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December 19, 2003     Cape Gazette
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December 19, 2003

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124 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, Dec. 19 - Dec. 25, 2003 Cape grad Fdend-UM giving back to youth m Florida Sonja Friend-Uhl is the best middle distance runner that Cape Henlopen has ever produced and she currently juggles her training and competition with coaching, a job as a fitness programmer and being a mom. Friend-Uhl was a state champi- on at 800 meters and is the current record holder at Cape Henlopen where she graduated in the late 80s. Sonja went on to become a scholarship, record-setting athlete at the College of William and Mary in Virginia where she gradu- ated with a bachelor of arts degree and soon turned her attention to professional running and racing. She started her coaching career as the assistant cross country and track coach for Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh from 1996- 1998. Upon moving to South Florida in 1998, Sonja continued her coaching ca- reer as Western High School's FRIEND.UHL boys and biffs cross country and track coach from 2000-2002. De- siring to share her sport with be- ginners, she created the USATF- sanctioned Weston Striders and Junior Striders in 1998 and coached both groups through 2002. Currently Sonja coaches USATF club teams - the Boca Striders and the Wellington Run- ners - as well as individual run- ners. Sonja's personal running achievements have spanned nearly her entire life as she still competes at the national and world level. RUNNING Tim Bamforth She has been a member of six U.S. world teams, a 2000 Olympic trials competitor in the 1500 me- ters and currently is ranked in the top 10 women in the country for distances from the 1500 meters to the half-marathon. Sonja holds personal records of 4:33 in the mile, 16:25 in the 5K, 33:57 in the 10K and 1:15:22 for the half-marathon. A skilled fitness programmer, Sonja holds personal training cer- tifications with ACSM and AFAA, as well as AFAA specialty certifi- cations in youth, senior and pre- natal fitness. She is a USATF Level I certified coach and CPR/AED certified. She has pub- lished fitness and running articles in Pennsylvania's "Health & Fit- ness" magazine and is a featured fitness columnist for the "Boca News" A natural and motivating public speaker, Sonja has ap- peared as the keynote speaker for athletic banquets, Rotary Club functions and national TV affili- ates. A prime example of maintain- ing a good balance in your life, Sonja prioritizes her roles as a wife and mother in addition to her fitness career'and competitive en- deavors. Husband Brad, and daughter Brianna, 2, are Sonja's true joy and inspiration. Sonja is currently signing up her youth track club, the Welling- ton Junior Striders, which consists of ages 7-18 including the begin- ner who wants to run for general fitness and learn the sport to the seasoned junior athlete looking for improved performances and the latest training methods. Sonja's track and field session is from Jan. 14 to June 15, 2004. "By focusing on individual achievement and improvement and incorporating FUN into every workout, Sonja has a unique way of motivating and teaching kids to give 100 percent in every effort and how to turn negatives into positives in every situation" said Seashore Strider parent Craig Herman. GOLD'S GYM 5K - The first- ever Gold's Gym 5K and walk will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednes- day, Dec. 31, at the Gold's Gym just off Route 1 in Rehoboth Beach. The event, titled "Run Into the New Year," will be sponsored by Gold's Gym and produced by the Seashore Striders with all pro- ceeds to benefit Cape Pop Warner football and other area sports pro- grams. The main event, the 5K run, will step off at 2 p.m. ,g, ith the 1-mile walk scheduled for 2:30 p.m. The 5K course will cross Silver Lake bridge and turn right to the Board- walk. Runners will go nearly three-quarters of a mile in each di- rection before crossing over Silver Lake bridge and returning to Gold's Gym. Registration is $15 through Dec. 29, and $20 on race day from 1-1:45 p.m. at Gold's Gym. Run- ners and walkers can also register online at active.corn or print out an application at seashorestrid- Awards will be presented to the overall and master Champions, as well as the top three finishers in the following age groups: 9 and under, 10-13, 14-19, 20-24, 25- 29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69 and 70 and over. T-Shirts will be guaran- teed to the first 100 runners who register. For more information, contact the Seashore Striders at 644-8952. SPLITS - The Vikings of Cape Henlopen kicked off another in- door track season under head coach George Pepper as they trav- eled to the Salisbury Invitational last Friday, Dec. 12, at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Cen- ter. The Lady Vikings finished third in the 16-team field, while the boys were seventh overall. The girls grabbed four first place fin- ishes led by Katharine DeVilbiss winning the 50-meter hurdles in 8.5 and the pole vault with a leap of 8-0. Elizabeth Decastro won the 50-meter dash in 7.0, while Jen Betts won the 3200-meter run in 14:42 to grab the other two. Jermaine Lambert won the 50 me- ters for the boys in 6.2 seconds. Violetta Parker was second in the 50 meters in 7.2, while Becky Riedel was second in the 1600 meters in 6:23. Justine Savini was also second in the pole vault in 10-6. Wrapping up the top three fin- ishers was Kevin Scott in the 50 meters in 6.4 and DeCastro in the pole vault in 7-6. What crazy person in the mid- dle of the Christmas season would put in a full day's work, then drive two hours, fly two hours and end the day with another two-hour drive only to stay less than a day and return home the same way. Like the University of Delaware, 100 miles away in Tennessee awaiting a dream game, I will be watching another dream of mine come true as All-American long jumper Kai Maull will receives his diploma from Clemson Uni- versity on Thursday at 11 a.m. Kai will receive a bachelor degree in business and will leave Tiger land as the best ever indoor long jumper and the third best outdoor long jumper in Clemson history. Kai won the biggest track meet in the country in 1997 ( USA Na- tionals) and took some heat in high school with tough decisions he was forced to make as a 16 year old that would affect his fu- ture. Kai elected to give up his starting quarterback job in foot- ball and starting point guard posi- tion in basketball and focused his attention on setting state track records (3) and winning state ti- tles (5). Recruited by over 100 Division I colleges, Kai signed with Clemson and enjoyed his senior year highlighted with a Penn Relay championship in front of Bill Cosby. Congratulations to a great athlete and a super individ- ual. Dan Cook photos Rehoboth Beach Yellow Jackets host annual Christmas Classic More than 250 wrestlers ranging in age from 4 to 14 participated in the an- team rides Cody Combs, who went on to post a 13-0 victory over Pavlik in the nual Yellow Jacket Christmas Classic held Dec. 14 at Cape Henlopen High 75-pound championship bout. School gym. Schools from Maryland, Pennsylvania and Delaware grappled Mark Crossan(top) of the Yellow Jacket wrestling team rides Brendon for trophies and bragging rights to one of lower Delaware's premier wrestling Oglesby from Smyrna. Ogelsby reversed Crossan en route to a pin sending tournaments. Above left, Logan Pavlik (top) of the Yellow Jacket wrestling Crossan to a third place finish in the junior division.