CSU Viking cross country update

Back on August 27, 2010 I wrote an account of the amazing Cleveland State cross country teams from the late 70s/early 80s. It can be found here:

http://rocknrollrunner.blogspot.com/2010/08/when-vikings-ran-wild-in-flats.html

Much of the information was found on a blog called Gone But Not Forgotten, which is published by a former CSU runner Mike Sajovie. He recently got back to me:

I think you posted “When Vikings Ran Wild in the Flats” a while ago, but I wanted to say thank you for the nice comments you wrote about my post “Gone But Not Forgotten” from Mike’s Cleveland Blog. My name is Mike Sajovie and I graduated from CSU in 1990. I was on the cross country and track teams from 1986-87, before switching over to road racing and training full time for the marathon my last few years of college. I have fond memories of cross country at CSU and still can’t believe that men’s cross country hasn’t existed since 1993 at the school. My blog is very inactive but I still check back from time to time, and that’s when I noticed your blog. It is very nice. It’s good to see people my age still out there competing. I no longer log the serious miles but I still read up on the local running scene as I still live in the Cleveland area with my wife and daughters. Keep up the good work on your blog, and keep running.

There is a nice photo of Marc Hunter running in the 1978 NCAA XC championship. Visit:
http://runningentertainment.com/runningshots26.html. It is the 11th photo on this page. He is running between Rudy Chapa of Oregon and Henry Rono of Washington State. I think it was from Sports Illustrated. Cool stuff!

Thanks so much. The image Mike mentioned is posted above. Marc is the guy in the green singlet and green and white candy stripe shorts. Only guy wearing a singlet! It was 18F that day!

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One comment

  1. I was snooping around the Internet and found your blog, Ben, and also your 2011 comments, Mike. I thought I should give a long-winded, late 2018 update on Ohio’s finest, the one and only Marc Hunter (my friend).

    Mike, that photo from the 1978 NCAA XC meet was from Sports Illustrated, as you thought. When I befriended Marc at the office a few years ago and learned of his past, I clearly remembered that photo and the accompanying article (back when SI still reported on the sports of XC and T&F). There were some big names in that race — Henry Rono, Alberto Salazar, Rudy Chapa, Thom Hunt, Mike Musyoki, and more…and not forgetting one Marc Hunter, too. He “only” finished 6th, after his 4th the year before, and it really ate at him because he said he felt he’d squandored a golden opportunity to win. I’d only tossed the old SI in the recycle bin a couple of months before meeting Marc, but I, too, found it on-line. I shiver looking at the image — it was 18 degrees and breezy that day.

    Marc continues to be a national name in distance running, now as the coach (with wife Joan) at Loudoun Valley High School in Purcellville, VA, where they reside. Last December the LVHS boys set an all-time low score (low score wins in cross country) in handily winning the Nike Cross Country National Championship (NXN) in Portland, Oregon. They have been ranked #1 in the US all of this current cross country season and are hoping to return to Portland to vie for another championship on Dec 1st. The boys have dominated in high school track and cross country competition in Virginia and nationally ever since the Hunters became the coaches in . Just last Saturday they won another State Meet, and the girls, also a force to be reckoned with in VA in track and cross country, won the XC State Meet for the very first time after three straight second places.

    I can’t forget to mention his boys — Drew and his younger brother, Jacob, both star runners. Drew, one of the greatest American high school runners ever, was named the Gatorade Boys’ National High School Cross Country Runner of the Year in early 2016 after his undefeated late 2015 cross country season (which included his by-a-landslide win in the Foot Locker National Championship race in San Diego). That winter Drew destroyed the all-time indoor boys’ high school record in the 3000m and then, twice, he did the same in the mile, becoming the 8th high schooler ever to break 4:00. His performances in national high school track competition are legendary. He went on to run sub-4 miles three times in high school before giving up his University of Oregon athletic scholarship to accept an unprecedented 10-year pro contract with adidas. Still only 21, he has performed admirably, so far, as a pro while calling Boulder, CO his home.

    Marc and Joan’s son Jacob, currently a senior at Loudoun Valley, has been a stalwart on his school’s teams, as well, and an individual state champion on the track. A key runner on last December’s national championship XC team, Jacob has delivered again this season. Last Saturday he finished second behind a teammate in the VA State XC Championship. He was a member of two indoor national championship-winning relay teams in March 2018, one of which (4 x mile) broke the national record, while the other (4 x 800) was the 2nd fastest all-time.

    I should add that Drew broke Alan Webb’s national indoor mile record; Alan still holds the outdoor national high school record, as well as the all-time American record in the mile. And guess what? As a freshman in high school in Reston, VA, Alan’s coaches were Marc and Joan, but the Hunters stepped aside from coaching to raise their huge family (4 biological children — including Drew and Jacob — and 5 adopted kids) before returning four? years ago to guide Loudoun Valley boys and girls to consistent success.

    Lastly, I know Marc is very fond of his roots, including Brunswick High and Cleveland State, and he does long for the Indians to go all the way. Hope springs eternal. I went to college in MA and lived in Boston and in Rhode Island, so I tend to root for the Red Sawx, BUT I’d really love to see the Indians get the monkey off of their backs by winning the World Series.

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