An event that traditionally indicates that the prep cross country season is fast approaching is back for its 35th year.
The Craig Spilinek Fremont High School Alumni Run is scheduled for Aug. 4. The alumni/open races — 5K and two-mile run — is set for 7 p.m. The 5K and two-mile events for high school and middle school boys and girls will follow at about 7:45.
“It has almost served like an annual reunion for us,” FHS boys cross country coach and event organizer Sean McMahon told the Tribune in 2017. “I know a lot of parents, whether or not their alumni son or daughter are running, like to come back and see the other parents that they know. It has turned into a fun event and I think people look forward to it for that reason.”
McMahon and FHS girls cross country coach Jake Smrcina will begin official practices two days later.
The race is conducted in memory of Spilinek, a 1979 FHS graduate who died in a non war-time military accident after high school. The Spilinek family and FHS coaches provide refreshments after the race.
In 2008, McMahon altered the style of the race in order to celebrate the team atmosphere of cross country. Different generations of alumni classes are organized to form the teams.
Teams will be formed in four-year increments. For example, Team 1 will be comprised of graduates from 1974, 1978, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018.
The top five finishers for each team will figure into the scoring. Medallion key chains will be awarded to each competing runner from the team that wins.
In 2017, Team “E” had six of the top seven finishers and won the team event. Andrew Jacob, a 2005 FHS graduate, won the 5K race in 16:31. Brock Hegarty and Jack Schulz, 2017 graduates, were second and third, respectively, in 16:39 and 16:40.
Preston Decker (16:52), Tito Gonzalez (16:55) and Sage Reiger (16:58) of the Class of 2017 were 5-6-7.
Cost for the middle/high school race is $12. The event is free to FHS cross country alumni. It is also free to adults in the open division, but it is $10 for a T-shirt.
Entries must be received by July 26. Checks should be made payable to the Fremont Track Club/CC and sent to: Sean McMahon; 2228 Teakwood Dr.; Fremont, NE 68025.
For more information, email McMahon at: firstname.lastname@example.org.