Sam Connors (Cape) is a sophomore at Appalachian State. Sommer Dorman (Cape) is a sophomore on the Lock Haven field hockey team. The Bald Eagles have a new head coach, Anna Rodgers, who replaces Pat Rudy, who retired after 27 years as head coach at the Haven.

Lifted from a 2019 column Snippets section: “Like a fat gibbon, I’m going out on the shaky limb and saying the state of Delaware has put more field hockey players in college programs than any other sport. Cape alone had 14 athletes playing on a college team this season. Cape’s Adele Mears played on Old Dominion national title teams in 1982, ‘83 and ‘84. Carrie Lingo was on the 1997 North Carolina title team. Robin Adair and Donna Peck played on the 1986 Salisbury Division III title team. Amanda “Dewey” Deloy was a starter all four years at Bloomsburg and played on Division II title teams in 2007, ‘08 and ‘09. Jody Boyer was on the 2018 Shippensburg title team. Sydney Ostroski was a member of a West Chester D2 national championship team. Lisa Klopp Kammerer, aunt of Darby Klopp, played on the Lock Haven Division 1992 and ‘94 National Championship teams. Lisa was a first-team All-American, and her high school coach at Sussex Central was Debbie Windett.  

Mackinzie Brown (Cape) is a freshman on the William and Mary field hockey team. Ryan Baker (Cape) is a freshman at Lehigh University, running cross country and majoring in engineering. There are 10 engineering majors on the team. You wonder what mental calculations these athletes make while pushing the pain barrier over eight kilometers. Don’t let calculus get the best of us. Go on now, git!   

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