How hard is it to change a number?
11/04/2013 9:18:15 PM
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http://www.lex18.com/news/whitley-county-cross-country-runner-refuses-to-run-after-being-assigned-666-number/ How hard would it have been to give this young lady a new number? Too bad this had to happen. I applaud her resolve and dedication. Its too bad the meet officials could not see her point of view.
http://www.lex18.com/news/whitley-county-cross-country-runner-refuses-to-run-after-being-assigned-666-number/

How hard would it have been to give this young lady a new number? Too bad this had to happen. I applaud her resolve and dedication. Its too bad the meet officials could not see her point of view.
11/05/2013 3:02:42 PM
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I also applaud this student athlete.....issuing her a new number would have made too much sense and probably caused someone or an entity an extra few minutes. That number should never have been issued in the first place...common sense is lacking by many.
I also applaud this student athlete.....issuing her a new number would have made too much sense and probably caused someone or an entity an extra few minutes. That number should never have been issued in the first place...common sense is lacking by many.
11/05/2013 5:18:31 PM
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I appreciate the principles and convictions of this young lady, also the courage to stand up for her beliefs. sorry she wasn't allowed to run.
I appreciate the principles and convictions of this young lady, also the courage to stand up for her beliefs.

sorry she wasn't allowed to run.
11/05/2013 6:20:26 PM
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It seems that we, as adults, sometimes tend to stray from the principles that we defend for being involved in high school athletics in the first place. We claim that we are in this for the kids and teaching them ideals that will shape their lives and enable them to be responsible people as they melt into our communities. Yet in this particular situation, Miss Thacker has become the teacher. It takes a special, strong and very principled young lady to take such a public stand for her God-given morals. How many times have we as parents and coaches criticized kids for just going along with the crowd, not thinking for themselves, and compromising their convictions. I would be thrilled to have a team full of Codie Thackers. As for our officials, for the most part they do a nice job. It is easy, however, in any position of authority, to become a bit insensitive and allow your authority to override common sense. It seems a yearly pattern that in the tense atmospheres of Region and State races, our officials become more defensive and less hospitable. We should all remember that regardless of the power appointed to us or the title we happen to be wearing, we should be in this sport for the kids. Sometimes it takes a bit of inconvenience to be a servant.
It seems that we, as adults, sometimes tend to stray from the principles that we defend for being involved in high school athletics in the first place. We claim that we are in this for the kids and teaching them ideals that will shape their lives and enable them to be responsible people as they melt into our communities. Yet in this particular situation, Miss Thacker has become the teacher. It takes a special, strong and very principled young lady to take such a public stand for her God-given morals. How many times have we as parents and coaches criticized kids for just going along with the crowd, not thinking for themselves, and compromising their convictions. I would be thrilled to have a team full of Codie Thackers.

As for our officials, for the most part they do a nice job. It is easy, however, in any position of authority, to become a bit insensitive and allow your authority to override common sense. It seems a yearly pattern that in the tense atmospheres of Region and State races, our officials become more defensive and less hospitable. We should all remember that regardless of the power appointed to us or the title we happen to be wearing, we should be in this sport for the kids. Sometimes it takes a bit of inconvenience to be a servant.
11/06/2013 6:42:44 AM
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[quote=runupfront]It seems that we, as adults, sometimes tend to stray from the principles that we defend for being involved in high school athletics in the first place. We claim that we are in this for the kids and teaching them ideals that will shape their lives and enable them to be responsible people as they melt into our communities. Yet in this particular situation, Miss Thacker has become the teacher. It takes a special, strong and very principled young lady to take such a public stand for her God-given morals. How many times have we as parents and coaches criticized kids for just going along with the crowd, not thinking for themselves, and compromising their convictions. I would be thrilled to have a team full of Codie Thackers. As for our officials, for the most part they do a nice job. It is easy, however, in any position of authority, to become a bit insensitive and allow your authority to override common sense. It seems a yearly pattern that in the tense atmospheres of Region and State races, our officials become more defensive and less hospitable. We should all remember that regardless of the power appointed to us or the title we happen to be wearing, we should be in this sport for the kids. Sometimes it takes a bit of inconvenience to be a servant.[/quote] @runupfront First, I appreciate the fact that people stand up for their beliefs and principles. In an era of compromised values, it's good to see someone take a stand on something. I think that what gets lost in all of this, however, is the idea that every choice you make has a cost. I almost get the impression that people are saying there should be no cost for someone taking a stand. The problem is that this greatly dilutes the supposed heroism of the choice. If taking a stand didn't carry a cost, whether I agree with that cost or not, then it wouldn't be taking a stand. Worse yet, you'd start transforming these type of situations into something where people make choices - knowing that someone will cave. It seems to me that this young lady may be doing a better job of bearing that cost than some of her defenders. Second, it is not the officials who issue numbers. It's the job of the meet director to make decisions like that in conjunction with the meet entries/Hytek person. I don't know the circumstances of the decision that said they wouldn't re-issue a number to this girl. It could have been as simple as timing, I don't know. Should they have re-issued one? Yeah, in retrospect, I think so, but again - I don't know the circumstances. I realize the KHSAA came out later and said that if they knew it was for religious reasons, they'd have allowed a re-issue, but that's just the KHSAA covering their rear end. It's not difficult to re-issue a number, but it does take a moment. When you're running a "Super Regional" and are probably trying to do 100 things at once, it may not be something you just do unless there's a good reason for it. Third, officials are like smokers and meter maids - it's easy to criticize them and nobody usually rushes to their defense when the criticism occurs. I have never shied away from criticizing how a meet is run or anything related to that topic (just ask anyone who was on this forum about 6 or so years ago), but if someone unfairly criticizes another individual or (in my opinion) unfairly attempts to paint large groups of people a certain hue, I'll speak up. I rarely, if ever have problems with the officials at Regionals and State in terms of their being hospitable. There was some super-old dude who got way too grumpy with me once, and some big fish in a little pond guy at another meet, but that's 2 people (moreover - just 2 instances) out of hundreds of officials I've interacted with over the years. Personally, I find it very demeaning to characterize an apparently increasing number of people who spend as much as 8-10 hours at a meet in exchange for a fairly lame hat and some dinner money at Carrabba's as not being in it for the kids.
runupfront wrote:
It seems that we, as adults, sometimes tend to stray from the principles that we defend for being involved in high school athletics in the first place. We claim that we are in this for the kids and teaching them ideals that will shape their lives and enable them to be responsible people as they melt into our communities. Yet in this particular situation, Miss Thacker has become the teacher. It takes a special, strong and very principled young lady to take such a public stand for her God-given morals. How many times have we as parents and coaches criticized kids for just going along with the crowd, not thinking for themselves, and compromising their convictions. I would be thrilled to have a team full of Codie Thackers.

As for our officials, for the most part they do a nice job. It is easy, however, in any position of authority, to become a bit insensitive and allow your authority to override common sense. It seems a yearly pattern that in the tense atmospheres of Region and State races, our officials become more defensive and less hospitable. We should all remember that regardless of the power appointed to us or the title we happen to be wearing, we should be in this sport for the kids. Sometimes it takes a bit of inconvenience to be a servant.


@runupfront
First, I appreciate the fact that people stand up for their beliefs and principles. In an era of compromised values, it's good to see someone take a stand on something. I think that what gets lost in all of this, however, is the idea that every choice you make has a cost. I almost get the impression that people are saying there should be no cost for someone taking a stand. The problem is that this greatly dilutes the supposed heroism of the choice. If taking a stand didn't carry a cost, whether I agree with that cost or not, then it wouldn't be taking a stand. Worse yet, you'd start transforming these type of situations into something where people make choices - knowing that someone will cave. It seems to me that this young lady may be doing a better job of bearing that cost than some of her defenders.

Second, it is not the officials who issue numbers. It's the job of the meet director to make decisions like that in conjunction with the meet entries/Hytek person. I don't know the circumstances of the decision that said they wouldn't re-issue a number to this girl. It could have been as simple as timing, I don't know. Should they have re-issued one? Yeah, in retrospect, I think so, but again - I don't know the circumstances. I realize the KHSAA came out later and said that if they knew it was for religious reasons, they'd have allowed a re-issue, but that's just the KHSAA covering their rear end. It's not difficult to re-issue a number, but it does take a moment. When you're running a "Super Regional" and are probably trying to do 100 things at once, it may not be something you just do unless there's a good reason for it.

Third, officials are like smokers and meter maids - it's easy to criticize them and nobody usually rushes to their defense when the criticism occurs. I have never shied away from criticizing how a meet is run or anything related to that topic (just ask anyone who was on this forum about 6 or so years ago), but if someone unfairly criticizes another individual or (in my opinion) unfairly attempts to paint large groups of people a certain hue, I'll speak up. I rarely, if ever have problems with the officials at Regionals and State in terms of their being hospitable. There was some super-old dude who got way too grumpy with me once, and some big fish in a little pond guy at another meet, but that's 2 people (moreover - just 2 instances) out of hundreds of officials I've interacted with over the years. Personally, I find it very demeaning to characterize an apparently increasing number of people who spend as much as 8-10 hours at a meet in exchange for a fairly lame hat and some dinner money at Carrabba's as not being in it for the kids.
11/06/2013 2:57:07 PM
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Well professor, it sounds like you and I have pretty much been sitting around the same campfire there, cowboy. We both agree that Miss Thacker is a strong, principled young lady that should be applauded for standing by her convictions. We also agree that, "as for our officials, for the most part they do a nice job," as I stated in my earlier post. There are times for everyone when a reminder of what's at stake is in order. If we are big enough to take a little criticism and learn from it, that seems a winning situation. I have made numerous mistakes through my coaching career in my dealings with parents and athletes. Hopefully, I have been big enough to learn, correct mistakes, and move on. By the same token, if "criticism" was doled out and that particular shoe did not fit my foot, I didn't worry about trying to wear it. Especially in high stakes situations, like Regional and State Meet, the tension and stress is much higher. That passion helps make cross country in Kentucky a very healthy sport. We should expect our officials to be hospitable and accomodating. Their professionalism (or lack of) goes far in setting the tone of the meet. The point of the whole discussion is that Miss Thacker should have been issued a new number by the officials (and yes, a meet administrator is an official) and allowed to run. Regardless of how much or how little someone is paid, we owe it to the kids, coaches, and our sport to be fair and professional. By the way,in our profession, a meal at carabba's sound like a pretty decent payoff.
Well professor, it sounds like you and I have pretty much been sitting around the same campfire there, cowboy.

We both agree that Miss Thacker is a strong, principled young lady that should be applauded for standing by her convictions. We also agree that, "as for our officials, for the most part they do a nice job," as I stated in my earlier post.

There are times for everyone when a reminder of what's at stake is in order. If we are big enough to take a little criticism and learn from it, that seems a winning situation. I have made numerous mistakes through my coaching career in my dealings with parents and athletes. Hopefully, I have been big enough to learn, correct mistakes, and move on. By the same token, if "criticism" was doled out and that particular shoe did not fit my foot, I didn't worry about trying to wear it.

Especially in high stakes situations, like Regional and State Meet, the tension and stress is much higher. That passion helps make cross country in Kentucky a very healthy sport. We should expect our officials to be hospitable and accomodating. Their professionalism (or lack of) goes far in setting the tone of the meet.

The point of the whole discussion is that Miss Thacker should have been issued a new number by the officials (and yes, a meet administrator is an official) and allowed to run. Regardless of how much or how little someone is paid, we owe it to the kids, coaches, and our sport to be fair and professional. By the way,in our profession, a meal at carabba's sound like a pretty decent payoff.
11/06/2013 3:10:47 PM
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I think we are moving in the right direction. Two national headlines this year. I can't wait until track starts. Who said Kentucky was behind the curve.
I think we are moving in the right direction. Two national headlines this year. I can't wait until track starts. Who said Kentucky was behind the curve.
11/06/2013 7:47:30 PM
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Here is the KHSAA release about the incident http://ky.milesplit.com/articles/115537-khsaa-statement-on-whitley-county-runner
Here is the KHSAA release about the incident

http://ky.milesplit.com/articles/115537-khsaa-statement-on-whitley-county-runner
11/06/2013 7:54:30 PM
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http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/highschool-prep-rally/kentucky-cross-country-runner-pulls-regional-championships-rather-111318529.html We've gone viral.
http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/highschool-prep-rally/kentucky-cross-country-runner-pulls-regional-championships-rather-111318529.html

We've gone viral.
11/06/2013 9:36:15 PM
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I laugh when the khsaa representatives say they weren't clear why she didn't like the number 666 haha they are either dumb as a rock or lying because I think anybody would understand why she didn't like that number.
I laugh when the khsaa representatives say they weren't clear why she didn't like the number 666 haha they are either dumb as a rock or lying because I think anybody would understand why she didn't like that number.
11/07/2013 8:03:41 AM
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@jonathan A couple of things about the KHSAA statement. While it all might be factually true, there are a couple of things that don't pass the smell test. One has already been pointed out: given the number in question, how does anybody with any sense NOT know why the request was made to change it? The other is the whole "the coach had the numbers days prior to the meet" thing. While this is undoubtedly true because it's in our regional rules that the rosters have to be sent out at a certain time, I don't know of any coach who checks these lists for the actual numbers their kids were assigned. I sure don't. We look to make sure everybody is there and their names are spelled right. That's about it. So I don't think that holds much water. The timing of the request being too close to race time would be the only real reason to deny the request. Having said that, and noting that I commend the young lady for standing by her beliefs, I have to ask: why is this a national story? Pinning a randomly-assigned race number to your uniform is a pretty far cry from taking the mark of the beast. She has every right to refuse to wear it, but this doesn't become a story unless someone calls WKYT in Lexington looking for publicity.
@jonathan

A couple of things about the KHSAA statement. While it all might be factually true, there are a couple of things that don't pass the smell test. One has already been pointed out: given the number in question, how does anybody with any sense NOT know why the request was made to change it? The other is the whole "the coach had the numbers days prior to the meet" thing. While this is undoubtedly true because it's in our regional rules that the rosters have to be sent out at a certain time, I don't know of any coach who checks these lists for the actual numbers their kids were assigned. I sure don't. We look to make sure everybody is there and their names are spelled right. That's about it. So I don't think that holds much water. The timing of the request being too close to race time would be the only real reason to deny the request.

Having said that, and noting that I commend the young lady for standing by her beliefs, I have to ask: why is this a national story? Pinning a randomly-assigned race number to your uniform is a pretty far cry from taking the mark of the beast. She has every right to refuse to wear it, but this doesn't become a story unless someone calls WKYT in Lexington looking for publicity.
11/07/2013 8:54:00 AM
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IF the request for number change was really immediately prior to the start of the race,is it appropriate to make all other athletes wait while the number change occurs?
IF the request for number change was really immediately prior to the start of the race,is it appropriate to make all other athletes wait while the number change occurs?
11/07/2013 9:02:28 AM
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It is absolutely not appropriate to make the other athletes wait if the request was made at this time! With everything that goes into getting to the line, in terms of timing, from eating at the appropriate time, warming up, etc, any delays would be unfair to everyone else in the race.
It is absolutely not appropriate to make the other athletes wait if the request was made at this time! With everything that goes into getting to the line, in terms of timing, from eating at the appropriate time, warming up, etc, any delays would be unfair to everyone else in the race.
11/07/2013 9:44:13 AM
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At the risk of being called something even more creepy than cowboy, I'll make a final comment. There is a basic principle here that people are addressing, which is the willingness of officials to accommodate the requests of athletes and/or coaches. I've been in this sport a very long time and cannot think of one instance where a request like this, when presented in a timely and personable manner, has ever been refused. Maybe this is the first one, who knows, but I refuse to believe that someone like Gordon Bocock (or any other official I've ever met in this State) would not accommodate a request like this, even if he thought it was dumb, unless there was a very good reason for his saying no - like the timing of the request. And while the KHSAA's statement was obviously an attempt to cover their butts, there's no way this situation is an example of officiating run amok. My sincerest condolences to this young lady though, and I certainly wish her well in her quest to make State next year as that achievement obviously means a lot to her. If she qualifies, I'll make it a point to cheer her on.
At the risk of being called something even more creepy than cowboy, I'll make a final comment. There is a basic principle here that people are addressing, which is the willingness of officials to accommodate the requests of athletes and/or coaches. I've been in this sport a very long time and cannot think of one instance where a request like this, when presented in a timely and personable manner, has ever been refused. Maybe this is the first one, who knows, but I refuse to believe that someone like Gordon Bocock (or any other official I've ever met in this State) would not accommodate a request like this, even if he thought it was dumb, unless there was a very good reason for his saying no - like the timing of the request. And while the KHSAA's statement was obviously an attempt to cover their butts, there's no way this situation is an example of officiating run amok. My sincerest condolences to this young lady though, and I certainly wish her well in her quest to make State next year as that achievement obviously means a lot to her. If she qualifies, I'll make it a point to cheer her on.
11/07/2013 10:06:34 AM
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@jmil98765 I agree that the KHSAA's statement sounds as if they didn't know why the number change was requested....they are covering their tails. This is the 2nd time the KHSAA has made national news this fall with neither being for great reasons. I applaud the young lady for standing up for her beliefs. At the same time, the situation probably could have been handled better by her coach by requesting a number change prior to the meet, and the meet director/officials by being more flexible. At our particular region, there was more than enough time for something like this to be taken care of in between each of the divisions. It's certainly not hard, or time consuming, to go into Hytek Meet Manager and change a number. I would like to think they had extra bib numbers floating around somewhere on site. At that point it just became a matter of someone being willing to do it and they obviously were not.
@jmil98765 I agree that the KHSAA's statement sounds as if they didn't know why the number change was requested....they are covering their tails. This is the 2nd time the KHSAA has made national news this fall with neither being for great reasons. I applaud the young lady for standing up for her beliefs. At the same time, the situation probably could have been handled better by her coach by requesting a number change prior to the meet, and the meet director/officials by being more flexible. At our particular region, there was more than enough time for something like this to be taken care of in between each of the divisions. It's certainly not hard, or time consuming, to go into Hytek Meet Manager and change a number. I would like to think they had extra bib numbers floating around somewhere on site. At that point it just became a matter of someone being willing to do it and they obviously were not.
11/07/2013 11:00:18 AM
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1. Yes, she should have been allowed to change her number. It wouldn't have taken much time and as long as it wasn't immediately before the start, the change should have been made. 2. It's too bad somebody didn't sit down with her to talk about the number because maybe she could have made the choice to run anyways. As "the mark of the beast" in Rev 13, it was symbolic/representative of a man's name. A bib number is not. The issue is that some were forced to be marked with it in order to buy or sell. A bib number doesn't have anything to do with either. The "mark of the beast" was to be on the right hand or forehead. A bib number is on neither. Revelation is a highly symbolic book with dragons, beasts, plagues, stars, etc that are all symbolic of other things (I don't know a single Christian who thinks a literal dragon with a literal talking horn is going to one day appear). So the number 666 and the marking of it on hand and forehead is symbolic and not to be something taken in an ultra-literal way (for the Christians out there, see Ex 13:16. Or ask yourself if you think Solomon took the mark b/c he took 666 talents of gold - 1 Kng 10:14, or if Adonikam was the beast b/c he had 666 descendants - Ez 2:13). So, to take that number and say it would "risk your relationship with God" is not exactly an informed belief. It would imply you can't park in a parking spot with that number, eat fast food if the total comes to that number, finish a large road race in that place, etc... or else God will reject you. In fact, Rev 13 says the mark is "the name of the beast or the number of his name." Since most Christians wouldn't claim to know the name of the beast, shouldn't that mean they shouldn't wear anything that has a name (Nike, Tommy H, Toms, Ralph L, etc) on it? 3. I assume this young lady would say that within her faith, the intent of the heart matters (1 Sam 16:7, Rom 2:28-29, Jn 7:24, 2 Cor 5:12). That its not just literally saying the name of God (Rom 10:13) or being baptized (1 Pet 3:21) that "saves" a person. To my understanding, Christians say it is the inward intent of the heart, not some outward compliance that "saves" a person. If she holds to that as well, then wearing a bib with a randomly assigned number on it does not "risk her relationship with God." 4. Let me be clear, this next point is not a jab at the young lady. It is a jab at some of the news reports that said something like "if she would have won the Regional, it would have been her first trip to the State meet." This runner's best time this season was a 27-something. She was not going to win the Regional. Could she have helped her team qualify for state? Yes, and then as a team they would go. But to report that she was in the running for the individual Regional title is just plain inaccurate, misleading and an apparent attempt to sensationalize a story. 5. I applaud her for standing up and living out what she believes instead of "selling out" her faith for a race. It takes a strong conviction to do what she did. However, I do wish someone would have talked to her about it more so she could have perhaps made a more informed decision.
1. Yes, she should have been allowed to change her number. It wouldn't have taken much time and as long as it wasn't immediately before the start, the change should have been made.
2. It's too bad somebody didn't sit down with her to talk about the number because maybe she could have made the choice to run anyways. As "the mark of the beast" in Rev 13, it was symbolic/representative of a man's name. A bib number is not. The issue is that some were forced to be marked with it in order to buy or sell. A bib number doesn't have anything to do with either. The "mark of the beast" was to be on the right hand or forehead. A bib number is on neither. Revelation is a highly symbolic book with dragons, beasts, plagues, stars, etc that are all symbolic of other things (I don't know a single Christian who thinks a literal dragon with a literal talking horn is going to one day appear). So the number 666 and the marking of it on hand and forehead is symbolic and not to be something taken in an ultra-literal way (for the Christians out there, see Ex 13:16. Or ask yourself if you think Solomon took the mark b/c he took 666 talents of gold - 1 Kng 10:14, or if Adonikam was the beast b/c he had 666 descendants - Ez 2:13). So, to take that number and say it would "risk your relationship with God" is not exactly an informed belief. It would imply you can't park in a parking spot with that number, eat fast food if the total comes to that number, finish a large road race in that place, etc... or else God will reject you. In fact, Rev 13 says the mark is "the name of the beast or the number of his name." Since most Christians wouldn't claim to know the name of the beast, shouldn't that mean they shouldn't wear anything that has a name (Nike, Tommy H, Toms, Ralph L, etc) on it?
3. I assume this young lady would say that within her faith, the intent of the heart matters (1 Sam 16:7, Rom 2:28-29, Jn 7:24, 2 Cor 5:12). That its not just literally saying the name of God (Rom 10:13) or being baptized (1 Pet 3:21) that "saves" a person. To my understanding, Christians say it is the inward intent of the heart, not some outward compliance that "saves" a person. If she holds to that as well, then wearing a bib with a randomly assigned number on it does not "risk her relationship with God."
4. Let me be clear, this next point is not a jab at the young lady. It is a jab at some of the news reports that said something like "if she would have won the Regional, it would have been her first trip to the State meet." This runner's best time this season was a 27-something. She was not going to win the Regional. Could she have helped her team qualify for state? Yes, and then as a team they would go. But to report that she was in the running for the individual Regional title is just plain inaccurate, misleading and an apparent attempt to sensationalize a story.
5. I applaud her for standing up and living out what she believes instead of "selling out" her faith for a race. It takes a strong conviction to do what she did. However, I do wish someone would have talked to her about it more so she could have perhaps made a more informed decision.
11/07/2013 11:11:05 AM
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@redsteepler If someone was going to have religious theology conversation with the athlete, it was not the officials job to do this just before the race. Also, it looks like that team only had 3 runners total(the other two of which have slower times) so the article was perhaps even more off base in hyping the potential. However it is unclear what is necessary to qualify for state championships.
@redsteepler If someone was going to have religious theology conversation with the athlete, it was not the officials job to do this just before the race. Also, it looks like that team only had 3 runners total(the other two of which have slower times) so the article was perhaps even more off base in hyping the potential. However it is unclear what is necessary to qualify for state championships.
11/07/2013 11:17:20 AM
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I didn't mean to imply a race official having a theology discussion with her. I meant someone like her parents, pastor, etc...
I didn't mean to imply a race official having a theology discussion with her. I meant someone like her parents, pastor, etc...
11/07/2013 11:19:05 AM
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@redsteepler I was waiting for this exact post from you, Mr. Steepler! I knew you'd come through.
@redsteepler I was waiting for this exact post from you, Mr. Steepler! I knew you'd come through.
11/07/2013 4:27:10 PM
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Martin Luther said, "Here I stand, I can do no other." Maybe, that is the way she felt.
Martin Luther said, "Here I stand, I can do no other."

Maybe, that is the way she felt.

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