"Running at the high school level can be a very powerful experience. These young athletes have many options for how they spend their free time, but they're choosing to participate in active, community-rich programs that ideally inspire a lifetime of running and healthy well-being," said Jim Weber, president and CEO of Brooks Sports, Inc. "This year we received very meaningful stories about inspiring coaches who lead these programs, and we're super excited to honor them for the immense dedication they've given their athletes and our sport."
Beginning today, runners, community members, students and more are invited to visit www.Facebook.com/brooksrunning to learn about the finalist coaches and their special stories. Fans are encouraged to show support by voting for their favorites by Sept. 2, 2012. This year's most inspiring coach will be announced in September 2012.
Hailing from high schools across the U.S., Brooks' 25 most inspiring high school track and / or cross country coaches for 2012 are in alpha order:
* Pete Boudreaux, Catholic High School (Baton Rouge, LA)
* Mark Buesing, Libertyville High School (Libertyville, IL)
* Mike Buslepp, Romeo High School (Romeo, MI)
* Hernando Chavez, Taos High School (Taos, NM)
* Christian Cuthbert, Veritas School (Richmond, VA)
* Jeremy Darby, Landrum High School (Campobello, SC)
* David Davis, Mountain View High School (Stafford, VA)
* Julie Fink, Runnels High School (Baton Rouge, LA)
* Scott Griggs, Franklin High School (Seattle, WA)
* Eric Heintz, Marist School (Atlanta, GA)
* Marcus Jackson, Sheffield High School (Memphis, TN)
* Victoria Jones, Mill Springs Academy (Alpharetta, GA)
* Jerry Loveall, Velma-Alma High School (Velma, OK)
* Kay Nekota, Vacaville High School (Vacaville, CA)
* John O'Malley, Carl Sandburg High School (Orland Park, IL)
* Israel Pose, Torrance High School (Torrance, CA)
* Joseph Prince, Sahuarita High School (Sahuarita, AZ)
* Paul Raley, Benton High School (Benton, WI)
* Wayne Roberts, Sandusky High School (Sandusky, MI)
* Dan Scroggins, Lake City Community School (Lake City, CO)
* Mark Shafer, Chardon High School (Chardon, OH)
* Arthemon Sindayigaya, Abilene Christian High School (Abilene, TX)
* Ben Talsma, Crossroads Charter Academy (Big Rapids, MI)
* Melissa Thomas, Manchester Valley High School (Manchester, MD)
* Connie Washnik, Park Ridge High School (Park Ridge, NJ)
Each of the Inspiring Coaches finalists will receive $5000 in Brooks performance running footwear, apparel and accessories for their team, $500 in cash for additional team expenses, and membership into the Brooks Inspire Daily (I.D.) program. The Brooks I.D. program is an invitation-only influencer group with members who are active in their running communities and share a passion for the Brooks brand. The 2012 Inspiring Coach of the Year will also receive an additional $5000 in Brooks gear, $2000 in cash and a trip for two to the 2013 Brooks PR Invitational.
Brooks Sports, Inc. created the Brooks Inspiring Coaches program in February 2011 to identify and honor coaches across the nation who put in extra time and resources to build and keep their programs strong, make a lasting difference in the lives of their athletes, and inspire everyone in the community to run and be active. In an effort to bolster its support for coaches and their high school running teams nationwide, Brooks decided to more than double its investment in the Inspiring Coaches program for 2012 by increasing the number of finalists from 10 to 25.
For more information on the 2012 top 25 Inspiring Coaches finalists and to vote for your favorite, visit: www.Facebook.com/brooksrunning