The Identity of a State Champion Runner

As some of you know, I am a trainer for the Play Like A Champion Today “Character Education through Sports” program. I have trained hundreds of youth and high school coaches about the ministry of coaching and hundreds of parents on the youth sports culture and best sports parenting practices.

I received an email today from a parent who attended one of my workshops. She shared this story from the Iowa High School State (IHSAA) Track & Field meet where meet officials sounded the “last lap” bell one lap too early during the 3200-meter run (eight laps), ultimately affecting the outcome of the race.

The IHSAA eventually acknowledged the runner who finished eight laps, Joe Anderson, with a first-place award in addition to Will Roder, who was the first to finish seven laps.

The most impressive part of this story came from Anderson. After he was initially stripped of his first-place accomplishment when race officials determined they would determine results after seven laps, Anderson (@Janderson9777) tweeted this:

“My identity does not come from the trophies that I have won or the ones that have been taken away. It comes from who I am in Christ. The main reason I run is to bring glory to His name, not to win state championships.”

Joe Anderson on Twitter

Pretty impressive, kid. Congratulations on your state championship.


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