Strongsville Fleet Feet Cross Country Invitational: The Non-Runners Who Ran The Event

Julia Isham


While the athletes ran through their routines and the races, non-runners ran the show behind the scenes at the Strongsville Fleet Feet Cross Country Invitational on Saturday, September 24. Parents, coaches, officials, administrators, and other residents of Strongsville came together as early as six in the morning to set up the course, hospitality room, timing system, bathrooms, and so much more.  Runners arrived at seven-thirty and the crowds came flooding in at nine, but the volunteers were ready. Among the administrators were Principal, Bill Wingler, and Athletic Director, Denny Ziegler. They ushered runners to the water station at the finish line, handed out awards after the races, and helped those who needed assistance from the trainers. They represented Strongsville staff proudly and showed what being a Mustang Leader is all about. Another “runner,” who was a real MVP when it came to the  organization of the Invite, is the Head Strongsville Cross Country Coach, Lou Styles. He measured the course nearly six times to ensure fairness in times and places. Not to mention, on race day, he ran to watch his athletes race, took their splits throughout the course, and then ran all the way back to the finish to congratulate them and other school’s runners. Angela Spilker, Assistant Strongsville Cross Country Coach, also contributed to running the Invite with her team spirit and helped herd runners through the finish line through all varsity, open, and middle school races. In addition, none of this could have been accomplished without the help of athletes’ parents who volunteered. The parent volunteers were led by Mrs. Spronz and Mrs. Nutitaus who spent their Saturday making sure the meet ran smoothly and that coaches and athletes were cared for by setting up and running the hospitality room and helping with food truck organization. The Mustang community is strong at Strongsville High School, and it shows, not only in Strongsville Athletes’ sportsmanship, but also in families’ and administrators’ devotion to school events.

Mr.Wingler (Principal) greeting runners at the finish line at the Strongsville XC Invite

Mr.Ziegler (AD) and other administrators helping with awards at the Strongsville XC Invite

Coach Styles (Head Strongsville XC Coach) helping set up timing system at the Strongsville XC Invite