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Letter to the Editor: Thanks, coach

— More coaches

To the editor:

I would like to take this opportunity to thank sports writer Ray Rodriguez and The Chronicle for their excellent coverage of The Dalles Wahtonka’s cross country 2013 season. However, I believe that it is important to give credit where credit is due.

Although I have the title of head cross country coach, there are three coaches involved and we work together as a team to help each runner achieve their personal goals.

Coach Robert Clark is both a teacher at the high school and an excellent volunteer coach. It has also been my pleasure to coach with Mandi (Fitz-Gustafson) Williams. If you have followed the paper’s coverage, you will know that several of our runners continued to train through this month. However, you may not realize that the coach accompanying the runners both to the California Food Locker meet and the Texas Junior Olympics meet was Coach Williams.

Recent quotes regarding the runners’ performances, as well as contributed photos and descriptions of the courses, should have been attributed to Mandi. She qualified and ran these courses as a high school athlete and was instrumental in encouraging this year’s group of runners to participate. Already employed as a fulltime nurse at MCMC, she gave up two weekends of her own time to accompany, coach and encourage these runners at the two events.

Coach Clark was also part of the postseason coaching.

As coaches, we believe in the importance of teamwork. A great deal of our success this year was due to these two excellent coaches and the time and effort they contributed to our season.

Bob Thouvenel

The Dalles

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