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Thursday night join us on WHKY Sports Talk, as we talk to John Hall about the upcoming United Way Unifour Cross Country Invitational. We will also talk high school football, Lenoir-Rhyne and Appalachian State sports and more, on WHKY Sports Talk, Thursday night at 7pm, on 1290 WHKY and whky.com.
The 23rd annual United Way Cross Country Invitational will feature its normal array of more than 30 high school teams and some 800 runners, but this year there will be even more excitement at Southside Park in Newton on the afternoon of October 14.
Coach Jim White and his wife, Cheryl, the real-life heroes of the movie, McFarland USA, will be on hand to encourage athletes, coaches and fans to get involved in a new community service effort for first-third graders.
McFarland USA, starring Kevin Costner, is the true story of a coach who lifted the entire community of McFarland CA through his tireless work to inspire athletic and academic excellence.
Coach White started a cross country program at McFarland and won the first California state championship in 1987. He won another eight state championships before he retired in 2002 as well as finishing number one in his league 22 times. His teams competed across the world in his quest to help his youngsters experience things they had never experienced before.
Perhaps even more importantly, the coach inspired hard work and success in the classroom. In a community where very few students went beyond high school, he helped countless youngsters to earn their college degrees and move into successful professional careers.
The cross country invitational will begin at 2 p.m. on the 14th and feature five races – 1A/2A men and women, 3A/4A men and women, and a mixed gender developmental race. Coach White will open the awards ceremony at approximately 5:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
The United Way Invitational has hosted some 10,000 student-athletes and a like number of coaches, families, and fans over its 22-year history. The meet has a theme each year, and a number of special guests have addressed the participants. Teams that register are also required to perform a community service project in their own communities, pictures and summaries of their work will be on display at the meet as well.
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