Prep Sports

Xavier senior Megan Meyer bonds with aunt on the run

HS journalism: Bridget Lemker is an assistant coach for the Saints

Running is a sport that often is shared between family members. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
Running is a sport that often is shared between family members. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — The love of running often is shared between family members.

Xavier senior co-captain Megan Meyer and her aunt, assistant coach Bridget Lemker, found a passion for running together — and use the sport as an opportunity to get closer.

Lemker has been running since fourth grade. Meyer picked it up her freshman year when she decided to give cross country a try.

“I run with her every day so we have grown closer through all of our conversations and jokes we tell each other on our runs,” Meyer said. “She is my favorite person to run with.”

Outside of school and during the offseason, Meyer and Lemker spend time together.

“We see each other on weekends and holidays,” Lemker said. “During the offseasons (summer and winter), we ran together almost every day.”

Their practices consist of two main ideas — short run or long run. On a short run day, they might run half-mile repeats four times and hills up Seminole Valley Road. On a long run day, they run at least 60 minutes or about 6.5 miles.

Not only do the coaches and athletes run together, they participate in team bonding and, after every meet, enjoy a bagel with each other.

This is Lemker’s third year as assistant coach and Meyer’s fourth year of participating in cross country. Meyer and senior co-captain Hannah Denman have big goals this fall.

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“Our goal is to push each other and the rest of our team to try and get as many of us to state as we can, and hopefully, the whole team,” Meyer said.

The Saints are back in action Thursday at the Eastern Iowa Classic at Noelridge Park. The meet kicks off at 4 p.m. with junior varsity races, followed by varsity competition.

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